• Resolving Problems

How To Handle A Blowup With A Friend

Published: February 24, 2013 | Last Updated: December 1, 2021 By | 4 Replies Continue Reading

When a blowup with a friend seems out of proportion, it may suggest something more is amiss in a friendship.


Hi Irene,

I would really appreciate some advice from others on what steps I need to take now after a blowup with a friend, my best friend.

My best friend met a new man (well, they were friends at school, went off and married other people, and just met up again 25 years later). This man announced his undying love for my best friend a few weeks ago after splitting with his second wife two or three months ago.

He came to visit my best friend (they live 400 miles apart) and had to go to the city for an appointment beforehand. My friend didn’t want him coming home himself so I agreed to pick him up when he was finished as I was going to be at the university in the city. My best friend’s daughter also came there on the train to meet him.

I received a text from her daughter to see if we could go dress shopping to pass the time till this man was ready to be picked up. So that’s what we did.

He contacted me while we were trying on dresses to say he was ready. So we left the shop, went to the parking garage, and drove as quickly as we could to pick him up (it took about 20-25 minutes). Then I took him and her daughter home (25 miles) and bought them a snack.

Yesterday I received a phone call from my best friend saying she was so unhappy and angry with me as was her man (who she loves and adores) because he was made to stand outside for 40 minutes in the freezing cold waiting for me. She stated that I should have waited in a cafe around the corner and not done what I wanted to do and be selfish. According to her, he was running a raging temperature two nights later because of standing in the cold for 40 minutes (even though it wasn’t that long).

My best friend said that she would have ripped my skin apart if I’d been in the room when she found out, and that it was as bad as neglecting one of our children by being late to pick them up from school or leaving them in a dirty nappy (diaper). She said this was all my fault and that I can’t be trusted with anything.

I really can’t be bothered with all this now and don’t appreciate violent threats. What should I do? Any suggestions? Have I really done anything wrong?

Signed, Camille


Hi Camille,

Either this guy has a sense of entitlement or is a bit of a hothouse flower. I’m not really clear why he had to wait in the rain rather than indoors. Nonetheless, it’s hard to imagine a grown man getting so angry at a relative stranger who went out of her way to give him a ride. Isn’t it true that neither of you knew exactly what time he needed to be picked up?

“Ripping your skin apart” is a bit of an over-reaction on your friend’s part as well. Is she usually so hot-tempered or was this blowup out of character?

My guess is that there is something more fundamentally problematic going on in terms of your friendship. Does your friend feel as if she can’t trust you for other reasons? Have you disappointed her in the past?

Also, it sounds like you may have some misgivings about your friend’s relationship with this guy—even if you haven’t expressed them to her directly, they may have inadvertently seeped out. Is she being defensive about her relationship with him?

If you want to get over this blowup with a friend, tell her you are sorry to hear her boyfriend got sick (for whatever reason) and that you hope their visit went well otherwise. Give her some time and space to see what happens with this new relationship. Assuming she calms down, stay in contact with her because she may need you more than you think in the coming months.

My best, Irene

Also on The Friendship Blog:

A bad ending to a good friendship: Are there second chances?

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Comments (4)

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  1. Marisa says:

    I would have nothing more to do with this so-called friend and her entitled still married boyfriend.

  2. Toni says:

    Sicilian proverb: No good deed goes unpunished.

  3. Amy says:

    Sounds like a lot of unnecessary drama. If your friend is the type to surround herself on drama, the if might be time to walk away,
    If her reaction is a first, then you’ll have to weigh whether a one time overreaction is worth throwing away a relationship.
    I would certainly be loath to do another favor for this friend, at least until she proved her ability to appreciate my efforts. Either way, I’d want a bit of time to cool down.
    I think you have to look at the history of the relationship, especially if you have had similar blowups or if this I’d completely uncharacteristic.
    Good luck!

  4. Sheryl says:

    That is quite an overblown reaction. I’m assuming you say “she might need you… in the coming months” to mean that this man is trouble; at least, that’s what it sounds like to me!

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