How Coaching Can Help Solve a Feud with a Friend
You’re in a fight with a friend. Perhaps it’s your best friend: the person you thought you could always talk to, no matter what. Now that you two are at odds, you don’t know who to turn to. Where do you go when your source of emotional support has become the source of your emotional distress?
Journaling is never a bad option. Putting your most difficult thoughts and feelings in a diary is a great way to rid yourself of the worst emotions that linger after a friend-fight. At the same time, however, a journal isn’t a person. You can talk about how exasperated, angry, frustrated or betrayed you feel, but the journal isn’t going to actually respond…
…or is it?
What do you mean, a journal that talks back?
Welcome to The Journal That Talks Back: a journaling service where entries are read by qualified responders who then reply, asking you critical questions and helping you rethink the issues you’re currently facing.
This isn’t exactly a “venting” journal, where you let all of your frustrations out and get nothing in return. Instead, this journal will challenge what you know about your current situation, pushing you to look at the barriers that stand between you and your friend. You’ll then work together with your journal responder to reorient your disposition so that you can decide what’s right for you moving forward.
How might a journal like this apply to the fight you’re currently facing with your friend? To answer that, let’s look at an argument between two friends: Theresa and Jess.
Theresa and Jess were best friends. They’ve been through thick and thin together, supporting each other at every turn since late childhood. Now, as young adults, the two are on slightly different paths. Theresa is excelling at work, whereas Jess is struggling to make ends meet. Admittedly jealous that Theresa is thriving, Jess breaks down one night, and tells Theresa to stop “gloating” about her wonderful career in front of her. Theresa is offended that Jess can’t be happy about her success, sparking a bitter fight that lasts hours. In the height of their argument Jess leaves, and now Theresa hasn’t spoken with her in weeks.
This is a pretty standard issue “friend fight.” Unfortunately, both parties in the fight usually turn to each other when they’re having problems with others, and now that they are the problem, neither one knows how to solve the issue at hand.
To mend things, Jess turns to her journaling service, tapping into a qualified responder to talk through her issues. Her responder listens to her situation, thinks on it, and replies within a few hours. What Jess learns is not simply what she wants to hear, but what she needs to hear to fix her relationship with her friend.
So: what did she hear?
Her responder asked a series of thought-provoking questions, including: do you still want to be friends with Theresa after this? In other words, is this a friendship-ending fight? Immediately, Jess answered that it was not, and that she wanted to heal her relationship with Theresa. With a clear goal in place, Jess and her responder worked to analyze the fight that was had, and how to overcome the barriers that led to that fight in the first place.
In the end Jess was able to rely on the direction and support of her responder to approach Theresa about their fight. Theresa agreed that theirs was a relationship worth continuing, and although it has taken work and effort to heal their relationship, they are once again friends.
Not your best friend, but the friend you need
A qualified responder is different than a friend in many ways. Instead of simply encouraging you or empathizing with your situation — both of which are important, but not always in situations where a true solution is needed — a responder will ask critical questions, such as whether mending the relationship between you and your friend is worth it or not and whether or not you are prepared to invest the effort to fix the fracture.
Responders will ask the right questions, as well as provide support each and every day. That’s the beauty of The Journal That Talks Back: unlike therapy, which isn’t always the best fit for one-time friend fights or other problems, it’s there as much or as little as you need it.
If you’re in a feud with a friend right now, consider writing up a journal. Whether you share it or not is up to you, but take it from us: it never hurts to talk with someone who knows how to ask the right questions.