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What to do when you fight all the time

Published: September 1, 2013 | Last Updated: September 1, 2013 By | 10 Replies Continue Reading
Young people have friendship dilemmas, too. A pre-teen asks what to do when friends fight all the time.

QUESTION

Dear Friendship Doctor,

I’m 12, and my name is Caitlin and I’m going to ask you something about my friend Sara and me. Well, I think we should stop being friends. We fight a lot and scream at each other or she leaves me in the background totally forgetting about me.

Should we stop being friends and how would I tell her? I mean we have been friends for so so long, I think it’s been around seven years since first grade to now when we are both in 7th grade. Please help.

Signed, Caitlin

ANSWER

Hi Caitlin,

It’s tough when good friends fight all the time although it happens more often than you might think. Your friend Sara is probably feeling as uncomfortable as you are, and it’s great that you are thinking carefully about how to handle this unpleasant situation.

When a friendship seems to be falling apart, talking to each other is always a good first step. Do you always fight about the same thing, or do you just seem to rub each other the wrong way? Would it help to sit down together and figure out what’s annoying both of you? For example, you can let your friend know that you feel hurt when she ignores you; maybe she isn’t even aware she is doing this. Ask her what you are doing that annoys her.

If you can’t stop the arguments, perhaps, you have just outgrown each other. Young people change a lot from first to seventh grade as they grow and develop different interests. Constant fighting that can’t be worked out might be a sign that you both need to spend more time with new friends and less time with each other.

No matter what you do, try to remain friendly with Sara rather than become her enemy. You are going to see each other in school all the time; probably have friends in common; and may want to become close friends again when you are older.

I hope you can resolve your differences but another good outcome would be to remain friends who agree to spend less time together.

My best, Irene

 

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Category: Child and adolescent friendships, Teen friendships

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  1. Kayce says:

    Hi! My name is Kayce. I really need your help on this. My friend & I are constantly fighting on useless things. This doesn’t happen with anyone else except her. Even though she’s one of the closest best friends I’ve ever had. I had been going through quite a few problems lately. In the past,she’s always been there for me but this time when I told her about the problem then I didn’t really wanna talk a lot about it otherwise i would start crying so we were just chatting on social media & i told her that this is going on. And her first reaction was ‘WHAT?!’. Then i told her i don’t want to get too deep into it but i needed to tell someone about it. The she texted me back saying ‘do you not wanna talk about it or if you don’t want to tell me about it then fine.’ I was completely shocked. I didn’t expect her to completely make it about her or anything else. I expected her to understand and help me like always. Instead she just assumed that i don’t want to tell her. Which was not the case,I even told her that and this was just one of the things we’ve started arguing about. I’m really getting tired of all these arguments. I was thinking of just not being besties anymore but we’ve been friends for a long while & she’s one of the best friends I’ve ever had. I don’t want to loose her either. Please help

  2. Berry says:

    I honestly have 3 friends that I used to like but now they’re just bullies I sometimes feel like one but then they all go against what I wish to say, so we just fight. I want to say something but later on, they just go against it and it just makes me feel like I’m nothing because they just keep fighting against what I wish to say and they call me ” salty” when they need to look at them selves because they are salty but they just call me salty 90% of the time. They also call me names. I try my hardest to actually be nice to them but I guess I’m just an annoyance to them.

  3. nourjahan mostafa says:

    Hello , my name is Noor

    Me and my friend Saba always fight , and when we fight , she always ends up blocking me on every social media . Our recent fight was that she is a very weak person that can’t stand up for herself in front of the people that leave her behind or might as well bully her. I tried making her a stronger person and supporting in these hard times , I told her that if she doesn’t start standing up for herself she will end up getting abused in the future by her husband , friends ,haters etc. After that I told her to stop talking about it and just stay friends she said okay but she told me that she wants to stay alone for a while. Then I saw her having a sleepover with one of our friends that live in the same building as us so I told her that I was confused and I thought she didn’t like me anymore . After that , she told me that she thought I was trying to break her friendship with the girl she was having a sleepover with , and that I hurt her feelings by telling her that she is going to get abused and everything , later on the other girl starts joining her in our fight and then she told me that I lost her and the girl as her friends , I tried telling them sorry a few times telling myself that maybe she understood me the wrong way , I wanted them to know that they mean a lot to me and that I love them a lot but before it was too late they have already blocked me. I did a lot of fake accounts on instagram to be able to contact them as their accounts are public I sent a lot of messages but each time they block me . So here is my question , Am-I wrong for saying sorry? did I hurt her feelings ? Should I not talk to her? . I really need an advice.

    Thank you , sincerely Noor .

  4. Mae says:

    Hi Im mae and I have a best friend. Well actually we always fight and argue with each other about pointless things but soon can fix it. Last July 3 we had a fight and it’s worst although it’s has the simplest reason. We should be together on a program in our community but he insisted that he’ll be with his family. I said it’s ok. So I find someone to be with me the whole time. By 9:00 or so I saw him, He talked with me for less than a minutes and I just nodded. I waited him to return but he didn’t. I arrived home by 11:21 and saw his messages telling me he’s mad at me because I ‘ve changed a lot. That I easily get angry at him and and knowing the fact that we’re just friends. He said I’m too possessive and he said he can do nothing for my attitude. I apologized at him right after and also told him to forget me. I tried talk to him but because it’s school days I find it hard to talk to him since we have different sections and ahead of me for a year. We meet and talk for a little amount of time when school days had started. And when I approached at him he ignored me. One time when I stared at him and he also stared at me but not the way he used to look at me. And he texted me that stated that he gets more mad when I just stare and don’t do anything for us to have a little time to talk. I miss him so much….. It’s 3 more days before my birthday and from a month ago i’m expecting him to give me a gift. Our situation right now is so Unlikely During the vacation We always call him on phone and text him every minute of my life on each other. I call him dad and I’m her so called daughter. We always meet at the park and teach little children for we are volunteer teachers. And sometimes he gets irritated when It takes too long for me to reply. He’s my only friend who can visit me anytime at home. I’m so sad for what happened….. It’s so hard for me to think that the person I tell many problems and secrets and also the one Im always making fun with….. was I don’t know still friends? Do you think he can still forgive me?

  5. Suzy says:

    I’m 14 and my best friend is 15 but we are both in the same grade. We fight alot and over the stupidest things and i’m always the one that ends up apologising even when i did nothing wrong. There was a time when i stopped talking to him because i got so frustrated about something he did and when i did tell him why i was angry at me, he practically yelled at me for not telling him and den i apologised. But the thing is that he likes me and he has said it a lot of times but i don’t like him back and he knows that and that combined with the weight of us fighting all the time, i don’t know what to do. And he’s moving away this summer so if i don’t do something now then our friendship will probably be strained for a long long time.

  6. KayBunny says:

    So I also have a friend. He name is Kenzie. Kenz and I always fight over the STUPIDEST things. But only on text. When we are in person, she’s so sweet. She blames alot on me but I try to not let it get to me. She is a year younger and is in a different grade. I guess we don’t really get what each other sometimes. I feel that she is unfair. When she comes to my house, she really really wants to go to a girl in her grade’s house because its near mine. I said it was fine and at the time I didn’t mind BC the girl was nice. But honestly I didn’t want her to because I just wanted it to be just her and me. But at dances or in person, when I hang with HER, she doesn’t let me hang with my friends in my grade without throwing a fit or getting angry. I just don’t understand. When we talk it out, it keeps the fight going and it makes other subjects come up and we’re both crying over the texts. It happens alot. I really have no idea what to do. Her teacher told her if friends fight, they are just really close. This is not the case, anybody?

  7. Amy says:

    Hi Caitlin,
    I’ve known a lot if girls your age who have questions about friends. You’re very smart to ask for advice. I’m really impressed that you’re not blaming your friend for causing all the problems and that shows me you’re a very mature girl. A lot of adults could learn from you.
    While arguing between friends your age isn’t uncommon, you seem concerned about the frequency. What jumped out at me was that you and your friend scream at each other. There’s something called “fair fighting”, where people can differ and still treat each other with respect. Screaming isn’t respectful, especially if you guys are insulting each other.
    Sometimes people fight when they spend too much time together and taking a break reminds them how much they do enjoy each other. Maybe if you stay friendly, like Irene suggests, but place more emphasis on your other friends, you’ll be able to enjoy the parts of your friend that you like, and keep from getting too close that you drive each other crazy.
    One good tip to avoid fighting is to walk away. You don’t have to have the last word or answer her screams with more screams. Just saying, “Let’s talk when we’re both in better moods.” is a good idea and makes you a “winner” for stopping the fight. Sometimes kids and adults feel like they have to “win” an argument by talking last, but ending the fight without hurting or being hurt more is really winning.
    Just from reading your letter, I have a feeling you will figure this out. Good luck!

    • Irene says:

      Really helpful ideas for Caitlin! Thanks for sharing them, Amy!

    • Gazal says:

      I am 17 and still close frnz with my ex! We keep fighting and arguing alot. Moatly on how i feel ignored and hurt or on matters like i dont sleep enough and all. Although we are the closest to each other! What should we do? I still love him

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