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How to Let Friends Know You're Upset With Them

by Marci Blair

Confrontation is often difficult and awkward among friends. When you are upset with someone, it can be scary to be vulnerable and honest with them. It is hard to open a conversation that may lead to hurt feelings, anger and confusion, but without open communication it is very difficult to maintain healthy friendships. There are many simple steps that can be taken to turn this uncomfortable situation into one of growth, understanding and resolution, and often such steps can lead to friendships that are stronger and more fulfilling.

Create distance between your emotions and your friend. Whether your friend did something specific to anger you or you just feel you are growing apart, take some time to cool off and calm down. Give your rational self plenty of time to work with your emotions before confronting your friend so that you don't say something rash, inappropriate or cruel.

Spend some time alone really getting specific with what you are upset about. You can even write it down or make a list so when you do confront the person you don't get overwhelmed by emotions and leave something important out. Look at your feelings from every angle you can to see if what you are feeling is justified.

Contact your friend and ask if you two can meet in person. It is always best to meet in person because e-mail doesn't allow you to hear the other person's tone and even the telephone leaves out some important, basic communication tools. It is far better to be able to see the person's face, hear the person's voice and watch his or her body language.

Meet in a public place but where you will still have your privacy. Coffee shops and public parks are excellent meeting places because the discussion probably wont get too heated in public, yet there is enough privacy to really have a good conversation.

The conversation should never get physically dangerous for either party.

Speak with your friend honestly, openly and objectively. Do not blame or get angry, and stick specifically with how you feel. Often, when someone really understands your feelings, he or she will be able to see more easily the part his or her actions played in the problem. Tell your friend succinctly what is bothering you. Also tell your friend how deeply you care about him or her and about your friendship, which is why resolution is so important to you. Mention that you are probably not blameless in the whole issue. It does take two parties, and there are two sides to most stories, so remain open to your friend's side.. Try to stay and talk until the issue is fully resolved and then change the subject to something light and fun, reminding you of why you value the friendship in the first place.

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Marci Blair has been writing, both creatively and professionally, since 1996. She is the founder and producing artistic director of The Arts Bureau for whom she has written plays, screenplays, and all promotional materials and newsletters. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York University with a major in theatre arts and a minor in journalism.

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