Submitted Date 02/24/2019

A good friendship is rare to find but sometimes requires maintenance. Like any relationship, we face challenges that can lead to either stronger or weaker friendships. No matter the friendship, everyone will eventually encounter some kind of conflict. Luckily, when you really care about someone, these problems will teach you more about your friend and will only make you stronger. Unfortunately, when issues arise, it is difficult to not get too emotional, overthink, and act irrationally. Here are some of the best ways to handle conflict among your friendships!

1. Be transparent
No matter how well you think you know your bestie, you aren’t a mind reader. And neither are they. Always be honest with your friends about how you’re feeling (without being TOO harsh) and you’ll likely be surprised with their new perspective and compassion surrounding your conflict.

2. Communicate
Nothing will make a friendship fade faster than poor communication. We’ve all been there. There’s tension, so you feel too awkward to text or call your friend and decide it’s best to leave them be. The thing is, they are probably feeling the same way. So reach out. What is the worst that can happen? After all, most friendships begin to drift apart when communication decrease. So send that text, respond to their Instagram story, send an email, or call just to check in.

3. Take Time to Work on Your Friendship
We all have busy schedules, which can sometimes make it harder to find time for hanging out with friends. But let’s be real, it is extremely necessary to spend time with your friends, even if its just to hang out, gossip, get lunch, or do nothing. Put the effort into scheduling time in both of your schedules to have face-to-face conversations. Even if you haven’t seen each other in a while, most valuable friendships are always able to pick up right where they left off.

4. Go beyond the surface level
Depending on your personality, it may be hard to open up to your friends, no matter how close you are. Don’t be afraid to let your feelings out, because a true friend will respond with care. This kind of care and transparency will allow your friendship to grow and maintain trust and security.

5. Put Yourself in Their Shoes
This may sound obvious, but you always should consider the position your friend may be in. Even if you feel hurt by their actions, it is most likely that those actions aren’t because of you, but because of another stressful situation going on in their life. So put yourself in their shoes, and be sure to consider the other reasons the conflict in your friendship could have risen from. This step will help you feel less insecure about your role in friendship and prove to your friend that you really do have their best interest at heart.

Hopefully, these tips will help navigate the struggles that all friendships face. Remember to communicate, consider, understand, and trust the friendship that you care so much about.

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Replace intimidation with curiosity. Be your authentic self with everyone you meet, so you make authentic connections.

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