We’ve all been there. Friendship problems are normal and healthy bumps in the road but they’re also absolutely awful. I’ve felt that sinking, sick feeling too many times to not want to show everyone that it isn’t the end of the world. There are loads of simple and effective ways to deal with friendship problems, from making up or making new, and get rid of that end-of-everything-apocalypse feeling. Being able to easily navigate these bumps in the road is what can make a friendship special and it’s an incredibly useful skill to have. I really hope this will help some people out there to start feeling more friend-confident and less like they want to crawl into that little black hole.
I have included quotations from other websites (links below) but for every point I have added a detailed personal story or touch so this can be a unique and insightful guide.
This is especially relevant to teens and young adults.
1. What do you do when a friend stops talking to you?
‘This is a tricky subject, because there are lots of variables. First of all, look to yourself for any changes or issues you may be causing. If you are the stressor on the relationship, you need to make appropriate changes before your friendship can be mended. This is very hard for most people. It is hard to hold yourself accountable for any wrong doings, but is essential for conflict resolution. If you have done absolutely nothing wrong, and you are sure of it, it is time to look to the other party. Again, by using the proper verbiage, approach the situation with caution. “I feel confused about our friendship, and why you have stopped talking to me,” is a good way to start the conversation.’ http://friends.com/friendship-problems
This is a wonderful piece of advice, which is why I have chosen to include it here. However it is crucial not to confuse this with changing yourself to suit the other person. It is really really important to stay true to who you are regardless of your friends and what they think. If they can’t handle you just the way you are then they don’t deserve to. Above all else, don’t sacrifice your beliefs and values to fit in with someone else’s needs or ideals of what a friend should be like. You know what’s right and you have to live in a way that reflects that. Alternatively, if you’ve changed since you’ve become friends and you don’t suit eachothers needs anymore then you need to evaluate how valuable they are as a friend. If you really just are drifting apart and there’s nothing you can do, maybe think about letting it go and each of you can freely take your own path without feeling like you’re disappointing eachother (or even yourselves for ruining the friendship). This is especially relevant for if it’s due to a change where you don’t connect or have fun like you used to and you’re only holding on to the dregs of the friendship for old times sake.
2. What do you do when you feel excluded from the group?
Feeling unwanted and feeling disconnected from the other friends is difficult to put up with. In this case, it’s always best to speak up. Most of the time, people won’t know what’s in your mind and they may not even know they’re ignoring you. In my case, any problems a girl had regarding the group would go completely unnoticed until she spoke out, at which point we all made a huge effort to resolve her problem. You might think they’re doing it on purpose, but most of the time they’re not! If they are nice, kind people who value you as a friend (which they should, otherwise go find another friendship group) they wouldn’t purposefully cause you upset and will likely try their hardest to make you feel better. Speak up and let it out, because it’ll do a whole lot of bad if you keep it inside.
On the other hand, if you feel like there is a noticeable difference between you and your group or the exclusion is prolonged then it may be best to exit the group and find yourself some better suited or even kinder friends. I have spent too long trying to fit into groups or fight to stay in them, and I didn’t realise that outside might be some truly amazing people I had never given a second glance to. Once I realised that, I left my group and found a best friend who not only is like my other half but who makes me a million times as happy as the other groups ever did. You never know what you might find if you find the courage to go another way.
3. What do you do when you feel drained from putting in all the effort into your friendship?
‘This is a common problem amongst friends, and can easily result in the dissolution of your friendship. The key here is communication. By expressing your feelings to your friend, he or she is put in the position of action. They will either realize their wrong doing and make an attempt to fix the problem, or they are not in fact a real friend. When approaching this situation, it is important to use the proper wording. Approach the conversation with, “I feel like” instead of “You are…” This will be better received; as opposed to your friend feeling attacked right off the bat.’ http://friends.com/friendship-problems
This is fantastic advice. Again, if the problem persists, you need to evaluate whether this friendship is worth the constant effort from you, and make a decision based on that. If your friend does not make a consistent attempt to fix the problem, they either do not value you as much as they should OR they are completely taking you for granted. If they are taking you for granted then they may not take your feelings seriously, and simply fall right back on the knowledge that you’ll always be there whenever they want you to be with only minimal effort from themselves. This friend is prepared to fight for you, they just don’t think there is any fight at all. If they are shocked into the realisation that they might lose you, they will surely make much more effort to keep you as their friend.
I really hope you found this post helpful, and if you did, spread it around so it can help out someone else. You never know who might need it.
Thank you so much for reading <3
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