My bestie and I aren’t on the best terms right now, and I miss them. I don’t want our friendship to end.
What do you do when your BFF is mad at you? How do you smooth it over?
~Bestie Brooke in Baltimore
Lauren, today’s Dear Ellie columnist, has some advice for you:
Dear Reconciling Bestie,
If you are lucky enough to have the same BFF in your life for years, you have also probably experienced some highs and lows in your relationship. I like to think of them as speed bumps. Take a minute and imagine driving over a speed bump. They can catch you by surprise and damage your vehicle if you’re going too fast. Or, if you anticipate them and slow down, you can experience the obstruction gracefully without any long-lasting damage. The key is your approach.
Before going to your BFF to make up, imagine your argument or disagreement as a speed bump. What was your approach? Did all hell break loose, and you cranked up the odometer to 100 mph, or did you slowly approach the conflict as a mere bump in the road? There is no right or wrong approach, but each will call for a different style of reconciliation.
Ask yourself a few questions:
- Can I trace this argument back to events from the past?
- What role did I play in this conflict?
- Set your ego aside – is this a valid disagreement?
- Would I need to change my actions moving forward to settle the conflict, and if so, am I willing to do that?
- Why do I value this friendship?
- Is this friendship worth compromising to move forward?
In my opinion, friendships are one of the most valuable investments in life; however, with growth and time, some are not meant to be lifelong investments. When you establish friendships in your youth, they are bound to change as you grow up. Tyler Perry’s Madea ‘Let Them Go’ speech has always resonated with me. Don’t get your seasons mixed up.
If you want to move forward with your friendship and smooth it over, it might be time to eat a slice of humble pie and do some active listening. Ask the friend to meet you somewhere for a chat on neutral ground and let them vent. Listen and do not say a word. Afterward, ask them what it would look like to make up and what steps you need to take to move forward. Often, people want to be heard, and when they have been, they will move on. If your friend continues to bring up the past argument after your reconciliation, they may not be able to move forward with the friendship.
Fights in friendships can be more complicated than a fight with your spouse or partner. The only thing you can do is ask to make up, listen, and learn from your ups and downs. In some ways, working through a speed bump can strengthen your relationship in the long run. Learning how to move through a conflict can improve communication, a lifelong skill worth the investment.
Best Wishes and Cheers to Friendship!
Lauren + Ellie