Monday, June 23, 2014

Lessons :: How Can I Prevent a Fight with a Friend Before it Gets Out of Control?

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Anonymous asks,

"Have you ever found yourself in an argument with someone you really care about and this argument is spiraling completely out of control into a full blown FIGHT? You both know you don't want to be in the middle of a FIGHT, but it's happening. What do you do to stop it before it goes just too far? (Or what would you do?)"

Hi there! I think we can all relate to having disagreements with friends. However, when healthy debates turn into arguments that lead into fights, it can be detrimental to our relationships. I'm glad that you recognize this and want to prevent it!

My answer to this is easier said than done: one of you needs to step back and let it go, before it's too late. "Nip it in the bud" as they say. Since you can't control what the other person may or may not do, you need to be the one to do it. My mother, a therapist and very smart lady, has always reminded me that even though I can't control other people, I can control how I react to them. This is one of those situations.

I have a problem with pride. It used to really bother me when someone insisted that they were right, and I knew they were wrong. But, you know what? Let them think they're right! Is what you're arguing about really that big of a deal? Can you agree to disagree? I think, more often than not, we need to. That's what compromise is all about.

If you feel the need to speak up and defend yourself about something, do it. I'm totally in support of that. But, choose your battles wisely. If you want to stay friends with this person and you feel that the conversation has gone too far, then it's time to end it and move on. What's more important -- saving the friendship, or winning the argument? In the end, even if you feel that you have the upper hand, you might still lose. That friend could walk away, and what are you left with?

It's up to you to decide.

*Photo from here.
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