If you and a friend have had a falling out, you will both have to bring your relationship back to a healthy place again. But if you try and make up without success, what then? Is your friendship over?
The short answer is no; the friendship might still be able to go on. You do need to get your issues resolved, or at least come to an understanding on the cause of conflict, but sometimes one friend takes longer than the other to heal. Here are some things you can try if your friend initially doesn't want to make up.
Re-examine the Friendship and Your Own Actions
When someone you thought was a good friend refuses to make up with you, take a step back and look at the relationship as a whole. You may wonder if this person is as good a friend as you thought. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do my friend and I have a history of arguing with each other?
- Have recent events in mine or my friend's life changed our relationship? Often times, life changes like marriage, children, and job loss can cause additional tension in a friendship.
- Have I acknowledged my friend's accomplishments?
- Am I secretly jealous of my friend in some way?
- Do I think my time is more important than my friend's time?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, perhaps your friendship was heading toward a break up and you didn't notice it before.
When examining your friendship, take a look at your own actions. Specifically, check to see if you've been taking your friend for granted, treating her as you should, or offering the support that she needs. Sometimes people go through a rough period of time, and if friends can't adapt to the changes the relationship is affected. If your friend has had some negative issues to deal with, maybe you haven't come across as supportive as you could have been.
Let Your Friend Know How Much You Care
You may assume that your friend knows you care, but sometimes people need to hear it again. If your friend is pulling away from you and refusing to make up, let her know how much she means to you. Tell her or write it in a card that she can hold on to. Some things to say or write:
- "I haven't told you in a while, but I really care about you."
- "You are an important person in my life."
- "I hate that we can't find a way to work through this. Please talk to me."
- "Your friendship means a lot to me. Please call me."
Writing cards and letters is a good way to nurture the friendship going forward. Here's how to make them meaningful.
Give Your Friend an Open Invitation to Talk
After you have tried to call, write, and talk to your friend, you might be forced to step away for a bit. Your friend may take longer to move on from the situation than you. If you value the friendship and hope to be friends again one day, tell your friend that. Leave the lines of communication open to where he or she can initiate a conversation when they are ready. Some things to say:
- "I want you to know I am here when you are ready to talk about this."
- "I can see you're angry and want to work on where we went wrong. I'll be here when you're ready to talk again. I care about working this out."
- "I'm sorry for the way things have turned out with us, but I still consider you a good friend and hope we can go back to being close. I am here whenever you want to call me."