Friendship is the key to sanity for many women when they are in the midst of motherhood, careers and marriage. When they need a reprieve from it all, it’s their relationships with their friends that often offer them an outlet.
But what happens when there is a bump in the road? What happens when there is a disagreement that leaves your friendship in murky waters uncertain as to whether you can move forward?
If you have a mature relationship with your friends, then you work through it over the course of time. It’s not to say that there won’t be changes in your relationship, depending on what caused the conflict, but relationships that are mature will not run away from the conflict – they will face it head on and figure out where they stand from that point on.
Here are some tips for resolving conflict.
Allowing for a Little Space Is OK
When you are fresh off the cuff of a heated argument, sometimes a little break from the situation is all you need to get through it. If you have a disagreement, consider tabling the conversation and coming back to it after a cooling off period before you approach the topic of disagreement later.
Agree to disagree for the moment and if you both feel it’s necessary to resolve the disagreement, come back to it after time away from the heat of it all.
Respectful Communication Is Key
It’s hard to keep our heads in the heat of the moment at times, but it’s important to remain respectful when communicating with one another.
Women by nature are emotional and we often take things personally, so try to keep that in mind and work together to communicate in a respectful way that will honor both perspectives as you work through your conflict.
The rumor mill doesn’t just run rampant in the halls of high school; it very easily can continue on into our adult lives in the workplace, neighborhoods we live in or communities we are a part of such as military groups or the PTA.
It’s important to avoid listening to what others are saying and get your information straight from the person you have the conflict with whenever possible. You will find less misunderstanding and likely a more receptive listener if they feel you are hearing them instead of those around you.
Do Not Text or Email
Emails and text do not allow for the ability to convey tone properly and oftentimes can misconstrue your intentions when discussing something that is upsetting you both. When there is a bigger conflict happening within your friendship, consider meeting in person.
This may seem difficult, especially if you are the party in the wrong, but it’s important to face the situation head-on and in person in an effort to get through it sooner rather than later.
Keep the argument in perspective – is it worth arguing the point to the death? Can you let it go? If it’s a breach of trust, was it a major breach that is unforgivable or can you allow the person a break if they have made an apology that shows accountability?
Keep it all in perspective and analyze whether you want this disagreement to be friendship ending or if you can meet your friend in the middle.
Good friends are hard to come by, so it’s worth the effort to work through most disagreements. This is not to say there aren’t some things that don’t require you to let a person go as a friend.
If your friendship is one that is toxic, lacks trust overall and is a constant source of discontent – then it may be time to let it go. But, if this is a sound friendship with a simple bump in the road, then use the above suggestions to navigate your problem.