I recently wrote a post on being the single friend and it really inspired me to talk about how to handle an argument with a friend for this article. Arguments are really the worst and it’s never fun to get into an argument with a friend. I try to avoid them because they tend to not be productive and they really boil down to the fact that both people are hurt. However, in that moment when two friends are having a heated discussion, both are just angry and not really hearing the other person. I’ve decided to take what I’ve learned from these experiences and help others who may have found themselves in the same situation.
Related: What Does Being A Good Girl Mean?
As a post-grad, an argument can either really kill your mood or cause you to just move on. It’s not necessarily because either person doesn’t care about the other. It doesn’t even happen because someone doesn’t value the friendship. Most of the time arguments happen because one person does it out of love.
Recently, I read that according to a psychology study, your meanest friend is the one that cares for you the most. It supports the notion that people tend to be “cruel to be kind”. Basically, most people call this tough love. However, when it comes to arguments, while one person may be trying to communicate that they really care about the other person, the other might be hearing that their character is being attacked. The biggest question here is simple. How do you handle an argument with a friend?
Schedule A Time To Talk
When you have an argument with a friend, keep the shouting match to a minimum. Lightly, suggest for everyone to cool off and calm down before things get too out of hand. Time is really the best healer. What happens if you have a friend who just won’t give it time? I would advise to really give that person a lot of time as some people just want to hold onto things.
It’s a bit like a hurricane when you think about it. There’s this spinning and accumulation of built up thoughts and feelings. The best thing to do is to give it time to blow over. There really isn’t a time limit here. After you feel like the storm is over, consider reaching out to set up a time to talk. Preferably in a public place so another screaming match won’t take place.
Be Open To Hearing The Other Side
Remember when I said that most of the time an argument with a friend comes from miscommunication? Well, once you’ve set up a time to talk, make sure to listen to the other side. It’s clear that both parties are extremely hurt so it’s really important to take great care in understanding your friend’s feelings. This isn’t the time to point the fingers and blame them. That will just make them feel like their concerns don’t matter and will just push them further away. The point of hearing the other side is to come to a consensus together. That means no ultimatums. Both parties have to agree on what to do in moving forward.
The last important tip that I can leave you with today on how to handle an argument with a friend is to say sorry. Once you’ve listened to that friend and understand where they are coming from, the right thing to do is say sorry. If you’re not really clear on what you should be sorry about, it’s most likely because you aren’t listening to the other person. I know I’ve ran into the issue where I felt that everything I said was justified, but I didn’t go about voicing it in the right way. That is something very valid to apologize for. I’ve also been in the situation where someone took what I said or did the wrong way. I apologized for the miscommunication because I really did feel bad that it came across that way.
Apologies don’t mend everything but I think many do feel like they can move on after an apology. The times when I’ve noticed the reverse happen is if one or both friends aren’t truly over the argument. At that point, try to start at the beginning of these tips and give it time. However, some arguments are just too severe for a friendship to be repaired. But that’s a post for another time.
Question of the day: Have you ever been in an argument with a friend? How did you handle it?
I’ve shared my tips and now I want to hear what you think!
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