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Relationship Realness: Friendships in Good Times and in Bad?

"The best kind of friendships are fierce lady friendships where you aggressively believe in each other, defend each other, and the other deserves the world."

In my coaching practice, I work with women from all areas of life and they experience the same thing when dealing with other women…how do I maintain a healthy relationship with a friend?

Just as Stephanie and Brandi in this season of Real Housewives of Dallas are experiencing friendship challenges, especially close ones, so are many of us. Often times we have problems in being honest and treating others with respect with those we say we love and care about.

During our coaching sessions, Stephanie truly asked, “what happened in our friendship?” She did feel she had been thrown away “like a piece of trash”, just as she shared in this week’s episode. Brandi was heard in the friendship discussion, yet was Stephanie? Sometimes there is unequal respect in a friendship or relationship and you have to ask yourself, “was I heard and did I listen to them?”

Just as you may have seen in the RHOD, there are two sides to every argument and even in most conversations. Finding the final version of “truth” may be not always be possible. To experience resolution, you will need to “hear” each other’s truth and respect the perspective of the other person. Being willing to actually listen and hear each other is the most powerful strategy in any argument.

As many of you have messaged, texted, and commented, involving others, just as Brandi did with LeeAnne, in your argument, is not recommended. It only leads to more input from others with their own challenges and even “baggage”. The only people that should be involved in your friendship (or in an argument) is the two of you. You both created the negative situation, so you must both be involved in the work to make the outcome better.

When I worked with Stephanie on how to view the challenge with Brandi, we shared the idea of looking at photos of the fun they had together, not to create more pain of loss but to see which the part of the friendship she may want to preserve and which part she may want to change. Digging deep and finding where the healthy pieces of the friendship was the goal. Stephanie shared with me her thoughts of these pictures and how their experiences brought her comfort and even pain.

It was important to Stephanie to resolve the disagreement and really determine how her actions hurt Brandi. So, we imagined her creating new pictures of their friendship which would not be the same as before, yet just as fun and would contain the best of their relationship. These “pictures” would carry her through and give her the possibility and opportunity of a new fresh start. Stephanie was ready!

What about you? Have you ever experienced challenges in a friendship? Share yours with me in an email and I will possibly feature it as a topic in my next blog!

Walking with you…

~ Lori

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