Why being upfront to your friend is hard

One of the most important things in friendships is being upfront to your friend when the situation requires it. In this blog post, I will talk about times where you might need to be upfront and things that make this hard.

Being upfront helps with effective communication, and there are many instances where it is best to be upfront to your friend. For example, your friend might have done or said something which has upset you. Instead of letting it slide, you should be upfront on how you felt, so that your friend can be mindful for next time. Another example where it is best to be upfront is if you need to set certain boundaries with your friend.

There are a few reasons why being upfront to your friend can be hard, and I will talk about 2 reasons here.

You want to avoid confrontation

Confrontation can be stressful, and therefore people do their best to stay clear of it. In particular, when it comes to friendships, confrontation often results in difficult conversations with your friend. People worry that being upfront about certain things can come across as confrontational. As a result, they tend to avoid being upfront.

In my opinion, this is understandable. From my own experience, I worry about friends taking things the wrong way when I am upfront with them about something, which often leads to confrontation. This means that I sometimes second guess how I should communicate something to a friend, even if being upfront is the best option. However, it is important to remember that you can be upfront and come across as assertive rather than come across as confrontational. There is a subtle difference between coming across as confrontational and coming across as assertive. Sometimes you have to be assertive for the long-term benefit of the friendship.

You are worried that they won’t take it well

Sometimes, no matter how well you communicate something, the other person will take it badly. For example, you may be upfront about something a friend did that hurt your feelings, and then they get defensive about it. This can lead to a stressful discussion, and one you would rather want to avoid.

When it comes to how a person will take something that you are upfront about, there is unfortunately no one size fits all approach. There are different reasons why your friend may not take you being upfront well, all of which require different approaches:

  • You may come across as too harsh, and this can upset your friend. In this case, as much as you can try to word things such that you don’t come across as too harsh, you can’t control how the other person reacts to what you say. Therefore, you should make an effort with how you word what you want to be upfront about, but at the same time accept that you don’t have full control over how the other person reacts.
  • They struggle with RSD (Rejection sensitive dysphoria), which means that they can be sensitive to you being upfront on something. This stems from the fear of rejection. If RSD is something your friend has talked to you about, then you should be willing to adapt your communication so that when you need to be upfront about something, you do it in a nice and polite way.

When it comes to my friendships, one thing I do encourage is effective and honest communication. This means that my friends know that they can be upfront to me when needed. Furthermore, being on the autistic spectrum means that it is easier if people were upfront to me on things, rather than relying on me to pick subtle cues. I also find it more straightforward to be upfront on things rather than beating around the bush. However, every friend is different and every situation is different. Therefore, I have had to tailor the way I get my message across to suit the situation and individual.


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