Fighting with friends is a pretty big rarity for me these days. I might make a snappy remark I’m not proud of every now and then (for which I totally blame Tired and Hungry), but a true fight doesn’t really happen. But back in the day, during the drama-filled elementary and middle school years, and even sometimes in high school or college, there were fights. Some that lasted a couple of hours, and a few that went on for months. (In fourth grade my BFF got made at me, twice, and didn’t speak to me for a full month at a time. Twice. Not that I’m holding a grudge or anything…)
What’s interesting though is how different people have different fighting styles. Some girls are confrontational, others passive aggressive. Some are peacemakers, others instigators. I’ve known girls who’ve had all-out screaming matches, and others who’ve stopped talking to each other entirely. There is absolutely no part of me that wishes to be a teenager again.
In considering those fights, it strikes me that it was always hardest when the two “opponents” had different fighting styles. Like that fight in fourth grade. I was a talker. I wanted to have a conversation about our issues (and I use that term generously as we were 9 years old) and understand what I did wrong so that I could apologize. Or not. She was an “I am going to punish you for all your wrongdoings by never speaking to you again and never telling you why I’m never speaking to you” type.
And then, if memory serves, one day she started talking to me again and all was ok (until the next round, of course).
When you have different fighting styles, I imagine it’s harder for BFFs to resolve problems. If one wants to scream and one marches off because she wants no part of it, how do you move forward? Pals with similar styles—whether they need to sit down and hash it out, separate to cool off, or just simply scream and get it out—probably have a better chance of getting past whatever’s going on.
I’m wondering if this is one of the great unspoken secrets of long-lasting friendship. If the besties who make it to the decade mark do so because they “fight right” or, really, fight right for each other.
What do you think? Do you and your BFF have similar fighting styles?
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62 responses to “When Friends Snap”
I like your Blog. I believe in disagreement, doing wrong to another. But I believe also in apologizing and forgiveness. Then – forgive and move on. Many people believe in forgive, but never forget. I can’t subscribe to that. I have a friend I’ve walked with for many years every morning. One day he didn’t show and didn’t call. This went on for two months. I tried to contact him. But, no response. Then he called. He apologized. I accepted that, though I never knew what happened. We now walk every day again. A friend is a treasure.
Maybe he was having some issues, medical or personal and didn’t want to talk to you about it, or have to deal with it around you, maybe it had nothing to do with you 🙂
My BFF does have many personal issues. I’ve tried to help him on our morning walks to work through some. He has financial issues, Spouse problems and his dog of 13 years passed away. Though we continue to walk and talk today, he is very quiet on any of these issues. I think he needs, as they say, some space. This weekend he and his wife are spending the weekend in a very nice Bed and Breakfast in a little artistic town in Florida. I hope they can work things out. Thank you.
I’ve never been one to fight. I let little offenses build up until there’s a huge problem. I’m gradually learning that confronting someone doesn’t have to be a huge fight. Just be honest and let people know when they’ve hurt you. It’s usually unintentional, and I’ve found this works best. Of course, it’s easier said than done….for me anyway, but we’re all a work in progress. Really terrific blog
Well Dark, I just came from my therapist. We talk about just that – letting small things go, yet like sand on a dune, it builds up. I know now that after 40 years with my wife and girl I grew up with, I have just kept too many little things in and have been afraid to talk about them for fear I’d rattle the apple cart. Now, at age 64, all these “little” things have not just vanished. I know now, it’s best to talk (in a good way) about these things up front. If it does upset the apple cart, that’s just the way it is. But, I’m not walking around with the baggage anymore. Peace 🙂
Yes, me and my BFF are pretty much identical in our styles… which can cause issues – especially as avoidance is our tactic. But I guess it helps us understand each other a little easier, if either one of us is quiet or distant – then we know that there’s an issue! Once it’s out in the open though – it’s fine and we can talk through it.
Getting things “out in the open” is probably the hardest part. I must be attracted to people with the Avoidance issue, or it’s just the cards I’m dealt – Both my Best Friend and my wife are Avoiders. I’m a “Let’s get it on the table and work it out” person.
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I have two best friends. One of them is hard to really fight with. However my other best friend and I have started having a lot of conflict. Most of it comes from the fact that she is against change. She hates that my family is moving. so instead of just saying that, she has been putting my parents down. I am not one for conflict, so I really say nothing.
Then she gets mad because I refuse to agree with her. It is infuriating because she understands why. I have PTSD, which effects how I can handle conflict.
In the end, I end up avoiding talking about anything that I know will upset her. Generally, this has made talking to her at all very hard.
What an interesting post because I can totally relate! In my opinion, I think it doesn’t matter what fighting style each one of us has because personally, I seem to employ different styles at different moods and different people. I believe the resolution comes with maturity, respect for the other and understanding. 😀
Men have a different fighting style than women because we try to logically come to terms with whatever the disagreement may be about. For me it’s never really a heated discussion because I’m all about peace. My BFF wife will get me very heated in an argument and then she shuts down and doesn’t want to discuss it. Me I want to resolve the issue and because she shuts down that pushes my button. Great blog, love the tips for getting your blog noticed.
I agree that girl friends can definitely have their differences and they have a variety of approaches that work best for them in dealing with conflict. I think I’ve seen just about all styles throughout my life. Although, I agree with the fighting styles mentioned in your blog, unfortunately, those tactics carry over into adult hood and do not stay in just our teenage years. I have experienced it first hand from teenage years through now (adult) and even witnessed it with those well into their 60’s and even the elderly. I guess the bottom line boils down to how much we value the person and if they are a significant part of our life for the positive. If they are just a body to occupy time and space in our life so we are not lonely, what value is that? We need other people in our lives for a variety of reasons but what I’ve learned is that I’d rather be alone than drain my good energy trying to please others. I value everyone good and bad but realize through my own experiences that there are friends that come and go for our benefit and life lessons and it challenges us to be strong on our own. If we are lucky enough to go through life, even just a small snippet with a friend that brings us love, meaning and true friendship (values us regardless of our faults and sticks by our side through the rough patches) then we are one of the few. Friends come and go but in the end we always have ourselves and the lessons they brought us along the way and for that we are all truly blessed.
Beautifully put! Losing someone whom I thought was my best friend was devastating, but it made me a stronger person. The hurtfulness of being ignored and gossiped about for no apparent reason was difficult to swallow. Fast forward six years and I still do not know what I did, but I have moved on (I actually moved to different location within our company because she turned so nasty). Imagine a forty year old woman behaving like a teenage girl! She was a definite “frenemy.” I realized that the problem wasn’t me when she did the same thing to her new BFF three years later. We have a few friends in common, so when I do see her socially I am always cordial. I’d rather take the high road than to stoop to her level. Some girls are mean girls their entire lives!
I’m so sorry you experienced that! It is most devastating to loose a valued friend regardless of the reason. It’s almost like a death in our lives and the pain we feel may go away in time but we never truly forget the hurt we felt. It’s even worse when something like this happens not knowing the true reason behind it. I have experienced this myself and I know the pain all too well. It sounds even worse in your case because you felt pressured to switch departments within your job due to her behavior. I also have learned that lesson the hard way as well. I agree that 40 or any age seems ridiculous to act in that manor. However, all you can do is be responsible for your reaction and behavior, not theirs. The people that listen to that garbage shouldn’t matter to you, they are not your judge and jury in life. It hurts so bad but not responding in the same manor builds your courage and character. You would be viewed as a trustworthy, professional, confident person instead of one that gossips to anyone that will listen. People that are confident with themselves will see how she really is, even if it doesn’t seem like it. Gossip is just that and when it happened to me, I hurt so badly inside for far too long. I realized later that it was my fault for allowing the hurt to consume me. It’s not easy but I finally chose to let it go. I always think of the saying: What other people think of me is none of my business because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. It’s hard but always hold true to yourself. That person who hurt you doesn’t realize they sealed their own fate and karma by acting that way. You, on the other hand, can only choose to forgive in your own mind and let go of the hurt so it doesn’t impact your life any longer. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t painful or that it wasn’t significant, it just means you are choosing to say, “thankful for the lesson God, I learned it and now I choose to move on with my new found knowledge.” You will begin to see the difference in your life and how you have grown compared to her (not that it matters about her). This is how we grow as people. Taking the higher road is always hard but in the end, when you look back over your life you will remember what happened and think, I can live with myself and how I reacted at that point in time and how I treated the other person regardless of how they treated me. That is a blessing. I just lost a friend over the stupidest thing and instead of letting my ego drive me nuts over it, I realized, if she would so easily end our friendship over this, then she wasn’t that good of friend to begin with and she isn’t a value in my life any longer. I learned my lesson but honestly glad I don’t have to deal with her anymore. lol I wish you the very best and hope you are able to heal and just know that you are loved and valued in the world for who you are!
I’ve had a couple of frenemies, too. When you are in your late thirties, it’s really hard to understand, right? It’s something you’d think we would grow out of…sadly, some people don’t grow. It’s better to Bless & Release than deal with the stress of the “frenemy” and trying to anticipate their actions. I’m glad you take the high road, it’s the classiest thing you can do.
I never really reach a level of “fight” with my BFF. Trust me, I’m not pretending we never rub each other the wrong way, but we seem to nip conflict in the bud by openly discussing things before they become a big deal.
I tend to be a very heated and passionate person, but I respect my BFF as someone I can be honest with and she feels the same towards me.
My BFF and I have different styles altogether. BFF can be painfully slow to react, passive-aggressive, and lacking any opinion at all. I can react too quickly, be confrontational, and quite opinionated. We have been very close friends for 25yrs. But we agree with your premise and I believe that the reason my friend and I have maintained this friendship is because we recognized that if we were to make it, we would have to adjust our fighting styles. The first thing we had to do was to be understanding about the way the other argues. That phase lasted two or three years. The next, and hardest thing happened over a course of years. We slowly saw that we would have to incorporate something about the way the other argues into our own approach to problems. We chose the things we most admired about the way the other handles themselves. It’s amazing the difference it made. You don’t have to be naturally hard wired the same but you do have to get on the same page with conflict resolution somehow, because conflict is going to happen. 🙂
I think this is really interesting. Most people do not approach their friendships as they do their romantic relationships and maybe it’s a good idea to do that. I sometimes take for granted that my friends and I are so similiar that we, of course, understand each other. I have a friend who ended our friendship because we disagreed over a Facebook post. But, if we had tried to work out our differences as we would with our mate maybe we’d still be friends. Thank you for the food for thought.
Rachael – Beautiful! This post made me cry, lol. So sweet & reminds me of my own dear milratiy wife BFF (I thankfully also have my childhood BFF since 7th grade!).
I think this is interesting… I’ve really only fought with one of my four besties… And concidentally she fought with all of us, but she was the only one among the four of us… We’ve all been friends since middle school and we’re 39 now… And she is the only one who has argued and refused to talk… Three of us are very similar in our arguing styles and the fourth is pretty much the opposite… After 20+ years we all love and accept each other and our differences …but we also know how to overcome any situation 🙂
Hi. Good post. Me and my friend pretty much don’t argue. I think it might be because when I’m nervous, I talk ten to the dozen, and when she’s nervous, she clams up. So when you chuck disagreement into the mix, we just end up skipping over it. Plus, we are bad at confrontation. I think we’d just end up crying if we ever argued!
I enjoyed today’s post. Very timely! I can only say that at 56 it has been a long time since I had a find with a BFF so was stunned when it happened just this week! The way we handled it was different than I use to fight too. We blew up then made up in about 5 minutes and it has enriched our friendship, at least for me. Strange!
Luckily my BFF and I have similar fighting styles, or to be more accurate, our styles have evolved to be similar. In the beginning, we had some really bad fights, ones that included crying, screaming, throwing stuff, punching rear view mirrors… But we were young, and still unformed, and unsure of the depth of our BFFness. We’ve been close for so long now, we have enough time and experiences under our collective belts, and we have much more faith in this deal. Nowadays, if we have a disagreement, one of us’ll express our displeasure with our patented bristle and cold shoulder, and the other will keep trying to make jokes until a laugh is achieved.
I notice as I get older that the friends who shy away from conflict don’t last long with me. I believe we all face conflicts all the time, and the friends I keep are the ones who are brave enough to call me on it when they disagree with something I’ve said. It’s kind of my way of sorting the real from the fake. To me, its ok if we have different styles of fighting, as long as there’s a fight as opposed to ignoring or pretending the problem didn’t exist.
Just like “Searching” said, I don’t fight with my current BF. We ask each others opinions and give them with love. The other day I sent her a link regarding manipulative people. She asked me if I was saying that she was manipulative. I told her “No.” That the post was because she had manipulative people in her life. The matter was cleared up instantly. She didn’t give me any snide remarks or fume about it. She just asked. I believe if I had said, “yes,” she would have taken it into consideration. We keep each other in check this way.
I used to get into fights similar to what you described. One day, a friend would stop talking to me and I would have no clue why (I still don’t know to this day). When I tried to find out I was met with silence, a back, or the evil eye. When my friends would get mad at me, I would physically feel ill. I would turn pale, get a stomach ache and go to the nurse’s office; once I even developed a fever! I HATE confrontation. In college, a friend once stopped talking to me and when I tried to ask her why my heart was pounding and my voice was all shaky and I felt like I was going to cry. I’d much rather find out why there is an issue and figure out a way to fix it.
My friends and I are all so non-confrontational that we never get into explicit fights. If my BFF does something that makes me so mad that I have to say something, I’ll be like “why the heck did you do X? Never do X again.” And since he’s a guy, he’ll just be like, “Okay, sorry, didn’t mean to make you mad,” and that will be the end of it.
My answer is to write notes, then read them the next day and usually soften the language, remove swear words and then if i still feel that way by that evening, I send it. Learning how to fight and/or communicate my point firmly has been a lifelong journey.
This is great. I think these are really good tools for any relationship. Thank you for this.
Glad my opinion helps. Another note to you is 40 is still young but a definite turning point. Now in my 60’s, all I can say is it happened so fast.
Oh… I’ve never fought with my best friends. Once I had a problem with one, but we talked it over and that was that. I am ZERO confrontational… my bad.
May be it’s a case of unlike worlds attracting!! And a school of sorts, as i have often witnessed in my relationships!
Thank you for reminding me why some friendships have ended (i.e. the aggressive angry confrontational types) and why some have lasted (i.e. the Asian style of we just move on and don’t talk about it in an angry way or ever which, I don’t know how healthy that is either but so far 10 years going strong! For the most part).
I think you really helped me to solve the mystery of why some fights can make it stronger while small tiffs seem to break the thin glass acquaintances rest on.
Thank you, and great to see you have a book! Reminds me of the days I was watching Paris Hilton look for a BFF, although I’m sure yours is MUCH more real! 😀
Loved the ‘thin glass’ reference..so well put!…I think early in relationships we are feeling out how the other person handles situations, and if there is a tiff early on..that is my cue to exit.
Great point about exits! I had a friendship like that once where I didn’t pay attention to her anger issues with um, EVERYONE. Pretty soon, it turned on me. It took me a longer while to take that cue to exit.
Hi, I’m glad I got the email from WordPress about your site, because I’m having those kind of issues now. I’ve been friends with a girl since we were 14, and most of the time there hasn’t been any issues, she is non-confrontational, a people pleaser so she won’t tell me if there is a problem. But I will tell her how I’m feeling, good or bad, and if I have any issues with the friendship. My issue lately is that I know she has a best friend and she talks about it all the time on FB. They call each other Thelma and Louise, she will say she’s missing her friend (even though they live around the corner from each other) and will say what fun she had with this friend and that friend but doesn’t do that with me. When I bring it up, she said, “I’m sorry you feel like we’re not as close, thats not how I feel but I am frustrated that you feel so threatened by other friendships I have. We’ve been friends for a long time and I plan to keep it that way” But why can’t she show that? I always think of her, I’ll see clothes that I think she’ll like and buy them for her, or for Xmas I bought her a little book that had poems and little sayings and it was called “You are special to me” but she never does things like that but when I bring it up, she says she wants to be my friend and she said herself she is a flake, she doesn’t always return phone calls and messages but to me, she is my best friend, but I’m not her best friend. She’s a great person, is caring, thoughtful, selfless (when she’s not being a flake) we can laugh and share a bottle of wine and she gets me, and a lot of people don’t. I’m a straight shooter, says it how it is, won’t take any crap, and people seem to think I don’t care or I’m thoughtless or something, but as my friend said in defence of me when I said something someone didn’t want to hear, that I have a big heart and I mean well. I do care and I cry if I watch those animal shows and an animal is hurt, I hate the idea of eating meat and eggs but can’t bring myself not to eat them cause they taste good 😛 I find it hard to make friends and I don’t want to lose her and I’ve done enough to push her away and she doesn’t go, so I know she cares but I get so frustrated when she doesn’t show it or shows it to other people and not me.
I’m 32 now so its been 18 years! There was a few gaps when we went off each others radars but we’ve been in constant contact for about 6 years straight now.
I have a similiar relationship in my life. A friend of mine calls me her best friend, and I just consider a good friend. To be honest, it makes me extremely uncomfortable. I feel it would be dishonest to tell her she is my best friend when I do not consider her so…There are special things I reserve just for my best friend, and to do these same displays of endearment for a close friend feels as though it devalues my true best friendship. So I think I have valuable advice when I say, do not mention this issue with your friend again. She has proven she cares about your
cont’….friendship. You will push her away, if you continue to be threatened by her other friends.
Think about how your friend feels, thinking you’re her best best but she’s not yours. It may devalue your actual best friend relationship to do the same with her but just think about how she feels. After her family, you are the most important person in the world to her
I think it’s important to remember that our expectations of people in our lives can sometimes be unrealistic. Lauren, though it may be difficult to know you are not on par with the other friends, your expectation of your friend does not obligate her to you. She really isn’t doing wrong since she has let you know she cares about you.
Also, I really believe in being your true self. The affection you show your friends naturally, as Juliette does, comes from the heart. Also, different people have different styles of interacting. Some people are goofy together, some people are caring, maybe the nature of your relationship with your friend is of a different nature than she has with her other friends.
Hrm. Me and my best friend hardly ever fight, but when we do we fight in a quite similar way. My boyfriend on the other hand is completely different to me. He gets emotional and loud and shouty and easily offended, I get more and more reasonable and calm and quiet (which I know from my sister is probably the worst possible thing I could do – she’s a screamer and my being terribly calm just makes her crosser and crosser!). Then he’ll walk out, and he kind of wants to be followed but I *always* think he doesn’t want me to follow, he needs cool-down time… and so on. So we’re completely different in that sense and making up is equally as difficult because we work on completely different timescales and have different emotional needs from making up. It’s a wonder we ever make up at all.
What I mean is yes, having different fighting styles is a bloody pain. But I really don’t believe (or perhaps I just sincerely hope) that having different fighting styles isn’t a ‘make or break’! If it was, I’d be with my best friend (another man) and not my boyfriend…!
my bff and i haven’t had a major fight since a few years after college (so….maybe 8-10 years). As we have grown up together, we’ve gotten to know each other, and to love and accept each other in spite of some of the baggage we each bring to the table.
I think that it’s similar to a marriage in that once you decide you are in this friendship together for life, not much becomes a deal breaker, or something that you can’t work through. Even when you get frustrated, you still love each other and work it out. make sense?
You hit the nail on the head with this: “I am going to punish you for all your wrongdoings by never speaking to you again and never telling you why I’m never speaking to you.” That is how my brother acts. He hasn’t spoken to me in 9 years. He seriously holds grudges.
I’m like you, I’m really confrontational. Unfortunately most of my girl friends aren’t. However, I think that the reason why most of my closest friends are those I’ve known since we were kids is that we all know each other’s “fighting” styles and so we know how to deal with each other differently. For example, my very first BFF (we’re not bestfriends anymore, but we’re still close) would simply ignore me one day and I will have no clue why; she will start talking to me again once she’s over whatever she was mad at me for. At first I tried cornering her and talking to her, which led to shouting matches and making the “fight” worse, but once I figured out the pattern (we were already in high school) I simply let her ignore me – even though I still felt tortured everytime – and once she starts talking to me again, that’s when I carefully approach the subject of our “fight.” I guess sebfigured out the pattern as well, because she is now more open to talk about her issues once she’s not mad anymore.
loving is the only way…in fact I guess that a friend is a treasure and are rare friends we really have a friendship
friendship is a fragrance of loving
I’m not sure if it’s different fighting styles with my friends. What I do know for right now is that, looking at the world around me at 32, I’ve noticed by now that there are some people that have stuck with me for almost half of my life (if not longer). They know me – the things that I’m proud of and the things that I’m not proud of – and they’re still around.
Now, I look around and see that this world has people like that and people who want to do harm to us, jerks and malcontents. I’m happy with the few who really know me and are still there, and I realize that the day is going to come when we’re all older and some of us aren’t going to be around.
And it just feels pretty dumb to walk away from those few people out of the 7 billion members of our species that mean that much to me. Every individual is an endangered species, right?
My best friend is actually a girl, and I can tell you this much about our friendship. There have been times when I’ve been upset, but, the thing is that she’s a sharp one (we’ve known one another and stayed in touch for thirteen years now). She’s not going to lose a friend easily, and she’s accepting of her friends’ faults. If someone behaves a certain way towards her, she’s going to break it down, call them out on it, and sidestep their ego. Then, she’s going to keep sticking by them.
So, I suppose (maybe, just maybe?) that for me at least, it comes down to weighing what I need emotionally now and for the years to come, and am I willing to walk away from it for something that could not possibly stack up evenly and compete against friendships like that. It’s just us, as far as we know, on this wet rock in the universe. I’d prefer to swallow my pride, try and communicate honestly, and get by with a little help from my friends.
Hopefully (crossing fingers in epic show of luck strength!).
I just found your blog and it’s very interesting! I’m a grown-up Army brat and moved frequently until junior high. After that, I was firmly planted in the same area for years. And then I got married late in life (in my 40’s) and moved to another state due to my hubby’s job. And I felt the need to get new friends, so I wasn’t completely dependent on him (he’s shy and doesn’t have a huge group of friends). So, I got a job. And I put myself out there as much as possible to make new friends. It was hard, but after 9 years in my new home, I feel like I finally belong. Thanks for sharing all of your thoughts on BFFs and the search. As for fighting styles, I know I’m a peace-maker and can usually cope with friends of different fighting styles. But it sure is easier to make friends with someone else who’s also a peace-maker. I’ll be back to read some more.
I have a couple close friends and our fights manifest themselves in different ways depending on the relationship. However, no matter the personality or fighting style, I’ve found that addressing it head-on has worked best for me and my relationships. I’ll flat out ask, “what am I doing that you’re angry/annoyed/frustrated with?” I can’t say it will work for everyone, but perhaps try it!
This is definitely the case. I have a friend who I fight with now and then. Usually I am the type to just not argue, to get mad a walk away, come back like nothing happened and then discuss the issue. My girlfriend on the other hand… well let me start by saying she’s my best friend, haha… when we fight I feel like we have totally different fighting styles and sometimes they change. The long and short of it is that when they are different styles there is more room for something to happen, something constructive. When styles are the same it may take a while to come back to terms. Again, depending on how stubborn your friend is. That’s right never your won stubbornness ; )
There has to be a winner sometimes.
i do love the way you describe your insights. I really appreciate because of the valuable things you shared with all of us. It is all about discovering new perspectives to be wiser,, to stay sharper and to be better on what we do.
I look forward to enriching my vision out of your tips
Great post, Rachel! I am so glad I ‘found’ you! Another author who follows my blog, Erica Renae Johnson, posted an article about your book… Congratulations, by the way… and some of your tips for writers/bloggers.
I love what you say here about friends and fighting styles… very insightful!
I have known my BFF, Talia, almost since birth. We were pretty much inseparable all the way through high school. Continents apart now, we don’t see each as much, but are still as close as ever. You want to find out who your true friends are… look around when you ‘come out of the closet’ at 17, and see who stands unwaveringly at your side! To this day, when Tina and I have a fight, a real fight… Talia is the first person I go to for advice. Because, chances are, I am the one at fault and not even my wife knows me as well as my BFF!
Me and Talia have always had similar fighting styles… basically, we would ‘exchange words’ and then both march off in stormy silence (is that right.. stormy silence? What is silent about a storm?). The silence would never last more than a few hours though, before one of us would call the other… we would get together and talk things out… all would be well again… the truce usually cemented with a sleep over. It is probably a pretty safe bet that the numbers are evenly divided as to who called who first.
The only time that I can recall a fight ever lasting more than a day was the time that Talia stuck up for Martha after Martha had called my mother a ‘Russian bi***!” Now, nobody, and I mean NOBODY, calls my mama a “Russian bi***’, so I popped Martha… she had a black eye for a week!
Well, Tali thought that I had over-reacted and told me so, saying that I should ‘be easy’ on Martha because her parents were going through a divorce. Now, if Tali had waited for me to cool down from what Martha had said (I was still pretty ‘high’ on adrenaline), there probably would not have been a fight between us… or at least, it would not have been as serious.
Anyway, we had words… some pretty harsh ones… and didn’t talk for almost a week. when we did, it was as before… we talked… we cried… we hugged… we had a sleep over… life went on!
For Talia and I, similar fighting styles have ‘stood us well’. Our 26 year… and counting… friendship is a testament to that. 🙂
Now, my wife Tina… well, that is another story. I swear I cannot win a fight with her! My fault for marrying a lawyer, I guess… good thing I love her so much, because I am not always the most gracious loser! Lol!!
This post reflects exactly my situation and has not come at a better time for me. At the moment I am unfortunately involved in a “high-school”/”adolescent” fight (I’m in my mid-twenties) with a friend. We have completely different fighting styles and this is the reason why our stalemate has continued. I’m a talker and she’s the “I’ll give you the cold-shoulder and not tell you what’s wrong” type but for me there’s a third factor- pride. I think no matter the “fighting-style” the issue of pride really does interfere with finding a resolution. Great post!
I recognize a great part of this post. I had similar problems with my ex which held her mouth for days , sometimes drinking and playing loudly pink floyd records. I later understood that it’s also a kind of weakness where the other only can respond if she/he controls power. SInce you are talker you could dwell on false hope and try to make it better. I eventually ended the relationship
Great Post! I don’t know if you need to have the same fighting style for the friendship to last, but I think you need to know and understand what the other persons fighting style is. If you understand that they need space, or time to yell or whatever, then you try your best to give them that, and they do the same for you in return. So I think you need to have a solid friendship prior to having a major fight in order to get over it, otherwise you won’t put the effort in to give your friend what they need or know what they need, and vise versa. Just at thought.
What a coincidence to come across this post, about friends and fights. My childhood BFF and I had a fight, once, and forty years later I just rec’d a heartfelt email from her.
Forty years ago, my BFF Gail and I were ten years old and playing in our Chicago neighborhood streets and alleys and basements: ball games, bikes, Hide and Seek, Kick the Can, Nertz. Our weeks-long fight started when she was spending way more time with another girl. Jody was real pretty, had long blond hair, went to public school, had a better bike than mine. I missed my BFF awful. I ranted and shouted, riding around the block and daring to scream swears at her every time I passed the back of her house. . . . Would we have made up if her mom Rita didn’t walk down the block one day and insist that I come over? “You too just snap right out of this right now!”
We never fought again, but her family moved away, and over the years we kept in touch less and less. I haven’t seen her in years nor heard from her much, but she replied to a midlife crisis SOS I sent out recently. She said: “I picture you with such a great life up there with such a wonderful little girl, and what is all this Debbie Downer! You just snap out of that right now… We just need to stick together and help one another right out of this!”
Yesterday I took a hike in the hills where I live in rural Maine. I got lost, and the orange blazed trail led me in circles. A beautiful breeze of nostalgia passed through me — the playground of woods reminded me somehow of streets and alleys of my childhood, our front and back yards places for big play and getting lost in friendship. I felt the warm ghost of a childhood fight and the blessing of a BFF’s mom.
This is something I am going through right now and I’m glad to see I’m not alone. My friend stopped talking to me – for seemingly no reason – and despite my best efforts to figure out what’s going on, I’m constantly running into a brick wall. I finally had to let it be and hope that she’ll come to me when she’s ready. Or maybe she won’t….
Either way, glad to see a post that addresses a problem I thought I was alone in having.
Same here, my best friend since high school just deleted me from her facebook friends and stopped talking to me. I know why though, she’d just gotten on fb, and accepted a facebook friend request from my exboyfriend, so every time I’d check her brand new profile for what she’s posting I’d see his name at the top of her page staring at me. It just rubs me the wrong way, my best friend, plus my ex.
I don’t think any friends should talk to each other’s exes, period, it’s girl code!
Then I remembered how she– in the last few years– has slept with 2 best guy friends on a whim, and made them fight, on more than 1 occasion. I live far from her, but I realized if we ever live nearby again which we wanted to, I wouldn’t let crap like that go as easy if I actually knew the guys, and I told her it was messed up. Coming between friends= not cool.
So she kept saying ‘well he friend requested ME’, and I said, who cares who did, you don’t have to ACCEPT. She didn’t unfriend him for a while and I got madder at her for ignoring something that bothered me so much. She finally did unfriend him, then me. I stand by my beliefs, but am shocked my best friend that I’d talk to every other day could just do that, like she used to with other people (cut off). Still wondering if I should explain myself better or just to hell with it, even if its so painful, and hope I meet a new best friend soon, although they sure don’t grow on trees.
My biggest problem is knowing how to react when someone says something to me that’s hurtful and totally uncalled for. So much so that I’m left reeling trying to figure out what I did to elicit such a response. This happened just the other day and, unfortunately, it came on a day and during a time when I’m grieving for the death of a very close relative. My gut reaction was to lash out and make them feel as bad as they made me feel but we work together and I’m almost 29 years old. I know that just because they decided to behave like an ass was no reason for me to do so and I certainly shouldn’t take my grief out on another person. So I told them they didn’t need to be rude and that I didn’t mean for them to be offended by whatever it is I did. No response. I have to see them at work tomorrow and I don’t know how to behave. Part of me just wants to ignore it and let it go because I know that it’s mostly still bothering me only because it’s easier to focus on that than the intense sadness I’m feeling. Part of me wants this jerk to know that they were rude but their fighting style is clearly to be an ass first and think later. I can’t handle it if they respond just as badly at my attempts at explaining how I felt.
I very rarely get into fights with my friends anymore so my experience is to either get into screaming fights or stop talking to the person until we’ve cooled off. Neither of these are really appropriate reactions when said person is someone you work with. And, truth be told, I don’t want to be mad. It’s too exhausting and I don’t have the mental energy to deal with it but I can’t seem to forget it either. That’s always my problem.
This blog is great and thought-provoking. Thank you for writing it. This post in particular sheds some good light on why I find some friendships so difficult to maintain.