Tension in Friendships

Irritation. Annoyance. We’ve all been there. Generally, these things work itself out over time, but what happens when tension lingers longer than necessary, and it becomes tension… shade?

Now this is NOT a post about toxic relationships. My advice if you’re in a toxic relationship? Stop reading my blog, go end the relationship and then come back (and read some more). I was asked about this by Antoinette of Lola Says Love the other day and it got me thinking about my own experiences with tension in friendships. I’ve had really good experiences where, luckily, we both got over it and have remained close friends (hey Kea!); & I’ve had a horrible experience where our journey together needed to end and I continued life without them. Coming from both experiences, there are a lot things that went right, things that went wrong, and things that got ugly. In both situations, I’m glad things played out the way they did, however, in hindsight, there are a lot things that could have went better. Below are my thoughts on what I feel is best in these kind of situations.

1. Assess

Before you do ANYTHING, assess what the real issue is, and before you start assessing the issues about your friend, for the love of Chipotle, start with yourself. I firmly believe that we do not have the power to change anyone but ourselves so I highly suggest doing a self-inventory first.

I often find that shade is two sided. In a genuine friendship, no one just throws shade for fun, so the reason for the shade might be something you did and you didn’t even realize it. Before you hit send on another subtweet, snapchat video or Facebook post, make sure you have absolutely no fault in the situation, and if you’ve been friends with this person for a while, it might take you a couple of days to do this. If you find fault, (wo)man up, apologize and be about your day.

2. Speak UP

If you’re feeling slighted (read: shaded), you’ve assessed yourself and still don’t understand what the issue is, open your mouth and speak. Yes, it will be awkward; yes, you will probably hear some things you don’t want to hear, but someone has to open the door of communication. There could be a chance that your friend doesn’t even realize that their change in action is being perceived by you as shade. I love the idea that “feelings are NOT fact”, meaning how you FEEL about the situation may not be what is actually happening. You feel like they’re throwing shade, and they’re just having a bad day. You feel like a subpost is directed at you and they were talking about something their aunt who lives in Kansas did 3 years ago. You’ll never know until you ask, and if this is a genuine friend, they’ll let you know what’s up.

With this piece of advice, I send out a cautionary note: everyone communicates differently. For this to truly work, you need to communicate with what works best for them, not you.

3. Let it Go (let it goooooo)

You’ve assessed, apologize, and talked it out, now it’s time to let it go. If you and your friend are back on good terms, let the past be in the past and don’t harbor on the situation. You have a clean slate with this friend so cherish it . If you and your friend are NOT back on good terms, then it might be time to let the friendship go. I’m not saying you need to cut them off by any means, but maybe distance could help rather than hurt. The beauty of life is that we have the power to change our mind and that includes everything from lifestyles to friendships, and you’re allowed to choose as much as you want.

Life is sweeter when you have someone in your corner and good friends are hard to find, so I hope this post has helped someone who may be going through some tension or shade. If I missed anything, keep the conversation going in the comments below! Thanks and happy friending!

Related link that I love : How to Get Through A Friendship Crisis