I have two friends who keep fighting with each other. We’ve known each other for more than 5 years, and until recently, we all got along so well. But now they act like cats and dogs. And I don’t know what to do! It doesn’t help that they’re so different, it makes dealing with the issues very hard. One one side, one of them doesn’t open up about her frustrations, while the other does. How can they fix anything, if they can’t talk their issues out? I know I should step back and let them fix their own issues, but I’m afraid that they won’t ever really deal with the source of the problem. What should I do?
In Friend Woes
Dear In Friend Woes,
I’m sorry to hear that you’re friends are going through a rough patch. I can understand your frustration and worries. From what you’ve said, the issue seems to be a lack of communication. There lies the source. If conflicts and arguments continue to be swept under the rug, the problem will become even bigger. Those misunderstandings they have will turn into resentments. Not the best recipe for a healthy friendship. Your two friends seem very different in the way they approach situations. This makes the situation even harder. But before your friends can even get to the stage where they can have an amicable conversation and resolve any cobwebs, they need to first decide whether they’re willing to put the effort to fix their broken friendship. They’ll need to completely learn the meaning of ‘compromise’ in a way they never known before. And more importantly, they’ll need to learn to understand one another. Without those two things, they won’t be able to move on from their problems. Have them write down their complaints on a piece of paper so they know what the issues are at hand before they talk it out. They’ll be more receptive to fixing the issues rather than playing the ‘blame’ game. Be patient with them, rebuilding a friendship takes time and effort on all forefronts. I hope it all works out for them and for you.