With friendships, conflict and problems arising are inevitable. Sometimes a bad joke gets taken out of context, or someone doesn’t show up for you when you need them to.
Then there are those time when two people in a group of friends are fighting, putting everyone in an awkward position. Fights between friends shouldn't be something that breaks friendships up, but strengthens them, because now you know your friends better.
Friendships and human companionship are more important to people than many of us know. According to a UCLA study on women friendships, researchers found that people who didn’t have any friends increased their chances of death in a six month period, but those who had many friends over a nine year period, decrease their risk of death by 60%.
Maintaining friendships in adulthood isn’t easy, and problems can’t be swept under the rug like when you were in grade school. Issues have to be dealt with upfront, or the relationship is going to suffer over time.
The key to resolving conflicts with your friends is realizing that problems don’t have to be the end of the friendship, but being upfront and honest about what bothers you can actually make your friendship stronger.
Here are five ways to resolve issues within your sisterhood:
Address it sooner than later. Waiting until things escalate is never the right move. While you and your friend both need time to cool off, you don't want to give it too much time. Giving someone too much time to cool off could tell them you don't care anymore, and have washed your hands with them. Be honest and upfront about what the issue is, and try to resolve it without any love lost.
Don’t be passive aggressive. Being passive aggressive or condescending, during times of conflict or even apologies can be damaging. If someone you love is wrong, it's not right to shame them for something they didn't know. Also, if someone is actually bothering you but you pretend everything ifs fine, your friendship is going to suffer even more from that than being honest.
Stay out of the middle. If two people close to you happen to be in the middle of a fight, the best thing for you to do is stay out of it. When things are fresh, and people haven't had time to cool off, trying to place peace maker isn't wise. Since you aren't in the situation, you don't know how much time someone needs before they are ready for apologies and explanations. Once you have the OK, then you can put on your diplomat hat.
Give them time to cool off. People get over things at their own pace. While you want to resolve the issue as soon as possible, you have to respect someone else's timetable. While something may have been minor to you, it could have really had an impact on your friend. Play it by ear and see when you can try to make things right.
Come ready to forgive. When you're finally ready to talk things out and make up, come ready to forgive and forget. If you're only showing up to tell your side and hold a grudge, the conversation is pointless. Talking problems out with your friends should end with a resolution and clean slate, not resentment. Forgive and let it serve as a lesson for a stronger friendship.
How do you and your friends get past fights in your friendship?