We’ve all had them. Long term friendships, and not so long term ones, that are going along great and then suddenly….BAM!…something happens and that friendship changes and is never the same again. Or maybe something has been brewing over time and the day has come that the relationship is forced to adjust. This stands for not only friendships, but any relationship. Every person we are in relations with exists within a multitude of delicate frequencies based on personalities, preferences and perspective. Navigating the emotional tides and storms of two independent, yet interconnected, people can be equal parts thrilling and daunting. Sometimes we know we really do like or love someone, but we don’t like or love their behavior or choices all the time. If their behavior is not a deal breaker to the friendship and we choose to have them in our lives (as opposed to cutting ties and walking away), then the next step is to work through the challenging energy of change within the dynamic of our relationship.
When our friendship goes from being one thing to never being the same again, it has changed. This very word, change, means to be altered and made different, transformed; to have a different position or course, or to be replaced with something else.
Sometimes the shifts are for our growth and are not necessarily, what we might think, for the better. Our friendships transform and are never the same after many different kinds experiences. Perhaps we had an argument, maybe we don’t feel comfortable with their choices and activities, or it could be from a move, marriage, baby, or any other big life change. We no longer have what seemed to be working for us both; a wrench was thrown in the works.
Working through friendships that are morphing is not for the faint hearted. It takes sweat, blood, and tears sometimes to process through a difficult phase in a friendship. Coming through the other side with our friendship still intact is a fine feeling indeed. THAT is when the friendship will never be the same, and why would we want it to be? We have grown. We have worked together. We expanded our consciousness and learned things about ourselves and the world around us. We stretched, and chances are that our friendship is so much stronger and better because of it.
In the midst of the winds of change in our friendships it is helpful if we do a few things consistently. (Yes, we have now reached the bullet-point section of the article, so take note!)
~ Set aside time to talk face to face or on the phone when both of us are calm.
Adrenaline makes us stupid. It really does, go Google it. It puts into fight or flight mode and makes communication emotionally charged and warped because of it. Setting a time to talk allows us to have time to think about what we want to communicate and gives us a chance to work on expressing ourselves as authentically as possible. It also creates less miscommunication because the human touch is involved through voice and/or facial expressions. Sending emails, texts and messages via computer or phone is cause of a ridiculous amount of miscommunication and drama that I’ve noticed. Not to mention, when we are in a highly agitated emotional state, we read the words of text through the eyes of our anger, pain and fear. We easily skew things based on our mood as we are reading. Don’t believe me? The next couple times you read an email or a text and you are angry, go back later and read it when you are calm. I’ve caught myself missing words and phrases entirely because one little thing triggered my anger and adrenaline.
~ State the facts of how we feel without bringing a lot of emotion into it.
This can be a hard one for many of us. We really can speak of our anger without reacting from it. If we have agreed to come together and work towards resolution, then we must give ourselves a chance to each state our position, our feelings, and our ideas for how to resolve any issues between us.
~ Take accountability for our individual participation.
This means knowing and admitting where we each fell short, regardless of whose “fault” we think it is. This also means being accountable for how we will show up in the future or during this time of change and challenge.
~ Acts of kindness
This might seem an unnecessary thing in terms of communication and conflict resolution between friends, but it seals the deal with an element of gratitude and love. Paying it forward, doing something for another, and being in service are all a balm to a tender healing friendship.
I’ve watched many relationships suffer because one or both parties will not focus on resolution or how to get past a difficult time; I have sometimes been this person. I have lost friends that don’t choose IN to being in relationship with me, or those that don’t choose it in a healthy way, or those that don’t agree with my personal boundaries. I’ve watched emotions come into play to a degree that reason and logic are lost, and all parties continue to act on emotion over, and over again into a downward spiral. But I’ve also invested the time and energy to communicate, to learn, and to connect to those I’ve experienced discord with. The relationships that have healed with work on both sides are some of the most beautiful I enjoy being part of.
Try using these techniques in any of your difficult relationships and chances are you may see some energy shifts that can bring about healing and constructive communication between you. Or, if you feel comfortable, communicate clearly to your person in question that this relationship is important to you and you would like to work together in finding solutions, and creating something that is amicable for you both.
May your interactions be filled with heart space energy.