7 Steps to Saving a Friendship If you are fortunate enough to have a great friend, one who is supporting and encouraging, listens and understands, protects you and makes you laugh, do your best to protect that special connection. If something happened that’s strained your relationship, don’t give up just yet. Here are seven steps to saving a friendship.
1. Stop Making Assumptions Sometimes when a friendship begins to feel different, you may assume it's because your friend's personality has changed. More often than not, there is nothing wrong with your friend — or you — the problem lies in the friendship. The fact that you both are always evolving can be hard to accept. Maybe she's upset by something she hasn’t shared with you. Instead of assuming the reason why things are different, make a move to uncover the truth and start a conversation.
2. Don’t Avoid the Problem When forced to deal with the uncomfortably changing dynamics of a friendship, girls often worry that a discussion is going to lead to a confrontation — and we'll do anything to avoid one of those. You owe it to both of you, however, to try to save what's bonded you so strongly. You have to overcome the fear of one or both of you not liking what you’re going to hear. Again, make a move to start the conversation.
3. Prepare to Talk it Out In Person In most cases, to get a friend back all you have to do is what you always did best: talk. Meaningful exchanges occur face-to face. A conversation is notoriously difficult when you text, email, IM or connect through social media sites. You miss out on eye contact, body language and feeling empathetic to what she’s saying. Wait until you are together, alone and relaxed, to share your concerns in a calm, reasonable way.
4. Share Your Concerns Ease into the conversation. Let her know you have some things on your mind and want to share them with the hopes that you two will become even better friends. Then, in a kind, calm tone, explain that lately you've been concerned about the state of your friendship. If there was something she did or said that upset you, tell her. If she's surprised, let her know you didn't think she would intentionally hurt your feelings.
5. Allow Her Time To Talk Next, let her talk without rushing or interrupting. This conversation may come as a surprise to her, so give her a minute to take it all in before answering you. When she does respond, listen carefully for two emotions behind her words: regret and respect. If you hear them, accept her point of view.
6. Compromise If you don't seem to be on the same page, ask if she understands why you're upset. She might not, and you'll have to explain it again. Make sure you understand her feelings, too. If you’re still not on the same page, then it's compromise time. You might have to agree to disagree. Although lots of things can lead to disagreements and disputes, they rarely have the power to destroy a friendship. You can still decide to celebrate what you have in common and remain friends.
7. Establish Next Steps Where will the friendship go from here? That’s for the two of you to decide. Maybe this conversation was all you needed to clear things up. Or you may find that you’ve grown apart naturally. Your friendships can evolve to be in a different place in which you may spend less time together and share less.
Maybe a temporary break will allow both of you to cool off and put things in perspective. By spending time with other friends, you may come to have more appreciation for your old friends! Learn how to get a friend back and get helpful friendship advice from BeingGirl.com.