3 Awesome Moves for Fixing a Feud you can learn from Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift has never been one to back down from a fight. Over the years, she’s famously gotten the last word about cheating boyfriends, mean girls and outspoken critics through her music, while constantly keeping fans talking about the possible inspiration behind her lyrics. But as we discovered last week, Taylor isn’t always the victim. Just like everyone else, she makes mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes can cause major friend drama. But what we find far more important than the details of her latest feud with rapper Nicki Minaj, are the steps she took to resolve it. And if you’ve ever been in a situation where a social misstep created a rift between you and a friend, you may want to take a page from Taylor’s book next time to keep things from spiraling out of control.

As you’ve probably heard by now, Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj faced off via Twitter last week. It started when Nicki tweeted a complaint about the VMA’s Video of the Year nominations favoring videos of girls with slim figures. Taylor mistook this as a slight against her Bad Blood video, which happens to feature a group of thin female celebrities. This led to a small spat between the girls over twitter, and pretty soon, articles were being written and sides were being taken. Then something awesome happened.

Taylor apologized, the girls made up, and they decided to leave all the drama behind. Nicki has even said that she has more respect for Taylor after seeing her efforts to make amends. And that’s something worth taking note of. Many times, major drama can be solved with a simple apology, as long as you go about it the right way. We think Taylor did just that, and so we decided to share three reasons we think her apology was a success. Take a look, and next time you need to apologize, keep these things in mind:

  1. She Didn’t Waste Any Time: Once it was clear she made a mistake, Taylor took immediate steps to correct it. It might have been easier, or even less scary to pretend it didn’t happen or wait to see if Nicki would forget all about it. Sometimes when we make a social misstep, we just want to hide from our mistake and hope others will let it slide. But even if the initial drama does blow over eventually, there can be lingering resentment or mistrust in the relationship. If you wait too long to correct misunderstandings, your friends’ opinion of you could change and it could even affect your reputation. That’s why it’s best to address social problems as they arise, and make sure that all misunderstandings are cleared up ASAP.
  2. She Owned her Mistake: Taylor realized she’d messed up, and so she apologized. Simple as that. Apologizing can be scary, but when you’ve done something wrong, it’s best if you own up to it. When you’re more worried about being right than you are about being a good friend, you can end up sacrificing relationships that matter to you. So instead, be brave, do what Taylor did, and just say you’re sorry. An apology can go a long way, and sometimes it can make all the difference in saving a friendship.
  3. She reached out to her friend directly: While Taylor did post a public apology to Nicki on Twitter, she didn’t stop there. She also called Nicki to talk about the misstep. It might seem easy to post your feelings about an argument on social media, or to have mutual friends act as middle men to smooth a fight over for you. But talking to your friend directly is the only way to make sure the fight is completely cleared up, and you’re both ready to move on. Your friends will appreciate your willingness to speak openly with them, and you’ll both have an opportunity to discuss the issues at hand and how you feel about them. If you want to make sure all the drama is truly resolved, you have to be willing to help resolve it yourself!

It’s never easy to realize you’ve made a mistake. You may feel embarrassed, anxious, and even scared when you think about correcting it. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t work to fix things with your friends. By offering a sincere and direct apology as soon as possible, you can resolve issues with your friends before they evolve into major drama. And a lot of times, your friendship will end up stronger than before thanks to your willingness to make amends and work on moving forward. Just ask Taylor and Nicki!

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Isa Marrs is the Founder and Executive Director of the Where I Can Be Me® social skills program. She is a board-certified speech-language pathologist who specializes in pragmatic language (social skills) disorders in children. Read More