Let’s face it: friend fights suck. Whether the fight is about a lost T-shirt or false gossip, getting into a fight with a friend is painful and frustrating. Friend fights tend to drudge up feelings and insecurities that were lying just below the surface. Sometimes getting these emotions out on the table is good for the friendship and leads to stronger connections and deeper intimacies; other times, these feelings are unhealthy and toxic and may signify that the friendship needs to end. The question is: how do you know when to fight for a friendship and when to let it go? Typically, the behavior during and after a fight is the best indicator of how to move forward.
Check out the five signs that you may need to end a friendship after a fight:
1. They post about it on social media.
There are numerous benefits to social media. Posting about personal fights between friends isn’t one of them. Whether the post is outright directed at you or an underhanded slap regarding your fight, this person clearly needs some growing up to do. Pursuing attention and drama in the public arena--rather than seeking a solution to your argument one-on-one--is indicative of a person who might not have your best interests at heart.
2. They refuse to talk it out.
Everyone knows that during fights people say things in anger or don’t communicate their side clearly--which can cause further tension and strain when there was already plenty to begin with. In order to fix the problem, the issue needs to be talked about when both parties are calm and willing to hear the other person’s side. If this person is straight-up refusing to talk it out with you, it shows they may not have the communication skills needed for a lasting friendship.
3. They won’t try to see your side.
There’s no doubt that it can be hard to see the other person’s side when you are angry and feel hurt or betrayed, but (unless your friend was intentionally trying to hurt you) there’s probably a reason why they did what they did or said what they said. Rarely is one person to blame in these situations. If your friend refuses to see the fight from your perspective or understand your side, it means they aren’t willing to put in the effort to understand your feelings about the situation. Not cool.
4. They attack you during the fight.
Name-calling, yelling insults, and bringing up past grievances are all attempts at hurting the other person. It doesn’t matter how mad you may be at each other, resorting to this manner of arguing is childish and cruel. This person is supposed to love and care for you--not call you a bitch for forgetting to do the dishes. If they do, maybe they don’t deserve to be in your life.
5. They don’t make an effort to change.
Even if you resolved the fight and hugged it out, if their behavior or actions don’t change, it means they weren’t actually interested in fixing anything other than the unpleasantness of your mutual anger. If they truly listened to what made you upset and cared about the friendship, they wouldn’t return to the kinds of behaviors that caused the fight in the first place.