“Losing an argument is better than losing a friend”  -Unknown

COVID-19 has had a major impact on relationships and the pandemic has caused some friends to change how they stay connected. My friends and I had a rough patch in our friendship before we started back to school. Part of this was due to the fact that I didn’t have a phone to communicate with them, but the other part was probably because we were feeling disconnected. We are stuck in our houses and our smiles are covered by masks. During the pandemic, it can be hard to define the communication problems you are having. 

I tried to communicate by reaching my friends through email. When they didn’t reply or we felt frustrated with each other, I used some tips from the list below to help me understand my friend’s point of view so we could solve the problem.

Although these suggestions ideas may not work for everyone, find the tips that work for you! Here’s what I’ve tried:

  • Keep an open mind. Look at it from their point of view.
  • Do not tell your friend that they are wrong; instead use “I” statements.
  • Remain calm. 
  • Ask your friend what you might have done to upset them. Remember to be kind.
  • Let your friend speak, do not interrupt or judge them in any way. They are telling you what they’re feeling and want to be heard.
  • Keep your conversation on the current problem.
  • Think of a solution or a compromise together and make sure it’s not one-sided.
  • Agree on a solution or compromise and talk about what you can do better in the future.
  • AIR HUG!!!! 

Sometimes these steps will work, and sometimes you still might have tension. That’s okay – it’s normal for friendships to go through changes and challenges.

Remember that having a conflict with your friend does not mean that you will not be friends again. It shows that you’re human and in order for a friendship to survive, you might have a couple of conflicts. 

Even though COVID-19 has changed friendship in some ways, we can still do our part to communicate and stay connected.