8 Tips for Telling a Friend You're Upset When You Hate Confrontation
Even the best of friends sometimes have spats. Those fights are never fun, especially when you hate confrontation.
When one of your friends does something to upset you, it can be tempting to let it go rather than talk it out. Unfortunately, that doesn't tend to solve any problems. Tough conversations occasionally must be had for the sake of your friendship, so it's important to know how to handle them.
The good news is there are things you can do to make confrontation easier. Keep reading for tips.
Spell Out to Yourself Why You're Upset
You can't expect to clearly share with a friend what's wrong if you still haven't verbalized it to yourself. Take the time to examine your feelings and figure out what exactly is bugging you. That will make it way easier to explain it to your friend when the time comes.
(The Edge of Seventeen via STX Entertainment)
Decide What Resolution You Want
Not only should you know specifically what has upset you before talking it over with your friend, you should also know what you hope to come out of the conversation. Do you want an apology? Assurances that they won't do what they did again? Affirmation that they care about you? Whatever it is, figure it out ahead of time so you know what to ask for. It might also help you get the courage to speak up, because you'll have a better idea of the possible positive outcomes.
React in a Timely Manner
Taking some time to get your thoughts together is good, but you don't want to wait too long to hash out the issue. Try to address it quickly, or you might never get around to it. The longer you wait, the more your nerves will likely build up, after all. When you do finally resolve the conflict, we promise you'll feel a weight off your shoulders.
(Riverdale via The CW)
Practice What You Want to Say
It can be harder to express yourself when you're nervous or stressed, so practicing beforehand will help you ensure you say what you want to say to your friend. If it helps, write down some notes or even practice with a family member or neutral friend. They'll be able to give you an outside perspective that may be useful.
Use 'I' Statements
It'll be harder to get through to your friend if you come off as accusatory, so "I" statements will help you have better success. Your goal is to "express what you think and how you feel," as Psychology Today puts it. While doing so, make sure you share positive words about your friend, too. They're someone you care about, so simply reminding them of that can help.
(To All the Boys I've Loved Before via Netflix)
Pick a Good Time and Place
When you're ready to talk, it's important that you find the right moment to do it. You'll want to make sure you can discuss the issue privately and that you have enough time to do it. Trying to have a serious talk in the hall between classes, for example, is probably not a good call. Let your friend know you're hoping to have a conversation, and then settle on a time and place that works for both of you.
Be Ready to Listen
As much as you want to have your say, you also need to be prepared to listen. Your friend will have their own perspective on whatever has happened, and they should get a chance to share it. Consider what they say, and they should do the same for you.
Write a Letter If Need Be
If the idea of a face-to-face conversation is really too much, there's always the option of writing your friend a letter or an email. One positive aspect to this option is that you get to take your time and read over what you've written. This will make you less likely to say something you'll later regret than if you were to confront your friend in the heat of the moment. Again, once you've had your say, they deserve a chance to respond. Whether they choose to do so by letter or in-person, they'll ideally come to that conversation with a better understanding of your feelings. From there, you'll be able to continue working to clear the air.
Having a fight is never fun, but it can ultimately strengthen a friendship. HERE are more tips for making up when it happens.