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As a woman who has lived through many passages and learned through my larger than life experiences (positive and negative), I’ve discovered how to take a big empowering bite out of life.

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DEALING WITH DIFFICULT FRIENDS: BEST TIPS AND TRICKS

honey good dealing with difficult friends

Follow my tips to deal with your difficult friends.

I have had a few experiences with difficult situations that arose between myself and a friend. I lost a very close friendship when I preferred silence over healthy discussion. To this day I miss this friend. She is the only friend through a silly confrontation that I miss. The other few losses were reliefs.

And, this is what you must decide. Do you walk away? Do you remain silent out of fear of your friends thoughts? Is a friendship worth the risk of the other person turning a deaf ear?

I have learned it is worth the risk. Taking the high road, by divulging your feelings, is the best course of action. Silence solve nothing.  It furthers the estrangement.

I had such an experience just recently. My close friend’s comments  toward me disappointed me. They were hurtful. This situation went  on for about a year.

Finally, I had the last straw. My reaction was to finally delete her from my life. I decided to sleep on it. I pondered and I asked myself did the good far outweigh the bad. In other words was a healthy and truthful discussion worth a risk.

I woke up feeling it was because we are very much in sync. We have so much in common, we are never bored, we laugh, we ponder openly over our problems, we respect one another advice and on and on.

The Moral of the Story

The end result was lovely. She was open and loving and apologized. She did not keep her feelings close to her chest. We both felt, ending our friendship would be a loss and sad for both of us.  We are going to talk further over a glass of wine.

Therefore, the moral of the story is: The risk of a negative rebuke from your close friend is worth its weight in gold. The truth may hurt but the end results leaves you with clarity.  And, hopefully a stronger bond.

In the course of our lives, we have many relationships, sometimes they are hard. For today’s musings, I would like to discuss how to deal with unbearable people, especially dealing with difficult friends.

All of my stories come from my personal experiences. Here’s one I want to share with you.

The Drama of a Difficult Friend

I was in line at Starbucks waiting to purchase my latte, and overheard two women loudly discussing what sounded like an unbearable friend.

They were aggravated and angry, and said they could no longer tolerate her behavior. These intolerant women were gossiping up a storm. It was two against one! The line was long so I overheard most of their story.

Keeping a Difficult Friend

Darlings, here are my feelings on the topic:  If my close friend is unbearable and I notice her problematic behavior is getting worse and it’s affecting me, I still can’t abandon her. She is my friend, and she is important.

I don’t abandon her, but I verbalize my unhappiness by telling her, as kindly as possible, that I can’t stand her actions. Of course, I offer her my help and suggest she get outside help if it is needed. Dear friends, I believe in Karma, “the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, is viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.”

In the right situation, I also believe in ‘delete.’

I am not adverse to moving on from a toxic person when it is necessary. If the unbearable friend is an acquaintance, I would delete her from my life and not put any energy into the relationship. Period.

Now, Back to the Line at Starbucks

The two women carried on and on. I knew by their conversation they had not communicated their feelings to their friend. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I assumed they did not know how to broach the subject and had little experience dealing with difficult friends.

As I walked home I thought about you, dear readers. I wondered if you may be involved in similar sticky situations with critical, overly boastful, selfish, or unkind friends. I don’t know how you define unbearable, but that is my definition.

So, what to do?

honey good in green garden

Healthy communication is important when dealing with difficult friends.

My 4-Step Plan for Dealing with Difficult Friends

Remember, “for every action there is a reaction.” Before you can react to her actions, and you are going to, you first have to try and figure out why your friend has become difficult or more unbearable than usual.

That means: Have a difficult conversation!

1. Make a personal phone call. Invite her to lunch.

Pick a comfortable setting like a cozy restaurant. This is serious time and should not be done over the phone or in an email. After all, your friend is in need.

2. Prepare yourself for the conversation.

Has something happened in her life? Does she need counseling? Have a few resources for her to investigate.  Perhaps she was always somewhat intolerable, and you were blindsided because she has so many great qualities. Have answers in your mind.

3. Don’t be a bad friend.

Be tolerant and kind, but also prepared to be met with anger.

4. Know that you are doing the right thing.

Dealing with difficult friends takes courage. If she rejects you, consider that this isn’t about you. Persist in being her friend and always take the high road.

Having healthy friendships begins with effective communication strategies. If you are dealing with difficult friends or family members, try what I suggested.  As I always said to my grandchildren when they were small…”try, try, try.”

 

Dear reader, what tools work best when you are dealing with a difficult friend? Share your wisdom in the comments!

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September 17, 2023

Relationships

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  1. Tracy says:

    I would add when they do have this conversation that one speaks while the other one listens. We don’t want her to feel like she is being double teamed.

    I do have one friend who can be difficult because she is very much a know it all but I am still her friend. I just deal with her in moderation. It works for both of us.

    Happy new year.

    Tracy

    • Honey Good says:

      You are so right. Each person should validate the other person’s feelings, too. It is called caring and friendship and consideration of another’s feelings. Happy New Year to you and yours. Warmly, Honey

  2. Wanda Rosa says:

    I really like your suggestion I think we need to give the opportunity to said what we think. When l was in this situation I just get time for her to change and way praying for her, then I went back , I find out the person had a lot of health issus that let her act different but I couldn’t understand on that time. I decided to take some time out then came back. Thank you for your suggestion I will try to do it .

    • Honey Good says:

      You are very welcome. Open communication in front of one another is key to a friendship. Warmly, Honey

  3. Dawn says:

    One of the issues currently affecting relationships is the divisive presidential election. I don’t want to get into a debate with those friends who are polar opposite than me politically. However, requesting that we keep the conversation in a political-free zone seems to fall on deaf ears for some of them.

    • Honey Good says:

      Politicians no longer care about Americans. They care about themselves. It is now party against party instead of each party caring about the welfare of Americans and America. Amen. They are good examples of ‘how not to be.’ Warmly, Honey

  4. Ellen McDermott says:

    I have a friend with the "perfect life"…you know. ..the best spouse….brilliant children. ..exceptional grandchildren. ..blah blah blah. I am tolerate until I get that second glass of wine down. ..and then I let loose.

    • Honey Good says:

      Well, obviously she respects and values your friendship, And, a friendship is a real friendship when you can state your feelings honestly, even though it takes two glasses of wine. Warmly, Honey

  5. Doris says:

    Very good advice ✅✅ this keeps your sanity in ✅✅ an allows people to grow????????????

  6. This is a good,common sense article.Very helpful to one who is just finding the resouces about this part.It will certainly help educate me.

  7. Derah says:

    Honey – this article came through as I googled the nagging question of whether I keep having a friendship with her. A 30+ friendship with this woman ((15 years older) than myself. She is 80 now. I lost my husband in 2014, then she lost hers in 2017. I call her and she talks non-stop about herself and every problem in her life – she has no boundaries and she has no respectful listening skills. She talks incessantly and talks over me constantly. We live 4 hrs apart so phone is the best way to stay in touch but seriously I am losing patience with her rude selfish communication or lack thereof skills. We used to share good times but I am concerned that now as she lives alone she has no self control (like her wonderful husband did) to reign herself in when she rants on & on. Her behaviour pushes me away even if I have told her that sometimes she just needs to listen & stop talking. I dont think she is even aware of herself. I am concerned that her behaviour seems out of the norm for someone like her that I have known so long.

    • Susan "Honey" Good says:

      I think you are correct to be concerned.She lost her husband in 2017 and as a widow myself when I was in my 40″s the mourning process can go on for a long time.If she has family and friends in her community that you know it might be a good idea to reach out to them. Also, listen to what topics she talks about the most, non-stop. You may get at hint on what is going on in her life. She needs you. Help her, if you can especially since this is not her normal behavior. Keep in touch with me. Warmly, Honey

  8. FREEshavacadoo says:

    Yeah i know, I have this friend who asks for rides ALL the time!!!!!!! he is so ungrateful when he gets in the car and he eats all my food. I CANT handle this ANYMORE!!!! and his SISTER! Dont get me started.

    • Susan "Honey" Good says:

      I have a word for these type of difficult friends: DELETE! If you love them deep down, have a conversation and set ‘YOUR” rules. Warmly, Honey

  9. Jonny Nrobo says:

    Often I feel like I am below the norm for a person my age. I persistently rely on an unreliable sister and am surprised when she is unable to get me places, so I am forced to take out my temper on whimpering freshman who are physically unable to defend themsleves.

    • Susan "Honey" Good says:

      You must learn to rely on your own decisions even when you make a mistake. This is how you learn more about yourself and your needs. Even a wrong decision is positive. Warmly, Honey

  10. Susan "Honey" Good says:

    I don’t quite know how to answer this. Warmly, Honey

  11. Maria says:

    Why do you take your Dog to Starbucks

    • Susan "Honey" Good says:

      I love spending time with my pooch, America and he with me. We meet up with other pooches and he loves the doggie Starbuck treat. Warmly, Honey

  12. Jareen says:

    Growing up in The Bahamas, I had a very difficult life, I lived in a home with my Mom, Step-Dad myhalf sister and my step-dad’s daughter, I knew my place and it was hell. I tried making friends but that in itself was also very difficult. At the age of 69 years old, I have come to learn to love myself, because nobody was ever going to love me, and if they said they did it was only to get something from me what they needed. I have no friends and I am fine with that what I am not fine with is anyone taking my kindness for granted like lying to me just to get what they need. I am a very outspoken person, and when I speak it’s from my heart which has the truth in it, and as you know evil people don’t like when you speak the truth. Who needs bad so called people in their lives, not me I am quite comfortable in the world alone, after all I have been alone all my life, and I learned to deal with it. Not knowing my biological father, not having the love of a Mother, in and out of the hospital with medical issues, and bringing two sons into the world who don’t even say Happy Birthday, or Happy Mother’s Day to me, I have learned to adapt.

    • Susan Good says:

      What do you do to find pleasure? I love my alone time, too. I have a world full of people and a world with myself. I am very content and happy being alone. But, to be completely alone seems difficult and lonely.Warmly, Honey

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