Fighting fair

Just because you’re friends doesn’t mean
you’re never going to argue.

I don't know how to talk with my friend when I'm mad at him.In fact, fighting can be a sign of a healthy relationship, especially if it’s done respectfully. However, it’s important to fight fair, and to make up after an argument.

In the moment

Good, productive arguments are when both people get to say what’s on their mind without feeling judged, mocked, or insulted. Here are some tips:

  • Don’t accuse. Say “I felt X when Y happened” instead of “I can’t believe you did that to me.”
  • Never call names.
  • Don’t broadcast your argument to the rest of the world. That means not writing about it on Facebook or telling other friends about your fight.
  • Stay calm. If you find yourself getting upset, take a time out.
  • Be mature. If you can’t sort out your differences in one conversation, give it some time and come back to it later. Agree to talk about it once you’ve had time to cool off.
  • Don’t bring up old grudges. Discuss the conflict you’re dealing with now, not one that you had six months ago.

Making up

Try not to stay mad forever. Take a step back and think about whether the argument is worth ditching the friendship over. If it isn’t, here are some ways to make up:

  • Call and apologize
  • Try to explain where you were coming from
  • Make plans to see each other soon
  • Do something fun and try to put the argument aside
  • If there’s more to say, meet somewhere neutral (like a coffee shop) and try to talk about it calmly
  • Try to forgive and move on

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Last Reviewed August 2013 by the Kids Help Phone Counselling Team

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