What should we do if we are the one that says or does something and it hurts their feelings? Every friendship has those moments when one of the two parties says or does something that brings up difficult to handle emotions in the other person. Lets look at what both sides can consider when a mistake has been made:
- Loyal friends do not hurt their friends on purpose. This thought should be looked at by both parties. The hurt party may ask themselves if they really believe it was done on purpose or was it a mistake.
- Good friends have the courage to speak to each other openly about differences. If you were hurt by an action or word – it should not be left to fester and grow bigger. It is time to open the conversation between you.
- Open your questions with “what’ or “how” and not “why”. In other words have open ended questions such as What did you mean by …… ? or How did …… situation come about? Not, Why did you say or do this to me?
- Be willing to listen without an agenda. If we are looking to make the other person wrong – we most likely will find them to be wrong. If we are looking for the best in them – it will be easier to see the good.
- Ask further questions and really listen to the answers. Then it is your turn to express how you are feeling and look for ways to make each side heal the bad feelings.
- End the conversation with an apology as needed, a compliment for the time to talk, and an affirmation of your friendship and what you value about them as a friend. Is it their consideration, caring, honesty, loyalty, kindness, respect or understanding? Be sure the other person knows that you see their good qualities.
Friendships are hard to find and must be worked at to keep strong. Healthy friendships are not one sided. Both people should benefit from the relationship.