Friends and Fighting: Dos and Don’ts of Telling Others

Confession time: How many of us have spoken negatively about someone after a  fight? The answer is probably all of us. Most of us have probably had friends and family share in your frustration and anger toward this person. This sometimes leads to said friends and family having a low opinion of the person you are fighting with. While this may feel good in the moment (that is, having someone on your side), the truth is, it’s not always good in the long run.

There are several reasons for this, but I am only going to highlight the few I think are the most important.

1. The drama it causes! This one is pretty obvious, but one that we often don’t take into consideration.  If the person you are ranting to is also friends with this person, there is a chance that word can get back to them, therefore, causing more problems.   Even if you tell the person you are ranting to  not to say anything, there is no guarantee that this will happen. This leads to more fighting,  anger and problems, all of which could have been avoided had you kept your mouth shut.

2. It reflects badly on you as a person. Now,. I am in no way saying you shouldn’t have your moments to rant to your best friend when your boyfriend does something or  if you break up, but PLEASE be careful about what you say. If your friend hears you REALLY trashing someone, they are going to wonder if you will do the same to them. Yes, you can vent, but don’t be degrading or trash the person’s character. That is not okay.

3. Remember that there is a chance you and the person might become friends again. Trust me, it can happen. If and when this does happen, do you really want the things you said about this person weighing on your mind? (Code for: Do you want to feel guilty you trashed someone who is your friend again?) Yes, I’m sure they are aware you ranted about them, but if you trashed them an they know about it, there could be a strain on rebuilding the friendship.

Again, keep in mind that you are allowed to vent, but know there can be ramifications. If you REALLY need to say your piece (and it is not appropriate to share based on these points), write it down then throw it away. You get your feelings out and there is no way of anyone knowing about what you said.

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