There are various reasons you and your best friend might find yourself at odds. Perhaps you lost your temper at him during a friendly competition, or perhaps you seemed to be flirting with a girl he had his eye on. No matter the reason, it's now up to you to begin to repair the damage. However, eventually you will need his cooperation, as this isn't a job you can do alone. You both have to want to patch things up.
Choose Your Timing
If your best friend is still extremely upset by the incident, you shouldn't approach him for a conversation until he has had time to calm down, warns psychologist John M. Grohol in the PsychCentral article, "How to Make an Adept, Sincere Apology." Otherwise, your attempts to patch things up might be met with a cold shoulder and an overall uncooperative attitude. On the other hand, if you wait too long, he might begin to fume about the delay in your apology. Wait for a day or two to pass before you contact your friend for a chat.
Have an open and honest conversation with your friend about the incident. Rather than assigning blame, focus on communicating your feelings, suggests psychologist Sam Owen in a Huffington Post article. For example, rather than saying, "You are being too sensitive," say, "I feel like I'm misunderstanding the reasons behind your anger." When listening to your friend talk, try to put your opinions aside for a moment so you can envision the problem more objectively.
Take responsibility for any of your mistakes and make a formal apology to show respect for your best friend. Make sure you are specific with your apology, rather than over apologizing or only apologizing for part of the mistake, says Grohol. For example, you don't need to say, "I'm sorry for being a terrible friend." Just say, "I'm sorry I lost my cool the other day. I shouldn't have taken out my anger on you," or "I'm sorry I forgot about the basketball game. I will write it down next time so it doesn't happen again." To avoid a half-apology, steer clear of phrases such as, "I'm sorry you got upset when I lost my temper." You must remember that you are apologizing for your actions, not his.
Prep for Future Problems
Explain how you will avoid the same mistakes in the future and how you will both handle future disagreements, suggests Owen. For example, if you flirted with a girl he likes, explain that you will try to steer clear of his crushes in the future. If you forgot to show up for a planned activity, commit to writing down the information to help you remember. If a problem can't be avoided, make an attempt to chat with your friend before it becomes an issue that might strain your relationship. Owen recommends coming up with a funny code word that signals the need for a conversation without either of you feeling anxious about starting one. If you have something on your chest, but don't know how to open a discussion, just say that code word.
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