Our Two Sense: Friendship Struggles


I’m frustrated with a friend and don’t want to hurt their feelings but I feel smothered by them and don’t know what to do.


Dear Reader, 

Our biggest advice is this: reflect on your situation, then communicate your feelings to your friend. 

When going through a tough situation with a close and valued friend, it is important to fully understand your own thoughts before sharing them. 

Think about this: what specifically is the problem? Why do you feel it is a problem? What do you want them to know about how you are feeling? What do you want the outcome of your situation to be? 

If you know what you are looking for the result to be before you talk to them, you’ll have an easier time communicating and will only have to address the situation once, instead of being unsatisfied with your result. 

For your particular situation: do you want to stay close with them? Do you want to ask them for some space for a while? Make sure you know what you want before you talk to your friend. 

Next, communicate: communication is imperative for improving your relationships.

When you talk to your friend, be sure to be honest—but remember: they have feelings too. Be careful not to accuse them.

Instead of putting the blame on them with “you” statements, use “I feel” statements instead. We know this feels childish, but it is a genuinely effective strategy. Think about how you would feel if a close friend approached you in the same way—how would you want to hear what they are feeling?

Lastly: once you have expressed your feelings, make sure they have a chance to express their thoughts as well. A friendship goes both ways, so it’s important for both people to have input. 

Additionally, there might be a backstory to the situation that we don’t know. Maybe your friend is experiencing a struggle of their own—feeling excluded by other friends or needing support from a trusted peer. If you listen, then at the end of the conversation you will both have a better understanding of each other, leading to a more effective solution. 

Remember, your feelings are valid, but so are the feelings of others. You are not alone in your friendship struggles, and there are people here to support you. 

And that’s our two sense.

-Sophie and Astrid