Friendships are an important and impactful part of our lives. Some of us make friends easily, for others it takes a little longer. But either way, these relationships are ones that help sustain us, grow us and can sometimes become like our family. Knowing this, we also have to know that these relationships need to be cultivated and strengthened.
One thing that can help is COMMUNICATION.
I’m not referring to your typical talking or getting to know one another (which is necessary). I’m referring to communication around upset, hurt and conflict. It happens in so many friendships. Too often people become upset or hurt by what another person has said or done and they withdraw, lash out or terminate the relationship without communicating in a healthy way to possibly salvage and grow the relationship.
Admittedly, this happened to me and one of my closest friends. I would not communicate about how hurt I felt and instead withdrew, which eventually played a large role in the friendship ending. Gratefully, we were able to reconnect and discuss what happened and talk about ways to communicate better.
In order to maintain strong relationships, many of us have to begin speaking to one another about the things that hurt us. And it’s important to do so in ways that are kind, honest, and timely. Too many of us are afraid of sharing our feelings or of conflict in general. If we want to have lasting and deep relationships, we must be willing to communicate, not only about the roses, but also about the thorns.
The next time you find yourself hurt by a friend and in need of an important conversation, be sure to communicate.
- Think about what you’re really upset about. (Get to the heart of it, not the surface-y stuff)
- Think about how to clearly get that across. (Write it down first if you have to)
- Be sure it’s honest and kind. (Run it past an unbiased 3rd party if needed)
- Talk about it when it’s somewhat fresh but not so long after that the other person will be disconnected from it.
- Just do it. (Do it afraid if you have to)
How well do you communicate with your friends around conflict? What improvements do you feel you need to make?
Let us hear from you below!