I’ve always been the type of girl who has a few close friends, rather than large groups of friends to hang out with. I’m totally happy with things this way, because when I say close friends, I mean really close friends. There isn’t much that we don’t share with each other, from funny to gross to deeply personal. When we’re in the same town, not many nights go by that we don’t spend together.
The only challenge with having just a few close friends is that when you get in a fight with one of them, it feels like your whole world is falling apart. Who will you watch this week’s Pretty Little Liars with? Does it even matter if you perfected your bacon french toast cupcake recipe if your friend isn’t there to bake them with you?
Luckily, after years of annoying my best friends, I’ve come up with some strategies to end any fights as soon as possible.
1. Bring them flowers
Who says romantic partners have the monopoly on the buying flowers to apologize? Way back in elementary school, my best friend and I got in a fight over the Sims, the computer game. Basically, she didn’t want me to copy a family she created, and we had the most ridiculous argument of all time.
The next day, she met me at my locker before class with a single flower to say sorry. Even though it was years ago, and the fight was embarrassingly trivial, this still sticks out in my memory as one of the sweetest gestures anyone has ever done. The flowers don’t have to be expensive to make the gesture thoughtful—hers was just from her backyard.
2. Write a handwritten apology
I’m still an avid believer that a written note is a thousand times better than anything electronic for sentimental purposes. Having something spelled out in writing can make it really hit home— especially if your bestie doesn’t really want to talk with you at the moment. Even if you’re not the most eloquent of writers, leaving simple post-its apologizing around her place, on her locker, or on her car is a sweet way to break the ice.
3. Bake their favorite treat
If there’s a specific type of cookie your friend loves, or if they’re gluten-free and are always frustrated by how hard it is to find good alternative breads, baking that item is guaranteed to get you back in their good graces. Just be thoughtful about what you choose to bake—try to choose something you know they’ll love, and they couldn’t get at the store. When in doubt, a cake with a big frosting apology across the top is always effective.
4. Let them know you’re thinking about them
If it’s a bigger fight, you may need to give them some time after your initial apology to come around. But you don’t have to not have any contact during this time. Do little things that keep showing her, rather than just telling her, that you’re sorry. Does your bestie have an important interview coming up? Tell her good luck. Your favorite show is on? Tag her in an Instagram photo of you watching the show with two glasses of wine, and tell her you wish she was there. If you did something wrong, words alone won’t necessarily right that, but given enough time, actions will.
5. Make it public
If we all learned nothing else from 10 Things I Hate About You, it’s that a public statement can be an amazingly effective form of apology. (For those of you who haven’t seen it, Heath Ledger crashes Julia Stiles’ soccer practice to serenade her on the sound system. complete with the school marching band.) You don’t have to be that grand, but anything from a simple Facebook status to recording a YouTube video can be effective. Just be sure you don’t embarrass her in the process!