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Mr Eko March 16th, 2018 06:20 AM

Close friendship threatened by difference of opinions
I am so depressed. I have a very close friend who I love dearly and would do anything for. Someone who rescued me during a bleak time in my life. Her and I are so in sync, we can literally finish one another's sentences. However, something has happened recently that is threatening the very existence of our friendship. And the part that sickens me the most is, it is over a minor disagreement. The issue has been worked out. Well, for now anyway. Now, on a side note, this person and I have not known each other for very long at all. I would say 6 months, if even that. But, we have always clicked.

So, the other day, I make a statement that was not bad at all but seemed to touch a nerve with her and made her completely misread what I was even saying. She got really bent out of shape. In fact, she even put words in my mouth, which in turn made me angry at her. So, we take a little break from each other. Later, she contacts me and says that she feels bad that we got into an argument and there are not many people left in her life who she is close to and that she would be lost without me. I told her that I agreed and I did not want to lose her either. I have lost friends before over really dumb things, and it is not something that I ever want to happen again. Life is WAY too short. So, I ask her how we go about fixing what happened, because that still needed to be addressed.

She answered the question with a question and asked what I thought. I said that we needed to be mature adults about it and simply agree to disagree. And if the subject that set everything off ever comes up again, then maybe it's best if we step around it. She nodded in agreement. We hugged and even cried a little. I hate when fights happen and they make me emotional. Anyway, she then says, that I would do well to change my opinion on that particular matter. I'm sorry, but WHAT?? Change my opinion?? Really now?? At that point, I looked in her eyes and was rather perplexed by what she had just said. She looked away and said "well, you should change your opinion to be more in line with mine, but I can't make you, so I want push the issue. But, don't you worry, because no matter what, I could never hate you. What we have is way too important to me".

I am not changing my opinion for her. Nor would I expect someone to change their opinion for me. We can avoid that particular subject, so as to avoid another problem. However, I don't see this friendship lasting because if I am not allowed to have an opinion on that subject, what else I am not allowed to have opinions on? What happens the next time I am on the opposite side of her on an issue? I mean, is it not downright unrealistic to expect that there is someone out there with whom you will agree on everything? Even the absolute closest of friends disagree on things. Right? And let's just say for the heck of it that I comply with her and change my opinion just for her. Does she not realize that I would be doing it under protest, and that would only make me resent her? I don't get it.

I hope that I am wrong. I hope that we will not have anymore problems like that one. We patched that up and things are fine now, but, how long will they stay that way? What happens the next time I rub her the wrong way by having an opinion that does not line up with hers? I mean, I suppose if push came to shove, we could just make a list of subjects we need to avoid. At any rate, I want to do everything I can to keep her as a friend, but at the same time, I do not want to have to kowtow to her, just as she should not have to kowtow to me. But, she does not seem to like the whole agree to disagree idea. Which to me, is the adult thing to do. So, should I just cut my losses now? Or, should I wait and see what happens later on? I have lost friends before, and going through it just killed me. I don't want to ever relive that. But, should I really keep someone who won't let me have opinions?

LucyVanPelt March 16th, 2018 10:12 AM

Re: Close friendship threatened by difference of opinions
Relationships are not defined by the presence of conflict; they are defined by how conflict is resolved. You are right that there are times when agreeing to disagree is the best solution to a disagreement, and adults should be able to live with that.

But your friend seems to think that you both must have the same opinion. Did your friend enter into a healthy discussion, where she offered FACTS and REASON to change your opinion? This is a healthy way to resolve a conflict. If her explanation is logical, she may convince you to change your opinion. Or, after consideration, you may add other data to support your opinion. At the end, one of you changes your mind, or you agree to disagree and move on-- assuming that this issue isn't really important to the success of your relationship and is a deal breaker. An example of a deal breaker: if one person insists on monogamy as a lifestyle and the other polygamy, and neither convinces the other, the relationship probably won't work out.

If your friend's argument is more along the lines of "I feel this way about this subject, so you should, too." That raises a red flag. It's a warning of enmeshment and poor personal boundaries. That isn't a healthy lifestyle for anyone, and you are very wise in questioning how long until the next disagreement, and how much of yourself you'll have to lose in order to be in relationship with her.

Mr Eko March 16th, 2018 01:10 PM

Re: Close friendship threatened by difference of opinions
Thank you, LucyVanPelt. I am seeing things a bit clearer. It saddens me because I love this person very much. But, it sure seems like she is more of the "Either feel the way I feel on this subject, or be gone" variety. Which is odd because she tells me that she would be lost without me. So, I would think that she would really want to take the course of least regret and agree to disagree. It's confusing. Honestly, I don't think that she even knows what she feels. I saw a post of hers on Facebook where she was actually contradicting everything that she told me in that argument. I was scratching my head.

LucyVanPelt March 16th, 2018 05:20 PM

Re: Close friendship threatened by difference of opinions

Originally Posted by Mr Eko (Post 85829)
Which is odd because she tells me that she would be lost without me.

She may very well be lost without you, but not the REAL you. She'll be lost without the mirror you provide, reflecting back her own reflection.

If you can't be yourself with your friend, it's not you who has to change. ;)

aboundingjoy March 22nd, 2018 06:08 PM

Re: Close friendship threatened by difference of opinions
I think it's a sign of maturing friendship when you begin to see differences in opinions and values. It's not a bad thing, it's just a matter of learning to overcome those differences. You have to choose your battles carefully and I think you will agree that a lot times, those differences are not worth losing a valuable friend over.
You can't change your friend's opinion that friends can't have different opinions. I think you just have to show her though your understanding and patience that you can have different opinions and still be friends. Don't worry about losing her in the future. Just be yourself and enjoy her friendship today. Don't dwell on your differences, but find the many things you share in common. An argument doesn't have to mean the end of your relationship. It doesn't mean you have to give up being yourself. It can be an opportunity for both of you to see things from a different perspective, to forgive, to be patient and loving. If she chooses to end the friendship, it will be her loss, but I would encourage you to hang in there! Who knows? Through you, she may learn that two people can have different opinions yet be very good friends!

Positive 2018 April 10th, 2018 08:57 AM

Re: Close friendship threatened by difference of opinions
I had really old friend who met at 16 over 40 years ago she ended our friendship this year, long story butnits left me in shock.
I am lucky have some very good friends but I never wanted to lose our friendship.
We had problems over years but always resolved them.
This started over trivia really but we were tactless enough to mention were unwell after dinner at hers,
I realised had messed up and took her some roses, it didn't go well.

Shenwas godmother to mynestrsnged daughter, who cut them out also,

Life can be very complicated!
I have sent conciliatory texts written and sent her nice birthday card to no avail.

Sorry new here didn't mean to himacks someone thread,

JemStar April 11th, 2018 07:09 AM

Re: Close friendship threatened by difference of opinions
How difficult do friendships have to be? marriages? Family relationships?

It is always a struggle - almost to just keep breathing around people you trust and feel you know inside and out - until your heart is broken and you wonder why would they do that? Hurt your feelings, say mean things, accuse, etc etc etc.

Or WORSE! Why did I let it go on for so long?

Hugs to all those in pain from "close" relationships that turned bad.

Better days ahead!

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