Here are the solutions from experts regarding your friendship problems
Once in a while, or even most of the time, a lot of people are experiencing friendship problems but you don’t need to worry anymore because here are the solutions from experts.
Friendship is one of the most closest relationship you could have with someone who is not related to you by blood.
However, just like any other relationships, friendship also encounters problem.
Here are the common friendship problems and the solution from experts.
Promises that are unfulfilled
Jan Yager, PhD, friendship coach, sociologist, and author of When Friendship Hurts and Friendshifts said that we don’t have formal contracts with our friends. “If you bring a fantasy about what the ideal friend will do in any situation to a relationship, you are setting yourself up for disappointment,” she said.
Then she cited a story: “When my dad passed away, a friend didn’t go to the funeral. Rather than fume, pull away and be angry, I decided to casually ask her why. I said, ‘I was surprised not to see you at my dad’s funeral. It’s OK, I’m just curious.’” Turns out that her friend’s dad recently passed away too and she just couldn’t handle another funeral. “Never in a million years would I have guessed what was going on.”
Period where things are unbalanced
This period is when you feel that you are sharing many things with your friend but that is not being reciprocated.
Counselor Leslie Jay has two suggested phrase that can encourage your friend to open up.
- I’m happy to be able to hear what you’re going through. Sometimes I need to talk. Could you listen to my problems?
- I noticed I’m always sharing about my life. I want you to tell me something about your life.
Yager added that when your expectations are unmet, you must think this: “I am accepting my friends for who they are.”
This is the time when your friend is no longer communicating with you. Carlin Flora, social science writer and author of the book Friendfluence, has this advice: “One piece of advice is to stop trying to figure out why. It’s better for your mental health to accept that you really don’t know the reason why. Sometimes, you really don’t know what’s going on with other people.”
Dr. Yager also said that “the basic thing about friendship that’s so important to remember is that it’s optional.”
OP (out of place)
The feeling of being left out is also tagged as OP or out of place. “I encourage clients to express their feelings about it but also not to jump to conclusions,” Scott Christnelly, a therapist with Talkspace shared. It is also advisable if you talk to other people about this – a counselor, a family member, or a close friend and explain to them how you feel.
Conflicts in schedule
Having a limited time with your friends and you just seldom see each other because of the conflict in schedule?
Counselor Leslie Jay said that direct communication is key to overcoming this problem. Work out your availability by suggesting the times when you can have your bonding.
There might be the time when you feel that your friends are more successful than you are or that they are happier in life. Use the feeling of envy or jealousy to your advantage. Dr. Yager said that healthy envy can be self-motivating and not mean-spirited or bitter.
“Self-talk can help. Remind yourself of what you do have and that your jealousy is only a temporary feeling that now that you’re aware of, you’re going to work to not let it ruin your friendship,” the doctor said.
Yes, there are also friendships that reach the point of breakup. Carlin Flora said that most people are not talking about friendship breakup unlike breakup between lovers. Many may not know that it is also as traumatic as romantic breakups and its pain should also be recognized.
“Acknowledgement is big. Acknowledge that friendship is beautiful and rewarding and that its loss is significant,” Flora said.
Routine can be boring sometimes, especially when your doing a thing with your friend for most of the time. Try to break the ice by exploring new things with your friend.
“You can try adding new people to the friendship. If you and your friend always go for coffee, ask one or more new friends to join you. If it’s two couples that always get together, try meeting your friend alone so you can bond in different ways. Go to the movies or take in a show. Take a cooking class together or start a book club,” Dr. Yager said.
At some point friends end up growing apart because their interest and priorities change. In order to address this problem, “let people be a certain puzzle piece rather than an entire puzzle,” Jay said.
Lack of IRL (in real life) friends
This modern era, social media is a venue where friendships are formed. However, the happiness of having a physical bonding with your friends is far different than on social media. This is one of the most common friendship problems now.
“If we understood how beneficial real friends are, I think we’d be less passive and more careful about how we treat them,” Flora said.