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Confronting conflict with friends

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Difficult conversations are sometimes necessary

It can be difficult for some of us to confront a relationship issue, so it is important for these individuals to remember that friendships are relationships of choice, unlike family relationships that are relationships by blood or law.
This implies some level of reciprocity in the relationship, and when you feel like you are being consistently shortchanged, remind yourself that it’s okay to share your feelings with your friend.

Rules of communication and conflict mediation

1.

Let your friend know that you would like to have a discussion about the relationship

2.

Choose a time and place that is agreeable for both of you and be sure to choose as neutral a place as you can

3.

Always use ‘I statements'. It’s important that you focus on how you are feeling or what you are thinking in response to his/ her behaviour

4.

Listen to what your friend has to say once you’ve opened up your own concerns

Rules of communication and conflict mediation

5.

Work towards a compromise

6.

If your friend is not buying into your perspective, you may want to take a step back and see if your own assessment is as objective as it should be

7.

Remember, too, that there are always going to be multiple realities at play. What you see and believe is your reality but the same is true for your friend.

8.

An important reminder: Throughout the course of a friendship, always own your feelings

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