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I have a very dear friend, we've known each other for some years now and we are in the middle of a "quiet fight" (I'll explain later what I mean by quiet fight).

It is important to note that this person and I have come to conflicts before for similar reasons and we stopped communicating for a while because I didn't put up with her insults in front of mutual friends.

The reason of this fight:
Over the last few months I have devoted most of my time to a number of assigned projects from my university (apart from my courses), instead of communicating with her. The thing is that these projects are really important for me because they are crucial for my professional future, from filling a good CV to be able to show some practical experience, and even to get a job in a research lab at my university.

The problem:
I can understand that with all this fuss about my university's obligations she misses me and wants us to spend more time together and communicate, but she does everything she can to hurt my feelings and make me feel guilty for a lot of other things except this. She claims not to be mad with me when I try to confront her about this but her attitude shows something different (the quiet fight I was talking about).

When she tried to talk to me about it the first time, she told me that she understands if I have other friends with whom I am spending my time but whatever it is I am doing is not normal. When I heard that it didn't make sense to me and obviously she didn't believe me when I tried to say sorry and to explain that I am trying very hard to do some extra work for my degree at the university. Since then she stopped talking to me and when I tried to reach out she started lecturing me about how I spend my time and stated that if I don't enjoy my life right now I surely won't feel happy when I have a job and a family.

Whenever I proposed to go for a walk or a coffee she always was unavailable, coincidentally. Moreover we have a dear mutual friend with whom I haven't talked about this very much and I can see that he only wants to get back together and hang out but recently seems to have picked my friend's side in all of this without asking my point of view at all.

Again I understand that with me devoting most of my time working and studying is difficult to hang out this period and even be frustrated.

Question:
How can I explain that her attitude and lack of understanding is hurting me and sometimes even insults me without offending her about her feelings?

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It seems the main problem is a lack of listening.

A person can stop listening for diverse reasons:

  • She's imagining things from past bad experiences with other friends
  • She doesn't trust you anymore
  • The channels of communication are not optimal

You need to make a decent enough space in your tight agenda to patch things up if you want to keep this friend.

Set the narrative.

Tell her she's so important to you that you've been worrying sick about losing her friendship and give her a series of dates and times when you are available to get together and talk.

This will convey two things convincingly:

  1. You care
  2. You are bussy

Set the stage.

Arrange the meet in a private comfy place and be sure to place a big mirror at the wall she will be facing.

This will accomplish 3 things:

  1. You will both be free to talk sincerely
  2. If anyone gets emotional you are in a safe setting
  3. The mirror will make her self-aware and will deter inappropriate behavior.

Bond strengthening.

Don't make it all about resolving the conflict. Be sure to make time and prepare to do something cool that you both like sharing.

If the conversation turns into an argue, be very vigilant of the clock and make sure you don't miss the opportunity to do something nice together. If needed, you can say

Let's talk about it later, I want to enjoy or time together.

This is more important than making her "understand" you point and agree with your views. The whole process I described starting from the appointment scheduling was sort of a ritual, even if she doesn't say she understands, she will, because all the steps taken will set a new tone for your relationship. A tone under which you are in control of the time you devote to her.

Best of luck.

  • Thank you for your response and sorry for my delay! This is a really nice approach to the matter! Sometimes I get carried away too from my feelings and cant get over what's bugging me in order to move forward. Thank you again! :) – IncogniBit001 May 20 '18 at 16:41
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    Don't worry, believe I've been there... keep going kiddo, you'll do great! – J A May 21 '18 at 3:25

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