Raise your hand if you have ever disagreed with someone. Everyone disagrees with someone at some point in their life, right? It’s human nature. We’re all different and we all have different opinions so it’s very likely that you’ll disagree with someone. Sometimes, we even disagree with our friends. That can be pretty tough. Let’s talk about how to handle a disagreement with friends.
Even though it’s normal to disagree with someone, it’s not okay to disrespect someone because the two of you don’t see eye to eye. This is especially true when it comes to a disagreement with our friends. We want to make sure that we handle misunderstandings in a way that will allow us to continue the friendship, even when we have slightly different views about a particular topic.
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Is it normal to have disagreements with friends?
If your friends are human, chances are you’re gonna disagree with them. It’s very normal to have different views about things. That’s what makes us all unique. So, there’s no need to feel like something is wrong just because you have a disagreement or two with your friends.
If it gets to the point where you are unable to disagree with your friends respectfully, it may be time to reflect and decide if the relationship is getting toxic. No one wants (or needs) to be around someone they argue with all the time. That’s certainly not healthy. But, a little disagreement every now and then is completely normal.
Psychology Today further adds that when you are faced with disagreements with friends, it’s best to go ahead and confront the issues rather than avoiding the difficult conversations.
Related resource: Why Are We Yelling?
What are some examples of misunderstandings between friends?
Here are a few things that frequently cause friction between friends:
- Miscommunication. Jokes are often the culprit. One friend may tell a joke that the other finds offensive or just doesn’t think is funny.
- Lack of support. Sometimes, friends aren’t on the same page about what support looks like. That may cause a misunderstanding.
- Letting problems go unresolved.
- Breaking trust.
- Money issues.
How should I handle a disagreement with my friend?
Since you already know that it’s very possible for you to have a misunderstanding with your friends, it’s a good idea to think about ways to handle the situation so that it doesn’t get blown out of proportion.
Here are five things that you can do to deal with a disagreement with friends:
- Don’t make it personal. If you get upset, it can help to remember you’re mad at the idea or concept your friend is raising. You’re probably not really mad at your friend. So, try not to take it personally.
- Avoid putting down the other person’s ideas and beliefs. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of someone’s put-downs, you know how valuable using respectful language and behavior can be. So instead of saying things like, “that’s stupid”, try to use clear statements like, “I don’t agree with you and here’s why…” As difficult as it may be, try your best not to yell, be sarcastic, or make derogatory comments,
- Use clear statements to explain how you feel. Try to avoid blaming the other person. Be as specific as possible as you attempt to communicate your feelings.
- Take time to listen. Being a good listener is a way of showing that you respect your friend and truly want to hear what she has to say. Doing this sets the tone for the disagreement and the other person may even follow your lead. Be an active listener and try really hard to focus on what they are saying as opposed to thinking about what else you want to say.
- Try to stay calm. Staying calm is probably the most important thing you can do when you have a disagreement with someone. It may be tough, but it’s really important to keep your emotions in check. If you let your emotions get the best of you during a misunderstanding, you may do or say some things that you don’t mean.
You can’t always avoid disagreements, but you can manage your response to them. Being intentional about how you respond to misunderstandings makes all the difference in the outcome. I hope these tips have you better prepared to deal with the next disagreement that may come your way.