Fighting with a friend feels terrible because the friend is the person you normally run to when someone fights you. Your friend is the confidante, support system and crying shoulder you usually have when the world goes awry. But what should you do when the support system becomes the enemy? Fighting with a friend can hurt worse than fighting with an enemy and might even be harder to get over because that person is supposed to be your comfort and your ally. So how do you move on and forgive a friend after a fight?
- Cool it first. Whether it was a petty argument or a deep fight with deep issues, the first thing to do is to cool it first. Step back, calm down and let all the negative feelings run their course. Rant about it (to another friend obviously!), cry about it or distract yourself but the main thing to do is to cool your head first and let things settle down.
- Honest assessment. When you've calmed down, it becomes much easier to take a clearer look at the picture. Why did you guys fight? Was it entirely your friend's fault or perhaps you too have some faults? Sometimes, the most difficult thing can be admitting to ourselves that we too are to blame and that we did something wrong to make the fight worse. Take a good, hard and honest look at yourself and how you behaved during the fight. Make an honest assessment of what happened and weigh out your options in dealing with it.
- Look back and look forward. Was the fight so terrible and so deep that you honestly cannot see yourself friends after? Or was it a skirmish that the two of you can get over given the strength your friendship has? Take a look at what you've gone through as friends - the crazy adventures, the secrets only you two know and ask yourself if the fight is worth losing the friendship. Does the present fight outweigh your past?
- Forgive yourself. How can you forgive your friend if you don't forgive yourself first? If you too have some faults with regard to the fight, accept what you did - acknowledging your own wrongdoings and accepting that you want to move forward from the incident. Make a conscious choice that you will move on positively from this fight.
- Reach out. In time, you will know when you're ready to reach out to your friend. Whether your decision is to still remain friends or to no longer be as good friends as you once were, you need to make the decision to reach out and let him or her know you offer forgiveness. Sometimes, a fight might be so deep that the friendship never goes back to the way it was, but the point is that you are making a choice to no longer carry the grudge of your fight. Talk to your friend and let him or her know that you too are sorry for the fight and that you wish to move on. Your friend might not want to be friends again or might reject your apology and your forgiveness but you know in your heart you've forgiven the past.