Making and keeping friends requires good communication and some special skills. See the suggestions below for enhancing your friendships in 2015.
- Stop and cool off. As soon as someone is getting upset or feelings are getting hurt, take a break. Take a deep breath, and calm down.
- Set some talking rules. Agree to take turns as talkers and listeners to hear each other; no interrupting; no put-downs; tell the truth; and remain calm.
- Listen carefully. Hear your friend’s point of view.
- Use “I” messages. Say what you think and feel. Don’t say “You said this.” or “You did that.”
- Agree on what the problem is. Decide together what the problem is, if there is a problem or disagreement.
- Brainstorm alternatives. Find a solution that is fair to both of you.
- Agree to do it and move on. If there are any hurt feelings, forgive each other and move ahead.