Indeed, friendships are an essential part of our lives. They provide us with support, comfort, and a sense of belonging. However, friendship problems can arise even in the closest of friendships. From minor disagreements to major betrayals, these arrays of issues can be challenging to navigate. Not just this, they can cause feelings of hurt, anger, and sadness.
Therefore, in this article, we’ll take a closer look at the common causes of friendship problems, their effects, and strategies for overcoming them. So, let’s explore!
Common friendship problems to lookout for
Many different factors can contribute to friendship problems. Some common causes include:
Communication is vital in a relationship. However, a lack of communication may lead to an array of problems. Indeed, miscommunication is one of the most common causes of friendship problems. There are instances where friends may misunderstand each other’s words, intentions, or actions, leading to conflicts and hurt feelings.
2. Conflicting interests
We are human beings, and no two individuals have the same interest. Over time, friends may also develop different interests, priorities, or lifestyles. However, when these interests go haywire, it can create distance and tension in the relationship.
Jealousy can cause a major rift in friendship and become a significant cause of friendship problems. When one friend feels that the other is receiving more attention, affection, or recognition, issues tend to follow despite bonding.
4. Unhealthy competition
Healthy competition is good, but if it goes awry, it can lead to a big hole in any relationship. If you are competing for the same goal, such as a job promotion, a romantic partner, or a social status in an unhealthy manner, there are chances of significant tiffs.
Betrayal can be one of the most devastating experiences in a friendship. This can take the form of gossiping, lying, or revealing confidential information and can cause severe damage to the relationship.
6. Controlling nature
Caring for a friend is always acceptable but when it goes to the length of controlling them can become the biggest friendship problem. A lot of times, bullying is observed at the workplace, school, and also in online friends. If ignored, it can lead to physical and mental instability.
There are instances when a friend uses another friend for their own benefit, and that too in the name of LOVE. Besides, they also feel that they own you because you are friends. Such manipulation is useless and can become the biggest hurdle in friendship.
8. Trust issues
When friends start doubting each other for their motives, friendship problems start sweeping in. Even a tiny mistrust can break down the foundation of friendship.
9. Unpleasant company
There are chances when a friend might choose the wrong path, and that could turn into a whirlwind to end the friendship. Even when a friend mingles with bad company could be a turning point in friendship problems.
10. Non-committal approach
Sometimes, staying in touch with friends is next to impossible. Every person needs support and some motivation in difficult times. However, when your friend truly needs support and if you aren’t around and ghost them, then it can be a significant friendship problem.
11. Friend poaching
Friend poaching is indeed considered unethical, and why not? You introduce a friend to another friend. They get along and sideline you, and it may lead to horrendous friendship problems.
Effects of friendship problems
Friendship problems can have various adverse effects on the individuals involved and the relationship itself. Amid this, there are some common effects, and they are –
1. Emotional distress
Friendship problems can cause feelings of hurt, anger, and sadness. Furthermore, these can lead to emotional distress and a sense of isolation.
2. Decreased self-esteem
When friendships constantly experience problems, some individuals may start feeling that they are not valued or appreciated. They might not believe in themselves, leading to decreased self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy. It may affect their ability to make and nurture friendships.
3. Lack of confidence
Once these friendship problems start peeping into someone’s life, they directly impact an individual’s confidence. Besides, if an individual is repeatedly experiencing difficulties in their relationships, they might just lose faith in building new relationships.
4. Diminishing quality of life
Friendship problems can decrease an individual’s overall quality of life, impacting their sense of happiness, security, and well-being.
These may sound huge, but one can overcome them with a few strategies. Let’s see what they are!
Strategies for overcoming friendship problems
Overcoming friendship problems can be challenging, but it is possible. Here are some strategies that can help. Let’s explore.
1. Start communicating openly
One of the most important strategies for overcoming friendship problems is communicating openly and honestly. Start by becoming a good and calm listener. Spare time to listen to each other’s perspectives, express your thoughts and feelings and find common ground.
2. Practice empathy
Practicing empathy can also help overcome friendship problems. Start by putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. Try and understand their feelings and their perspective too. To overcome these problems, it’s time to become more sensitive to your friends’ needs and feelings.
3. Set boundaries
Setting clear boundaries helps prevent and resolve a lot of friendship problems. Start by establishing what you are and clearly communicating what you are unwilling to tolerate. Ensure to communicate these expectations to your friend.
4. Seeking professional help
If the problems in your friendship are particularly complex or persistent, seeking professional help can be a helpful strategy. This can involve therapy, counseling, or relationship coaching, which can provide guidance and support in overcoming the challenges in your relationship.
5. Maintaining space in friendship
Sometimes, friendship problems can be resolved by simply giving each other space and time to reflect. And to do so, you may take a break from each other for a while. In addition, you may simply reduce the frequency of your interactions until the tensions have subsided.
6. Show willingness to compromise
Another key strategy for overcoming friendship problems is showing a willingness to compromise. Don’t just devise solutions but make them work for both of you. Do not impose your own views and expectations on the other person. Rather find a middle way to tackle problems.
7. Forgive and let go
Forgiving and letting go of past hurts and conflicts can also be essential to overcoming friendship problems. As long as you hold onto anger and resentment, you will be more stuck in the past. Besides, forgiveness and letting go can help you move forward and strengthen your relationship.
8. Acceptance is bliss
Friend poaching is widespread and might leave many rotten feelings. You have to accept that they did hit off. If possible, try and maintain a friendship with both of them, and if you can’t, then accept the situation and find a new best friend.
9. Get closure
When a friendship ends, it’s best to have closure by communicating with each other. Try to figure out what went awry and led to this situation. It will help achieve peace, and you might not commit the same mistake in a new friendship.
10. Focus on the positives
Finally, focusing on the positive aspects of your friends can help you overcome challenges and build a stronger, more resilient relationship. Don’t just speak but undertake some actions. Start by celebrating each other’s successes, supporting each other through tough times, and cherishing the memories you have shared together.
Over to you…
Friendship problems can be difficult and painful, but with the right strategies, you can overcome them. Remember, seeking help and support is okay when dealing with friendship problems. You may reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or mental health professional who can guide and support you to overcome the challenges in your relationship.