The Montfort Group

How To Repair A Damaged Friendship

Friends are an important part of most people’s lives. Friends will encourage and hold each other accountable. They will celebrate and grieve with and for each other. You can tell them anything and, if they are good friends, they will keep your deepest, darkest secrets. Sometimes things go wrong in the relationship. Maybe there was an argument over a small, inconsequential thing and tempers got out of hand. Perhaps the friendship was damaged in a more profound way, such as a serious break in trust. How can you repair a damaged friendship?

Can it be saved?

First, you must determine whether the relationship is just damaged, or if it is irrevocably broken. Do you want to salvage this relationship? Do not make this decision until you are calm. Just as terrible things can be said in the heat of the moment, terrible choices can also be made during that period. Do you honestly feel the friendship can be salvaged?

In some instances, the friendship can be repaired, but the relationship can never be as it was before. Sometimes, the relationship cannot be saved at all, and you and your former friend become mortal enemies. Some friendships fall somewhere between these two states, but more often than not, the friendship can be saved, and the closeness of the relationship can go back to how it was before the damage occurred.

The Next Step

If you feel like the friendship can be repaired, and the damage can be undone, or at the very least forgiven, you must thoroughly consider what caused the break in the relationship. Think about this, while you are calm, from your own point of view. Once you have done that, try to think about it from your friend’s point of view. Are you at fault? Is your friend? Are you both equally to blame?

In any disagreement, one party may be right, and one may be wrong initially. As the conflict escalates, both parties usually end up wrong – due to words said or actions taken during the argument. Both parties typically start out believing they are absolutely right, and the other person is absolutely wrong. Sometimes both parties actually are correct, depending on how the situation is being viewed.

If you believe you are right, the next step towards repairing the relationship is to make a crucial decision. Is being right more important to you than the relationship? If the argument is over something life threatening or life altering, and you feel you are right, you probably would not be willing to back down from your position. But if the disagreement is over something far less important, you actually can afford to let the other person be right – even if you still feel they are not.

Apologizing

The next decision to make is whether you will apologize. If you decide being right is more important than the relationship, you most likely will not be willing to apologize for something you do not believe you did or said wrong. If the relationship is more important, it may be best to swallow your pride and need to be right and apologize to your friend. It is also best, at that point, to agree never to bring it up again if possible. Depending on the severity of the problem, you and your friend may agree neither of you is right or wrong, no apology is needed from either side, and the subject should be dropped.

Unfortunately, some friendships are not salvageable. Other times, it may be possible to repair the friendship, but one or both parties have no sincere desire to do so. This is the final decision you need to make before moving towards reconciliation. If this other person is continually making you mad or unhappy, if they are a negative force in your life, or you find you are simply happier without them in your life, it is okay to go your separate ways, but part as friends if possible and make sure you have carefully thought things through.  

Contact The Montfort Group in Plano today to see how we can help you with your relationships.

Cory Montfort, MS, LPC-S

Cory Montfort, MS, LPC-S

I completed my Masters of Science in Counseling from Southern Methodist University where I specialized in working with individuals, couples, and families. I have extensive experience working within the mental health community facilitating groups, conducting assessments, counseling individuals, and performing crisis intervention. I hold an active License in Professional Counseling and am also a board-approved Counselor Supervisor for the state of Texas.

Schedule Online

It's easy to set up an appointment with us - see what's available now!

Our Blog

Therapy thoughts