Unfortunately, when it comes to settling issues or handling conflict in friendships, there aren’t too many examples or advice at our disposal that we can reference to. But when it comes to romantic relationships, there are quite a number of things that serve as a guide: from the rom-com television shows to heartfelt movies, to the many advice columns we see everyday on the internet (yes we’re guilty as well), they are plenty.
I mean, we’re mostly exposed to reality tv shows like Real Housewives, (Bad Girls Club too!) and the rest, these very dramatic shows don’t exactly show us the *right* way to handle conflict with friends, so of course we understand how tough it can be trying to figure out how to approach a situation, or how to react when a friend isn’t acting right.
The truth is, your friendships aren’t always going to be blissful and rosy and there are going to be times when there’s miscommunication, disagreement and conflict, so how do you exactly handle these moments without losing your friendship in the process?
To help you figure out, we’ve put together a Do’s and Don’ts list:
1. DO: Reach Out To Your Friend And Let Them Know You Want To Talk, DON’T Gossip To Your Other Friends About It
I understand wanting to get advice from a friend about a situation with a mutual friend, but crossing the line is when you now choose to not talk to the friend you have an issue with, but constantly talk to your other friends about it.
Is it crack?
If someone you call a friend wrongs you, it’s much better to bring it to their attention because if you don’t, it will fester and eat up your mind and before you know it, every single thing this friend does to you moving forward will irritate and annoy you which will then lead to passive aggressive behaviors in the friendship.
2. DO: Know The Best Way To Engage In The Conversation
If you’ve made the right move by reaching out to your friend to talk, chances are they have responded and are of course down to talk.
Depending on the issue at hand you would either want to talk via text, on the phone or in person. You should definitely give it some thought on how you would want to engage in the conversation. The truth is, it’s so easy for things to be misinterpreted when its done over text, so you might want to rule that one out, especially if it’s a serious issue. Over the phone might be better, especially if you dislike confrontation.
All in all, think about it and do what feels right.
3. DON’T: Come With The Energy That You’re Ready To Fight
If no one has told you this before, I’ll be the first: energy is everything, and it speaks volumes.
If you come with the energy that you’re ready to fight it simply means you really don’t care about salvaging the friendship, and are just ready to win the argument or prove a point. If it’s a situation that has to do with miscommunication and not something deeper, you need to relax and not do the most. There aren’t cameras around you, you aren’t in a reality show. Take a deep breath and relax.
Communicate effectively and pass your points across by remembering that you’re speaking to a friend. If this person is someone you still want in your life, then you have to ensure that you communicate in a calm way.
4. DO: Plan What You Want To Say
I don’t know about you, but before I send any message out I write it in my notes first because sometimes you can get so heated that you either get off point and say more than you wanted to, or end up saying the wrong things.
Write out your issues, complaints and everything you want to say to your friend first, before you send it. So that way you’re prepared.
5. DON’T: Insult Them And Their Whole Family
It’s very possible that it may be a very deep issue between you and your friend, and I know you probably don’t want to hear this, but always be the bigger person. Maintain your respect for the other person by avoiding using insulting words and terms.
Don’t you just hate when a girl calls you things like Slut or Whore during an argument? Like, at our big age?
Just focus on what the person did that wronged you, and how it made you feel.
Like I said earlier, you’re addressing a friend, not an enemy. Relax.
6. DON’T: Lose Your Cool And Do The Most
It’s very normal for emotions to get heightened and things to go south. For instance, if you’re being the bigger person and your friend starts to raise her voice, don’t match her energy by doing the same thing. In fact, if they start doing the most then you already know that trying to salvage the friendship was a one sided thing. Even if you are raging inside, just keep your cool. A bad b*tch shouldn’t ever stoop so low.
7. DO: Understand That The Friendship May Have Run It’s Course
If things didn’t go the way you wanted or the way you planned, that’s okay. If you said everything you needed to and still couldn’t meet in the middle, you could give each other some space and reconnect when it feels like a good time.
If after giving yourselves space, things still aren’t looking up for the friendship, understand that it doesn’t have to necessarily end on a bad note with unresolved tension. You can still wish someone well without having them in your life.
You can walk away knowing that you did everything you could to mend the friendship.