How to Make Amends With a Best Friend

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Disagreements happen, even between the closest of friends. Work schedules, major life changes and family problems can put people on edge and make them more likely to lash out. In addition, some friends simply grow apart as each moves in a new direction. If you want to rekindle your relationship with your best friend, tact and empathy are key.

Assess the Situation

No problem is ever completely one-sided. Close relationships, such as those between best friends, generally show warning signs that might be overlooked or dismissed. Psychologist Irene Levine, author of "Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend" recommends taking a step back to consider the situation objectively. Look for ways in which your relationship might have changed before the fight, and situational factors that might have contributed to it. Wait until your anger passes before contacting your friend. Otherwise, you risk worsening the situation.

Reach Out

Best friends are generally best friends for a reason. You have been through a lot together, so don’t get hung up on who said what or which of you signed off in anger. If you want to make amends, reach out. A phone call is always appropriate, but texting and e-mail are sometimes easier to handle when you are upset. Carefully choose your first words. It can be tempting to try to bury the conflict, but pretending it never happened can lead to resentment. Decide what you want from the conversation and open a dialogue that points in that direction.

Give It Time

Your best friend is an independent human being with his or her own thoughts and feelings. If your overture is a surprise, your friend might not be ready to talk. Respect your friend's decision, making calm, neutral assurances that you would like to talk whenever your friend is ready. Dr. Levine suggests trying again, providing plenty of space in between. Ultimately, however, the decision is in your friend’s hands. Even best friends sometimes grow apart, and you cannot continue the friendship alone. Leave an opening for the future, but avoid harassment.

Remain Positive

When you talk to your friend, maintain a positive attitude. Let go of your hurt and angry feelings. Criticizing, nitpicking or arguing will only drive a further wedge between you. Apologize for your actions and talk about how much you enjoy your friend's company. Adopt the attitude that you are friends for a reason, and that the pros outweigh the cons. If you are unable to stay positive, walk away. You might not be as ready to make amends as you thought, or the two of you might simply have irreconcilable differences. Give yourself some time to decide whether or not you want to try again.