At some point or the other, you’re going to have an argument or misunderstanding with your friend and it’s going to turn bad. Perhaps, you tried apologizing but it didn’t work. If so, it’s really likely that your apology was not good enough. And so, in this article, I’m going to share some tips on how to apologize to a friend who is mad at you.
If there’s one thing I can say with certainty it’s that a generic apology very rarely works.
Even more so if that simple apology is sent over text.
When apologizing, the focus needs to be on showing your friend that you genuinely care about them and feel remorseful for making them angry by behaving in an immature or bad manner.
With that being said, let’s get into these 10 tips on how to apologize to a friend who is mad at you.
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1. Take responsibility for your actions
What some people get wrong is the idea that a generic apology is enough to undo the damage caused by their actions.
Not only does this appear insincere but it can actually be upsetting when you seem to not care enough to understand the consequences of your own behavior.
True remorse is experienced when you can place yourself in someone’s shoes and understand how they feel.
Based on this understanding, it upsets you enough to feel regretful and saddened to have upset your friend.
When you decide to apologize to a friend who is mad at you, wait until you’re prepared to set aside your ego or pride and take responsibility for your actions.
You can do this by identifying the cause of their anger. Whether it was taking too long to reply to their texts or saying something that hurt their feelings.
Identify what you did and vocalize to your friend how you understand that this sort of behavior or action was upsetting and you take responsibility for it.
People who avoid doing this are known to gaslight.
In other words, they try to paint a different picture to manipulate their friends or family into thinking that they were mistaken and at fault for feeling upset.
2. Say that you are sorry
As much as it’s imperative that you own up to your mistakes, show remorse and take responsibility for your actions, it doesn’t eliminate the necessity of saying that you are sorry.
An apology will always be incomplete without the actual apologetic words.
Saying I’m sorry is more than just a generic response to a situation. It is the expression of how you truly feel about the situation.
Those words explain that you care about your friend and feel bad about hurting them.
This is why I encourage you to start and end your apology to a friend who is mad at you by saying I’m sorry.
3. Acknowledge how you made them feel
Once you have taken responsibility for your actions and said that you’re sorry, the next course of action is to acknowledge how your friend feels.
In other words, explain how you understand that X led to Y.
For example, making a remark about their appearance made them feel judged and disrespected by a friend who they trust.
Whatever it may be that they’re feeling based on your actions or mistakes, you need to acknowledge their feelings or else it won’t feel like you truly understand them.
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4. Make an attempt to apologize in person or over the phone
A friend who is mad at you will have certain expectations on you to decide whether you actually deserve to be forgiven.
If you respond to their feelings by backing off and making no attempt to apologize properly, they’re going to feel like you don’t care about them.
This, in turn, will make them feel more angry and upset with you.
You’re supposed to be their friend. Now that you’ve angered them, they feel critical of you and naturally so.
For this reason, I implore you to muster up the courage and effort to apologize to your friend in person.
If you are unable to meet them, try to video call or voice call to apologize.
Yes, it may be awkward and uncomfortable at first but your friend will take note of that and respect you for making an effort to deal with that situation just to make things right.
Informal and generic texts are often not enough to truly mend fences.
If you do decide to text an apology, make it a substantial one that covers everything in this article.
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5. Share the lessons you learned from from your actions and the changes you will make
I’ve come to realize that forgiveness is much easier when there is a restoration of faith in someone.
In this case, it would be having a renewed sense of faith in the friendship.
For your friend to feel this way, they need to believe that you are not going to do the same thing again, at least not intentionally.
That is why I encourage you to include the kind of change you are going to make within your apology.
This will make your friend be more inclined to forgive you because it shows care and proves that you are sincere in your apology.
6. Try to make it up to them
They say that actions speak louder than words and I believe that to be true.
Often, it’s the things we do that make our friends mad.
So, it’s only fair that we do something to make them feel better.
Apart from just making a change to avoid upsetting or hurting them in the same way that you have done now, it’s always thoughtful to go the extra mile by doing something for your friend.
Even if that means being extra nice for a while and taking them out for dinner, it’s not a bad idea at all.
Don’t get me wrong, you’re not trying to buy their forgiveness or friendship.
Sometimes, making it up to a friend can be to do or not do something. So, keep that in mind when apologizing.
7. Don’t force them to forgive you immediately
I’ll be honest with you and admit that I project my ability to process my feelings onto others. I can go from upset to fairly normal really quickly after an apology.
But, that doesn’t mean all my friends are the same.
This is actually one of the reasons why I ended up having a bit of a long-term issue with one of my old friends.
I expected them to just get over how they felt after apologizing but when they couldn’t and needed time, I was not patient or understanding.
This led to an unnecessary drama between us that just prolonged the issue.
When you apologize, be prepared to wait for a while before your friend accepts it or returns to normal.
They may not be completely normal with you for a bit but that’s okay. Just be understanding and allow the friendship to heal with time.
8. Don’t try to justify your actions right now
If your intention is to make amends with your friend who is mad at you, the last thing you want to do right now is try to justify why your actions are okay.
Even if you do have a reason for why you behaved in a particular way, that doesn’t negate the fact that they are upset, angry and hurt by you.
Trying to justify your actions will make it seem as if you’re not actually sorry nor do you sincerely feel remorseful.
There’s no need to do this right now when you’re trying to make up. Once your friend cools down and heals, then you can consider having a respectful and honest conversation with them.
They’ll be more understanding by then and it won’t cause more issues to occur.
9. Allow them to express their feelings and pay attention
Some people struggle to forgive and forget until they have had an opportunity to just open up and explain how they’ve been hurt or upset.
Granted, it’s not an ideal situation to be in and I know how uncomfortable it can be at times to hear someone explain just how wrong you were.
But, if you give them the opportunity to express their feelings and pay attention to them by maintaining eye contact, nodding in acknowledgment and affirming their feelings by highlighting the most important points, it will help them to finally move on from those feelings.
People want to be heard and understood.
As a friend, it is important that you are present and attentive to your friend during a situation like this.
10. Don’t rehash the argument or issue that led to this situation
The quickest way to turn a discussion into a debate or argument is by going through all the things that were said and done originally that created the issue.
For instance, if you got into an argument with your friend, going back and forth on the initial topic of argument and the replies themselves will recreate all those feelings of anger.
Leave those details in the past where it belongs and focus primarily on making amends.
If you can set aside those differences and focus on fixing the friendship, it will make it infinitely easier to win back your friend.
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Once you have done everything in this article, I’m willing to bet that your friend will forgive you and calm down. If they don’t, you must take into consideration that you can’t force someone to be your friend.
There’s only so much you can do before it’s time to just let time work its magic. If the friendship is meant to last, then your efforts will not go unnoticed.
Be genuine, be sincere and be caring.
That’s all you can truly be right now.
With that being said, I hope you found this article on how to apologize to a friend who is mad at you to be helpful and insightful. Be sure to share your thoughts or questions in the comment section below.