How to Tell My Friend That I Don’t Like Her.

Hey Vulnerabites!

I have a sincere interest in human connection. I read about it, I talk about it and I write about it.

I want to explore my interest for human connection with this pilot project called “Mondays with Mac” for the month of August. You ask questions, I answer — only on Mondays. So send in your questions to thenakedwriterblog@gmail.com, Direct Message me on Instagram @yoursvulnerably, if you have my number, send me a text.

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How do I tell my friend that she is inconsiderate and selfish without causing an uproar?

Short answer: Tell her with love.

It’s commendable that you want to keep the friendship, considering your willingness to want to have the hard conversation and your desire not to hurt her, in your words cause an “uproar.” I applaud you Vulnerabite.

I do not believe that your friend is inconsiderate and selfish, otherwise you wouldn’t have deliberately chosen her as a part of your inner circle. And if you did indeed choose her knowing these things about her, you have to take some of the responsibility for the condition of your friendship.

Who your friend is and what she does are two distinct things.

My recommendation would be to start the conversation with some thing you admire about your friend, have an example to support it. I would then proceed by telling her that sometimes her actions do not align with the person you’ve grown to admire. Be prepared with a specific example(s) of what she’s done to illustrate her inconsiderate and selfish actions. Invite her to bring clarity to her actions and be open to the possibility that you may have misinterpreted her actions.

You do not want to attack your friend and tell her “You are a bad person.” If you say this, because she loves you and values your opinion of her, she may take on that identity and believe that she is unable to change, because it’s who she is.

If you tell her, “You are a good person, who has done some bad things.” You give her room to re-align her bad actions with the good person she is.

We do not know how your friend will receive this, but I believe that once your motive is rooted in love and not to “tell her off”, she will receive it well. If she doesn’t, well that’s a different discussion.

PS. I hope you and your friend can go for ice cream after this talk!

Let’s Connect on Instagram @YoursVulnerably

Vulnerabites! Your perspective has value. What do you think? … I’m here for the comments 🙂 

Yours Vulnerably,

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29 Comments Add yours

  1. Kaje Marie says:

    Mac – I’m curious about your thoughts on whether to have this conversation if you’ve already decided it’s a friendship you want to walk away from regardless of the outcome of the conversation. I can definitely see why it needs to happen if you want to preserve the friendship. But is it necessary to expend the energy if you don’t?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kelli honey — this is a good question. I think this might call for a greater discussion. This might very well be suited for a “Mondays with Mac” discussion 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This was a great post. I like how you said, we have to do things “rooted in love” which is hard to think about when someone has gotten on our last nerves and we’re ready to kick them to the curb. I also loved this “be open to the possibility that you may have misinterpreted her actions.” We all see things differently in our own eyes but when we’re able to talk it out and hear the other person’s side of things – it makes you see them in a different light and even evaluate yourself and how you perceive things not just with this relationship but life in general. I pray that their friendship is strengthened by the talk and that the friend that has to deliver the information is strengthened by your post, Mac =)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooo Roshonda honey! You make so many good points! Right — when someone is working our nerves, the last thing we want is to speak to them “in love.” lol… I agree. Which is a point I should have made — I don’t recommend addressing the situation when you/the person is upset — that won’t be good. There has to be an appointed time to discuss, so both people feel prepared. If you call someone out IN THE MIDST of their action, they will instantly feel attacked, they won’t hear you and just respond defensively.

      And yes! We see things with our own lenses… one of my favorite quotes is, “We don’t see life as it is, we see life as WE are.” — Once we understand that, we’ll be more willing to extend grace to the person knowing that we may have not received their actions as they intended it.

      All good points Roshonda! Thanks for joining the conversation and thank you for the prayer for the two friends! Always a pleasure to have you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Always glad to hear your points and your stories. I see you posted something else per IG, so I’ll be getting caught up shortly.

        Like

  3. driftyness says:

    This is a nice way to address a problem in a friendship without throwing the whole thing out. I know it can be a struggle to tell someone what’s bothering us when they’ve upset us. I think giving someone the room to change is really important. Not something I always think about, if I’m honest, but would like to try this the next time I have an issue I want to bring up with someone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Drifty!!! Glad to have you back little sis! Yes—- you said it so well, “I think giving someone the room to change is really important. ” —- I guess ‘by their fruits we shall know them’ can be why we tie who a person is to what they do, right? After all, how else do we know who they are. But even Christ gave the fig tree an opportunity to bear fruit differently than it had before. People CAN change, they have to be willing. We don’t know how this friend will respond to the conversation, but then that will determine what direction the friendship will go in.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I might have missed something, but how is the writer friends with someone they don’t like? I’m curious if there’s a part of the question that’s missing. On the other hand, I love my friends, but there are some things about them that I don’t love. I guess I would not have phrased the question like the writer did here.

    With that said, I think your approach is excellent. I would start with the positive things I like about a person and the not so great things. This is great advice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Yaa Yaa! Great question — It’s not the “person” they don’t like, it’s the “things they do” — hence my opening lines to making that distinction. It is also possible that the friendship could have evolved to a place where one person has changed in a way that the other doesn’t like and they are now trying to navigate that. Thanks for joining the conversation 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh! I saw your title and got confused.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I do try my best to make my titles “catchy” …lol

          Like

  5. Beutiflee says:

    This is a great topic. You’re right to define the distinction between what we do and who we are. This can also apply to intimate relationships. I know for me I struggle to either let someone go because they refuse to stop being selfish and inconsiderate or I tend to turn the, away because they don’t measure up to my expectations.
    I struggle to get through this type of talks, because I tend to just throw all blame on them, pointing out their sins, so to speak, as if I don’t have my my own. I do appreciate this post dearly. I have a lot to think through, but I want to be honest. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Beutiflee says:

      I also struggle because I struggle to say No, rejection isn’t easy. But I have to do it because I’m not here to appease people. Sometimes saying No, being honest is what they need to hear in order to grow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. MMmhhh … Yes, I do agree. We don’t usually want to hurt people who care about us, hence rejecting them. But I have to disagree that in some ways we ARE here to ‘appease’ people, seeing that relationships with others is how we show up in the world. However, I do not believe appeasing people should be above your own health and safety. But to some degree, to be in a relationship there indeed must be a level of appeasing the other person.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Beutiflee says:

          Yes there needs to be a balance. But when it embarks on your health, it’s a problem. Plus, I was going for more of making people a idol. Sometimes in intimate relationships we begin worshipping the person and losing our own identity.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. MMmhhh … Ok, for sure making someone or even “the relationship” an idol can prove to be detrimental for our well being.

            Yes — but even work or parenting or being with family can be a place where we lose our identity.

            I agree with you Tiff.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. Tiff! It can and will definitely apply to intimate relationships. Ooooo that “expectations” word is such a sensitive one. Let me ask one question about that — is the person aware of your ‘expectations?’ — Sometimes we think “you should already know that as my friend” — but people aren’t mind readers. Also, is it an unreasonable exception for them? — -This is a good discussion!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Beutiflee says:

        Yes it is. And you’re right, sometimes we aren’t being honest with others about our expectations. Sometimes we can make exceptions. Does can make for a great topic

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Indeed 🙂 I listened to a sermon by Dr.Matthew Stevenson on “The Power of Definition” — You might find it insightful! I loved it 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Beutiflee says:

            Ill check it out. Thanks!

            Liked by 1 person

  6. J says:

    I love the line about how the individual might have contributed to the selfish behavior of the friend. It is so hard to see the role we play in others’ behavior towards us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m not sure I mentioned that we can contribute to someone’s behaviors — I believe we do contribute to the condition of our relationships — either by not addressing issues, or addressing them and deciding to stay.

      I do also believe that we can also misinterpret someone’s actions and have to give them the opportunity to offer us clarity.

      I ultimately believe that we have to own our actions and be responsible for how we show up in the world.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Great advice! I love the distinction between what we do and who we are. Sometimes good people do bad things because after all, we’re human. Thank God for grace!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hey Leslie! Yes that’s a distinction I’m trying to practice even as I learn to forgive myself. It’s a really fine line that can make all the difference in how we treat ourselves and others. Yes, we’re all human and his grace is sufficient 🙂

      Like

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