Ask Toi: How do you maintain a friendship after an argument?

Disagreements are a part of life.  No matter who you argue with it doesn’t have to end a relationship unless both parties want it to.

I love a great debate so when I’m in one especially with people I love and respect it’s important to try not to take things personal.  Having passion about what you want to say is how a good debate is had but you don’t have to hit below the belt to get your point across even with friends.

My suggestion is to take a break if you find that you’re crossing over to hurt someone’s feelings.  Taking a break doesn’t mean you didn’t make a good argument.  It simply means that you need to retreat in order to stay tactful.

Unless you’re on a debate team, then you don’t have to “win” in the first place.  Have some boundaries.  For me my kids are off limits.  It doesn’t matter it’s never okay to speak ill of someone’s children.  Now if you want to debate my parenting skills carry on.  We all do things different but never speak badly about kids.  Even if your boundaries aren’t kids have a boundary.  I always respectfully let someone know that they are crossing my boundary and give them the opportunity to correct it. 

You and your friend’s differences and similarities are what makes your friendships unique.  So instead of worrying about ending a friendship over an argument just focus on how to communicate your issues effectively.  If you and your friend have said something to one another you wish you hadn’t then be woman or man enough to do the right thing.  Apologize and make an effort not to do it again.  If you can’t grow with your friends, are they your real friends to begin with?

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