It can be really hard to confront a friend who has caused upset, hurt feelings or exclusion. It’s common to worry that talking to a friend about this will make them mad. The idea of a friend being angry is scary, but it’s really important to talk it out when things are feeling crummy. There are a few reasons for that:
Expressing feelings makes them feel smaller, not bigger. The more we name them the less space they take up in our minds.
Sometimes friends don’t know they have done something upsetting, and they would want to know. Don’t assume friends can read minds!
- A friend who really loves you will want a chance to make things better if they have hurt your feelings.
Each time we bring up something that feels hard, we get better at talking about hard things. Having difficult conversations is an important skill in life and it’s actually great to get stronger at it!
Here are some suggestions for starting a conversation with a friend who has hurt your feelings. (Having these conversations in person or on the phone or FT is ideal, but we know sometimes text is easier, so you do you).
- “I’m not sure if you knew this, but I was feeling…”
- “I’m sure you didn’t mean to, but when you sent me that photo it made me feel…”
- “I know I didn’t mention it at the time, but when we were on House Party…”
- “This is hard for me to say, but because I feel so close to you I wanted you to know…”