How Do I Tell My Best Friend That the Guy She Likes Is Not Good for Her?

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It's not easy to watch a friend make an unwise relationship decision. Some people value the fact that a friend brings concerns to their attention, while others may find this intrusive. Although you may feel compelled to say something to your friend about her love interest, proceed cautiously, because ultimately your friend will make her own choices in life - and will have to learn the lessons that come with making those choices.

Check Your Motives

Before you approach your friend about your disapproval of her new love interest you may want to ask yourself what you dislike about him. Ask questions such as "Why do I think he's not a good choice for her?" or "How much do I really know about him?" If you think your friend can do better than this guy, it may be a good idea to keep that opinion to yourself for now, because expressing it could make her feel bad about her sense of judgment.

Express, Don't Advise

Your friend is able to make her own choices, so it's best to state your opinion without telling her what you think she should do. In friendships, healthy communication involves the expression of thoughts and feelings with honesty and consideration of others, so it's okay for you to express your concerns. Just don't expect her to respond a certain way. Also, remain calm while stating your case so that the discussion stays cordial between you and your friend.

Listen to Her Side of the Story

Another component of healthy communication, according research compiled by scholars at the University of Toledo, is active listening. If your friend engages you in a conversation about the guy she likes, listen to her attentively and be clear that you understand her perspective. Try not to listen with the intent of responding to everything that she has to say. You might think that her crush is a hopeless loser, but there may be more to him than meets the eye.

Unconditional Positive Regard

"Unconditional positive regard" is a term used in mental health circles, but it is applicable in other arenas, including friendships. Stephen Joseph, professor at the University of Nottingham, UK, notes in Psychology Today that unconditional positive regard means that you maintain respect for another person even if she does something with which you disagree. If you state your case and your friend still chooses to pursue this guy, then it's best to respect her decision and support her no matter what.