Friendship is fostered by finding people who like-minded with yourself. You want to spend your time sharing your life with those people who have generally the same values and ideas and even more importantly, the same sense of humor as you. These are the people you feel you can share your deepest thoughts with unapologetically, because for the most part they’re going to back up your views. What’s better than people always agreeing with you, right?
Well, what happens when that system breaks down? What happens on the rare occurrence that a friend becomes a foe? You begin a long process of blame shifting leading up to the point of an unfortunate introspective epiphany.
STAGE 1: Generally disagree about something for the first time
This is strange. You two are friends. Friends see eye-to-eye on everything, right? What is happening? Is the world out of balance? “Why is this person I’m generally content with making me feel so uncomfortable? They’re so wrong about this and I can’t believe it.”
STAGE 2: Pause for a moment, look at one another and audibly gulp
This is the moment you realize you’re about to fight about something for the first time. The audible gulp signals the beginning of a long process of both parties trying to drive home a point. The problem is, as friends you don’t want to lose that bond. Nobody wants to be alone in this world, especially over something so minor (that you’re totally right about and they’re not – just saying).
STAGE 3: Feverishly debate your point, but out of respect also give your friend a moment to say their part
Okay, it’s good at this time to allow them to say their piece, even though you’re totally right and they’re oh so wrong. Try not to have too smug of a look on your face as they say whatever the completely wrong thing they want to say is said.
STAGE 4: Leave behind politeness and begin boiling over with anger
“Wait, what?! They honestly believe what they just said? How have I been friends with such a moron this whole time?! Alright, here it comes: FUCK YOU! I’m right.”
STAGE 5: Say something you very much regret
Maybe make fun of their mother. Disgrace their knowledge. Tell them you banged their ex. Doesn’t matter. Point is, you have to walk away feeling like you’ve won (and that you’re still right about this whole thing).
STAGE 6: Stay true to what it was that you said
On your walk or drive home just have a smirk on your face and shake your head while mumbling your point on the matter over and over. Throw your hands in the air and conclude, “I don’t know what else I could’ve said. It’s so clear that I was right.”
STAGE 7: Try to avoid them for awhile
No texting. No social media. Don’t socialize within the friend group. They don’t deserve the satisfaction of your completely correct face.
STAGE 8: If you happen to run into them, bask in the awkwardness of tension
“Oh, hey. How are you? Good, good.” (You don’t give a shit secretly!)
STAGE 9: Continue ignoring them
If they text you, wait five days to text back. Don’t respond to whatever they texted just say, “Sorry, phone was dead, and also I hate you. I’m right.”
STAGE 10: Text them a long-winded explanation of why you believed what you said previously
The previous text will throw them off for awhile. After a few weeks send this explanation in hopes that you can finally drive your point home about being the one who was right about all this, being it’s so obvious.
STAGE 11: Get super pissed when they still don’t see your point
“WHAT THE FUCK?! HOW ARE THEY NOT GETTING THIS? I’M RIGHT!”
STAGE 12: Reiterate the thing you regretted saying earlier as if to put a nail in the coffin of your friendship
Bring back up their mom, their intelligence or the fact of you banging their ex. Basically seal the deal on you two never being friends again.
STAGE 13: Anytime someone in your friend group asks if you want to hang out, check to see if “you know who” will be there
This is key in making everyone within the friend group realize you two are fighting and that you don’t want to see their very wrong face ever again.
STAGE 14: Go to an event thinking “you know who” won’t be there
You asked to make sure they wouldn’t be, so surely they wouldn’t lie and try to get the two of you in the same room once again, right?
STAGE 15: “You know who” is fucking there and this is bullshit!
Now you have to look at this jackass talking among your friends. What are they saying? Are they admitting they’re wrong? Or, are they trying to convince everyone they’re right? Better go clear up any confusion on who’s right in this matter right away (it’s you).
STAGE 16: March right up to them and just be like, “Listen, here’s the thing…”
Be stern, yet friendly. They’ve apparently gotten over it. They don’t care. Does this mean you’ve won? Assume it does.
STAGE 17: Hug it out
Friends hug. This solidifies the end of the fight. Being they’re over it, they’ve surrendered which means you won by default. Soak in the glory of being right.
STAGE 18: Take a dumb photo together or whatever friends do
Arm on their shoulder and all. Have them post it on social media. Who gives a shit? You’re right, and it’s the best feeling there is!
STAGE 19: Go back to being friends, which really just means you text them on occasion (like you did when you were fighting)
Yeah, friendship is essentially just occasional run-ins at friend gatherings then digital connections in the days between those events. Not all that fun. Nothing really changed between the two of you while you were fighting.
STAGE 20: Hold it true to your heart that you were right all along, and, “Oh God, I’m a hardheaded asshole who’s lucky to have friends!”
Um, well, at least you were right (so you’ve convinced yourself). Start the whole process over when they bring up politics.
Two men arguing image by Shutterstock