Sometimes you just have to confront a friend. Whether they’ve been careless with your feelings, or someone else’s—there may be times that you may feel tempted to yell it out. While it is indeed hilarious to come armed with “throwing wine” Real Housewives style, we can assure you that the vindication you feel in the moment will only be followed up with a big, steaming pile of regret. Sound good? We didn’t think so. So before you decide to go at it, here are a five tips on how to fight fair.
1. Take some time to cool down after the initial incident. Even if your response was to say “Dude, WTF?”, if it’s an issue that’s truly a point of contention in your friendship, take some time to really think about what you want to say before you do anything else.
2. Realize that conflict is natural. Though it might be devastating in the heat of the moment, it’s perfectly okay to be at odds with your pal. As much as friendship is all about living in a certain symbiotic harmony with one another, it’s also about making sure that each of you derive strength from your bond, as well from yourselves. Often, we don’t realize when we’re being tools—but with a good friend to call you out on it, you’ll learn and grow.
3. Put Yourself in Their Shoes. A little empathy can go a long way. For instance, if a friend blew you off—before you go all Medea on them (and their unborn children), ask a couple questions. Then gauge the appropriate level of rage.
4. I Feel Statements. For anyone who’s spent copious amounts of time in therapy (or watched a shitton of Oprah), framing arguments around “I feel” statements does wonders for helping the other person understand your thought process. When you do have that dreaded conversation, it comes off as less accusative. And generally, most friends won’t dismiss your feelings around a situation.
5. Let them Talk. Usually, when we’re fighting with someone we care about, we have a tendency to construct a maudlin monologue about all of the injustices they have done to us. Though this works in the movies, very rarely does this ever pan out in real life. It’s important to maintain that your bond with your pal is built on a foundation of honest, open dialogue. If you come to a solution together, consider your friendship strengthened!
If none of this works, by all means—bring on the throwing wine.
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