Resolving Conflicts with friends

If you recall from my blog about ending friendships with someone, it talked about four questions you should ask yourself before ending the friendship. Chances are, if you consider someone a close friend, you have a better chance of getting into a conflict¬† than you would with a casual friend. For example, you see your friend at school and you invite them to go to your house on Saturday. Your friend has their own car, and he decided to drive himself to your house. Sunday afternoon comes, you cleaned up your bedroom and are waiting for them to arrive. About ten minutes pass, and you realize that he lives on the other side of town, which is a pretty long drive. Twenty more minutes pass, and still no sign of him. You finally decide to call his cell phone and see what the deal was, and he doesn’t answer. You were just stood up by one of your friends.

There could be many different reasons for why this may have happened, first off, he could have been busy with other commitments, and he just forgot about your social plans for the weekend. I have been in many situations where people have forgotten about plans because they had too much on their mind. One example was last year, when I attended Freeport, I had asked one of the neighborhood girls if they were willing to give me a ride to school. The time came for her to pick me up, and she just drove right on past my driveway and left. I had another neighbor who usually drove me in, but he was sick and couldn’t go to school that days. I think that if she really didn’t want to give me a ride, she would have made an lame excuse about why she couldn’t do it. She has driven me once or twice before, so my final guess was that she was in a hurry and forgot about it. I just moved on and forgot about the whole situation because I don’t feel that getting angry about the whole situation would have made it any better. If I did get angry about the whole situation, she would probably avoid even saying hi to me when I would pass her on the street or in the school hallway.

Situations like the one with my neighbor are things you could just move on and forget about. These things happen sometimes, and it is really no use to even think about it. However, being stood up by one of your friends is something you should talk about with the person. Ending the friendship may be an easier resolution to the problem, but sometimes you should challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone. If you want to keep this person as a friend, this is really the only thing you can do. If you are somebody that wants to enjoy life, than you need to have at least one or two friends to talk to. Here are five tips for you when resolving a conflict with your friend.

1.) Be honest:

As I said before, honesty is one of the most important qualities in a friendship right? In my opinion, this is the first step towards resolving a conflict with a friend. Remember to tell the person what the problem is, and your feelings about the whole situation. Your friend won’t know how you feel unless you tell them. Your friend can’t read your mind. When your friend is doing something that annoys you, don’t just sit there and let it slide. If you do, their behavior could continue to a point where you don’t want to be around them anymore.

2.) Be Respectful:

Yes, it is very important to be honest and tell you friend like it is, but it is also important to do so in a respectful , and age appropriate manner. It is very hard to do this especially for people like me, because their behavior is bothering me. If you are arrogant and rude about the situation, this person could do these behaviors even more, just to purposely make you feel upset. I was once friends with someone in elementary school who kept on calling me by a nickname that I didn’t like, and I reacted by screaming at him on the playground during recess. As soon as my screaming was heard, a teacher came by and made stay in for recess for an entire week. Not only was this rude, inappropriate and uncalled for, it also made that “friend” call me that name even more. My behavior caused him to become a bully, not a friend.

3.) Allow time to forgive the person

It takes time to forgive a friend or a loved one when they do something that really upsets you. Even if they listen to you and give you a sincere apology, you still may not forgive a person entirely.¬† One of the things that I recommend you do after you talk to them is keep contact with the person at a minimum for at least two or three days. Just like repairing a totaled car, it takes time to repair a friendship after a conflict is resolved. Another thing that people often don’t understand is that it may take that person a longer time to want to be friends with you then when you want to be friends with them. In other words, everybody is different, it may take one person longer to do something than another person.

4.) Don’t be judgmental:

One of the major social turnoffs in any relationship, whether it be and acquaintance, friend, or loved one is people who are judgmental. Unfortunately, there are many people like that in this world. For example, I once had a friend who was having a casual conversation with one of the trouble makers in our school, and I started to worry and think that they were going to start hanging out with them and acting like them. When he was done talking to the person, I walked over to him and asked why he was talking to him. He then said to me “Calm down Derek, I’m just asking him if he got something completed that was part of our English project”. I then understood why he was talking to him. I tend to be judgmental when I’m around a person, and I am trying to work on that. For example, just because a person wants to go to a bar and drink a few beers every now and then doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a bad person. If the person is levelheaded and knows when they are crossing the line, than don’t really worry about the person. However, if this behavior is becoming obsessive, than I would try to talk to the person about their behavior, and the consequences that could happen if they keep it up.

5.) Keep trying

Sometimes, repetition helps a friend learn that what they are doing is upsetting you. I would occasionally send the friend an email, phone call or text message just to let them know that you still care about them. Even if they don’t respond to you every time, I still recommend that you keep doing it on occasions. However, if they are rude to you about it, then I would recommend avoiding contact with them and finding another person to be friends with. As I have said many times before, you can’t MAKE someone be friends with you and it’s their problem if they don’t want to be your friend, not yours.

Lastly, if resolving the conflict doesn’t work out I would let it go and move on with life. Worrying about the conflict can make it even worse. There are other people in the world to be friends with, and it makes no sense to worry about them. I have to say that this is one of the hardest and longest blogs that I have written, because it is something that I am still learning about. I hope you found it informative, and I will be back to write again soon!