How to Deal with Good Friends Getting Mad at You
You may have no trouble arguing with your parents about curfew or fighting with your siblings about borrowing your stuff. But fighting with your best pals can be uncomfortable. Friends are the people you lean on for everything, and it’s no fun when they are mad at you. The best way to deal with a fight between friends is to talk it out. Then, find ways to make amends and help your friendship bounce back stronger than ever.
Hearing Them Out
Ask your friends to meet up.Choose a place where you can talk uninterrupted. To keep tempers and voices down, it may be a good idea to meet in a public place such as a coffee shop or restaurant. Let them know the reason you’re asking them to meet.
- For instance, you might say, “We really need to talk about what happened the other day. Can we get together tomorrow after class?”
Listen and stay calm.It can be tough to listen to someone spell out your wrongdoing, even when it’s true. However, the key is to not get defensive or angry here. Interrupting, excusing, or defending will only make matters worse. It’s important to remember that when someone says you’ve hurt them, you don’t get to say that you didn’t. So, hear them out.
Try to step into their shoes.Aim for empathy by trying to separate the current situation from how you view yourself as a person. Take a moment to step out of your own point-of-view and into your friend’s. Chances are, what they are saying may have some truth to it.
- As you listen to your friends say all that they are upset about, try to step into their shoes. How would you feel if the same thing had been done to you?
Validate how they feel.Once they’ve stated their grievances, try to validate their feelings. This helps mend fences by showing that they are not crazy for feeling the way they do. Let them know that their reaction makes sense to you and that they are right to be angry.
- You might say something like, “You know, I can see why you’re angry” or “I can see that I really hurt your feelings.”
Apologize and admit it if you were wrong.Only after validating your friend’s experience and feelings should you move into making amends. Tell them you’re sorry and ask for their forgiveness.
- Say, “I’m really sorry I embarrassed you. Can you forgive me?”
- The apology is most likely to be successful if you speak in a soft and sincere tone of voice, and make eye contact the whole time.
- Only apologize if you feel like you were actually wrong. Otherwise, your apology will be insincere.
Give them some space.In some cases, your friends may need a little time before they can completely mend fences with you. Don’t jump the gun and expect that things will be back to normal simply because you apologized. Let them have some time to get over the situation so that you can start fresh.
- If the situation happens to be a misunderstanding in which you didn't do anything wrong, time apart may help both sides to see the situation more clearly. That way, you can move past it more easily.
Ask what you can do to make it better.Go to your friends and see how you can resolve the situation so that your relationships don’t suffer. Be open-minded about what they may suggest. Also, be willing to put in some effort and meet their demands.
- For example, if you told a secret, your friend may request that you never do that again. They may also ask that you earn their trust again by showing that you are loyal.
Strengthening the Relationship
Address the problems that caused the rift.Simply asking what you can do to make things better is only half of the solution. You also have to follow through. If you want the friendship, commit to making changes within yourself to prevent similar problems from occurring in the future.
- For instance, if your friends were angry because you stood them up to hang out with your girlfriend, let them know that it won’t happen again. It may help to set aside special times or days to hang out with friends or hang out with your partner.
Let them know how important they are to you.If you have betrayed, hurt, or humiliated a friend, they may need reassuring that you still care for them. Remind your friend that you still love them and that they are important to you. Don’t grovel or overdo it, though—this may come off as insincere.
- You might say, “We all have been friends since third grade. I love you guys and I can’t imagine my life without you.”
- You might also do something nice for them, like make a card or buy friendship bracelets.
Spend quality time together.The best way to strengthen the bonds of friendship is by spending quality time together. Prioritize hanging out and chatting with your buddies over the next few days and weeks. This shows them that you are making an effort. Spending quality time also backs up your claim that the friendship is important.
Realize that conflict makes you stronger.Many people avoid conflict with those they care about because it is painful. However, fights between friends help you recognize areas where you need to grow. Plus, making up often helps you remember why you care about one another in the first place.
- Conflict may be useful for growth, but friends shouldn't always be fighting. Be wary of friends who are always starting fights or always blaming you for something. Arguments can also be a way to manipulate friends.
- Remember to offer balance during conflicts. Listen to the other person's concerns and validate them. This will encourage more constructive dialogue. Also be aware of when it is time to move forward and leave a problem in the past.
QuestionHow do you calm an angry person down?
Clinical Social WorkerClinical Social WorkerExpert AnswerYou can calm down an angry person by suggesting a non-alcoholic beverage or a short walk. Try repeating something like, "Just relax and take a few deep breaths; we will sort this out."Thanks!
QuestionHow do you get someone to forgive you?
Clinical Social WorkerClinical Social WorkerExpert AnswerYou can ask for forgiveness in a genuine way, but you cannot 'make' anyone forgive you. It usually takes time, and it will depend on what the transgression was, and how much it hurt the other person. It is best to give the person the space he/she is asking for.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do you do when you're angry at someone?
Clinical Social WorkerClinical Social WorkerExpert AnswerWhen you are angry at someone it is best to take some time before confronting them or talking to them. Compose yourself first by either some relaxation techniques or deep breathing or exercise. And when you do approach them, try to begin with "I" statements rather than blaming them.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do you do when your boyfriend is mad at you?
Clinical Social WorkerClinical Social WorkerExpert AnswerIf your boyfriend is mad at you, you can ask if he wants to talk about it now or maybe later. Don't stay on him about it; often letting a little time pass can help. You can also reflect and ask yourself if you did anything to set it into motion. But don't take on any blame or responsibility if it is not yours!Thanks!
QuestionMy best friends started leaving me out of things. When I told them how I felt, one of them didn't really care and the other one seems mad. What can I do?Community AnswerSend them a final message, but try to be mature. Tell them you don't like feeling left out and that you expected them to act as your friends.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if these friends say to not speak to them, and I don't know why they're mad?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerLet them know that you're happy to respect their wishes, but that you really don't know what you did. Say that you're happy to try to set things right if and when they're willing to fill you in. Then, leave it alone for a while.Thanks!
QuestionMy friend and I have been getting mad at each other a lot the past few weeks. It's starting to really get me annoyed. When I would not give her answers to a quiz, she freaked out. What do I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerShe is definitely either going through something in her personal life, or she's just not a good friend, and never was. A friend should never try to pressure you to cheat on schoolwork, you did the right thing. Take some time apart and see how you feel about her after this.Thanks!
QuestionI did something really mean to my friend, and now I'm nervous she will tell everyone she knows to get them mad at me. I feel guilty and already tried talking to my mom. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerApologize to your friend. She may or may not accept your apology -- and, unfortunately, you can't guarantee that she won't tell others what you did -- but at least you made things right on your end.Thanks!
QuestionWhat can I do when they misunderstood me? For example: I send a photo of a birthday party they aren't invited to and they got upset.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMisunderstanding is a common thing in most of the relationships. Just spend a day with them and make them feel wanted and loved and make sure you apologize.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if my friend is really mad about something small to me, but big to her?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry to understand her perspective and accept that people are sensitive to different things. Let your friend know that you are sorry and you had no idea this would upset her so much, as it is not something that would upset you, but you respect her feelings and will not do it again.Thanks!
Video: Guide to Maintaining Friendships
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