How to Become Friends with an Enemy

Four Parts:What's the enmity all about?Approaching reconciliation from a distanceApproaching your enemy directlyProving your sincerity at a truce

Everyone either knew a bully or had an enemy when they were growing up. Some can tell you today that in the end, they became friends. Others can only say that the bully probably never changed. Here are some tips for becoming friends with an enemy.

Part 1
What's the enmity all about?

  1. Image titled Become Friends with an Enemy Step 1
    Determine why that person was your enemy. Did you do something bad to him/her or a close friend of that person? If so, prepare yourself to apologize, even if you don't feel like everything was completely your fault.
    • Find open minded ways to lighten the anger in your heart towards that person, and be creative on how you would get that person closer to you.
  2. Image titled Become Friends with an Enemy Step 2
    Be forgiving if you didn't cause the enmity by your own actions. Sometimes people simply decide to turn another into an enemy out of fear, dislike of the opinions the other holds, group or faith affiliations, and so forth. While you cannot do much about changing that person's mind, you can forgive their shortsightedness and make up your own mind to be the bigger person and seek friendship.
    • Find out why the enemy is mad with you, if you don't know already. Understanding their perspective can help you talk it over with them when seeking for form a better bond.
    • Consider proving yourself. Often, your enemy just doesn't respect you. Show you are worth it through your achievements (academic, athletic, etc).
  3. Image titled Become Friends with an Enemy Step 3
    Adopt an optimistic outlook with a lashing of neutrality. Try to view this enemy as just another person in need of persuasion. A lot of persuasion, but you can do it with determination and kindness.
    • An enemy is really a stranger. You don't hang around your enemies, so how will you know them? As time passes on you and that enemy can make amends and become at least decent friends.
    • Don't be afraid of what the enemy thinks of you. As long you are on more level terms, then everything else should fall into place.

Part 2
Approaching reconciliation from a distance

  1. Image titled Become Friends with an Enemy Step 4
    Get to know some of your enemy's friends. It really won't help if you just walk up to them and offer them a lollipop while saying, "I know you've hated me for the past seven years of my life, but let's be BFF's!" Talk to some of their friends. That way, you can get to know more about why your enemy doesn't like you and what their true personality is like. Moreover, if you can become friends with these people, it'll be easier to become friends with your enemy too.
  2. Image titled Become Friends with an Enemy Step 5
    Consider writing your enemy letters or emails. Just walking up to them after how many years may not work that well. Write them letters stating why you want to be friends, why you want to be friends with them, and any plans you may have for the future. However, this option might seem a little too suspect or overly intellectual for your liking, so skip it if it doesn't feel right, and cut straight to the chase of confronting your enemy directly.

Part 3
Approaching your enemy directly

  1. Image titled Become Friends with an Enemy Step 6
    Smile and be nice whenever you're around him/her. Everyone appreciates a friendly grin; even a nemesis! This might be hard for you especially if your enemy is unpleasant but try not to scream at them.
  2. Image titled Become Friends with an Enemy Step 7
    Try consciously and gently bumping into your enemy once or twice. If they call you a name, retort back with something like, "Yeah, at least I have the nerve to be strong about it." That may shock them a little bit and might change their judgment of you.
    • If your enemy teases you, just hang in there and give them the same response you would give to your friends if they were to tease you.
  3. Image titled Become Friends with an Enemy Step 8
    Try talking with your enemy, just a bit. Always having your head down when you walk past them is not going to help. You need to be brave. If their friends told you some things that they are really into, you can try having a conversation with them! Talk to your enemy about things that he or she likes, you never know, you may have something in common, and that could start a neutral friendship.
    • Approach your enemy and tell them that you want to resolve the issues that you two have together.
    • Apologize, if it's warranted, and suggest that the two of you start over.
    • Tell them that you aren't here to argue or quarrel. None of you have time for this and it wastes precious time. Explain to that person why you don't want to hate.
    • If you can, try to talk out the problems you had in the past.
    • If they tell you bad things, act like you don't care at all, even if you do.
    • Don't be insistent. If they don't want to talk to you, you'd better leave talking for another time. Do it slowly and you will see (s)he will want to talk to you.
  4. Image titled Become Friends with an Enemy Step 9
    Aim, at the very least, to become friendly acquaintances. The more you fight or do mean things, the worse it gets! Figure out what you have in common. Figure out what's good in this person. However begrudging you feel about that, at least you can focus on the good in their actions and thoughts.
  5. Image titled Become Friends with an Enemy Step 10
    Try calling your enemy after you've broken the ice. If you weren't enemies for too long or neither of you ever did anything too bad to each other, chatting with them on the phone once or twice a month won't hurt. If you don't know their phone number, you can ask some of their friends that, too.

Part 4
Proving your sincerity at a truce

  1. Image titled Become Friends with an Enemy Step 11
    Tell your enemy that if they ever need something, or someone to talk to, that they can call you. By doing this, you're letting them know that you no longer want to fight. Do not offer your phone number if you feel they may misuse it. Also, if they give you their number its important that you don't misuse it either as that will surely make them lose their trust in you.
  2. Image titled Become Friends with an Enemy Step 12
    Let this person know that you are sincere. This can't be done completely through talking—actions speak louder than words. Smile when you see the person when you see them, and go out of your way to be nice. Tell them nice things they want hear but they should respect you too.
    • If you don't feel as though a talk with your enemy is necessary, or you want to be on friendly terms but not necessarily friends, you can start by just smiling and being nice to them when you see them in the halls. This will show your enemy that you no longer hold a grudge, and hopefully they will follow your lead.
  3. Image titled Become Friends with an Enemy Step 13
    Initiate hang out time. Invite your enemy to your home to play video games, go shoot pool, go to an arcade, go shopping, or see a movie. Invite your nemesis to dinner. Most people won't refuse dinner, no matter how much they dislike you! This gives you a time to bond and have fun together even though you just want them to stop annoying you. You don't have to follow on with the friendship but this could create one as well- unexpectedly!
  4. Image titled Become Friends with an Enemy Step 14
    Trust your guts if they tell you to be cautious. Test the waters before allowing yourself to get too close. However, being cautious doesn't mean acting cold. Rather than telling him or her your deepest darkest secret, tell them something that you don't care if it gets spread around. See if they tell others. If so, maintain a friendly distance until you know you can trust them.
    • Take things slowly. Your differences will eventually subside—considering the effort made—and you two will become friends in time.
  5. Image titled Become Friends with an Enemy Step 15
    Repeat each step of getting closer to the enemy as a friend or friendly acquaintance at least twice a month. This may help you to build trust and worthiness. Adjust to your slowly transforming relationship slowly—remember that this is a new friendship, and thus that you should not treat your ex enemy like your best friend.
    • If all else fails, just try and ignore the enemy. Sometimes, people are best left alone.


  • Do not talk behind your enemy's back if they make you angry. It will only put you in a bad position.
  • Be there for your enemy. It could sound like something cheesy, but if your enemy is getting bullied, prove yourself a friend and defend them!
  • Don't be too pushy and hang around them all the time. Try not to say dumb things either. They will think you are dumb.
  • If you don't feel comfortable by going anywhere with your enemy alone, let them know that a few of your friends will be there also.
  • If your enemy hates you, and you don't know why and you don't particularly hate them back, show them that they have no reason to hate you.
  • Help any way you can. The more you help, the more they will want to be your friend.
  • Don't seem too self-conscious. What I mean is, don't copy their style, you don't want to come off as clingy.
  • If you find it hard to make the first approach to your enemy, better find a common friend of both of you to help you make the first move to talk with him/her.
  • Never force your friend to talk with you when they are in angry mood.
  • Try to avoid making jokes that jab at something about them. This may anger them if the relationship is tentative.


  • If you do some things too often, you may come of as a pest.
  • Don't get too close in a short period.
  • Don't be too up-front or mean about anything. That will absolutely ruin your chances of everything.
  • If this was a verbal bully, they may just not like you at all. Don't get all caught up in saying bad things about each other.
  • If this person is the dangerous type (violent, or could possibly have weapons) it's best to leave it, and not approach him or her. Tell someone.
  • Do not offer your phone number if you feel they may misuse it.
  • If someone is jealous about you then be careful, if you smile they will get more rough. If they think you cannot do anything to them and you are defenseless, then they will try to harm you. So think before making friends.
  • If you feel that this person is a threat to you, or someone else, tell someone, anyone, immediately. A parent, school counselor, teacher, principal, police officer, etc. It may sound weird, but it's for your own safety.
  • If you hurt the person, for example by being verbally abusive, then make sure you've stopped engaging in the behaviour before trying to make up. If (s)he sees you still acting like this, even towards other people then (s)he will doubt your sincerity.
  • Not everyone will take this and go with it. Some people are just difficult, and you may not be able to get through to them. You might have to just let them go their separate ways.
  • Leave them alone if they are getting angry.

Article Info

Categories: Making Friends