In a perfect world, we’d never fight with our friends. Unfortunately, conflict comes with just about any sort of relationship. It’s not even necessarily a bad thing! Anyone who gets along perfectly with another person is likely either codependent, suppresses their own thoughts, needs and opinions, or is not getting close in your relationships.
While fighting is natural on occasion, chronic fighting could be an indicator of a toxic friendship. Let’s talk about some of the ways we typically fight unfairly with our friends… or even your parents and significant others.
AVOIDING DIRECT CONFLICT
The silent treatment, waiting three days to text back to prove a point, one-word answers to drop the hint that you’re upset – many of us have done it at some point, but that behavior belongs back in the third grade.
The most mature way to let someone know you’re unhappy with something they’ve done is to just tell them. Telling them doesn’t have to be a dramatic explosion of a confrontation. Just be honest and vulnerable about your feelings. If the other person responds immaturely (or not at all), then understand that behavior is a reflection of their maturity level.
BRINGING UP IRRELEVANT PAST ISSUES
If it’s relevant, by all means bring it up. If it’s not, leave it in the past where it belongs. Someone refusing to share their fries with you “that one time” does not make them a bad person and isn’t worth mentioning if you’re upset that they made out with their crush. If they’ve done the same thing before, that’s a different story.
SAYING “ALWAYS” OR “NEVER”
Overgeneralizing is also unfair. We all make mistakes. If someone is late to a friend date sometimes, that doesn’t mean they’re late every time. This distinction may not sound like a huge deal, but it’s an unfair method of arguing if it’s not true.
INVOLVING OTHER FRIENDS
Asking friends to take sides is unfair to the friend you’re quarreling with, and it’s unfair to the others in your friendship circle. A fight between two people does not have to turn into a fight between eight people. In addition, you may find yourself holding it against other friends who’ve sided against you, damaging more friendship than necessary. It’s one thing to vent to another friend and another to ask them to turn against someone in supporting you.
ASSUMING THEY WILL (AND SHOULD) APOLOGIZE FIRST
It’s easy to wait it out, stewing in anger and assuring yourself that the other person should make the first move toward amending your friendship after a fight. It’s entirely possible that your friend feels the same way. Isn’t it better to figure out if your friendship will be revived rather than letting it die by default? The truth is, there are many benefits to friendships and many different kinds of friendships. Therefore, there’s no honor lost in being the first to extend an olive branch if you miss someone.
So, next time you hit a conflict with your friends, check yourself before you wreak yourself (and your friendship). Have advice for friend fights? Share it in the comments below!
Feature image via Jenavieve