Miscommunication between friends can be painful, lead to feelings of isolation, and cause anger or hurt.
If you have ever wondered if you have caused a misunderstanding or if you are the one who’s in the wrong, know that misunderstandings with your friends are normal.
Almost everyone experiences misunderstandings to some degree. But remember that misunderstandings are not always avoidable: sometimes a misunderstanding is due to the other person’s behavior or communication style.
In this post, we take a look at some of the most common causes of miscommunication between friends. Stay tuned!
1. If You or Your Friend Does Not Get the Other Person’s Joke
We are all different people from different backgrounds, and of course, we have jokes that reflect those differences. Unfortunately, humor can also be a source of miscommunication and misunderstanding.
At first glance, it may seem ridiculous that a joke could cause problems between two friends, but if you look at the most common moments when jokes cause tension or ruin friendships – like being sardonic when someone makes a simple mistake, or not understanding the joke when everyone else does – you’ll realize how important it is to anticipate your friend’s reaction before you crack a joke.
If you follow these guidelines for giving and receiving humor, you’ll find that teasing becomes more enjoyable and productive, bringing out the best in both parties:
- Predict your friend’s reaction before you tell a joke
- If your friend does not get the punch line of your joke, do not take it personally
- If your friend is annoyed by an innocent remark or a little teasing that was intended as harmless fun, try to figure out what his real problem is
2. If You or Your Friend Have Had a Major Change in Life Circumstances
Big life changes, like graduating from school or moving to a new city, can cause you to lose touch with your friends. If you are the one making the change:
- Keep your friends and family updated on your life by posting important events on social media. This way, they can stay connected with you and follow along with what you are doing!
- Do not take it personally if they do not respond to your posts or messages right away. They may be busy sorting out their own lives and figuring out how often they want to communicate with you.
- When they do get back to you, reciprocate by asking them how they are doing! This will help them feel supported and show that you care about their lives, too.
If one of your friends is making a big change in their life:
- A lot of communication is nonverbal – the tone of voice, body language, etc. – and when communicating via text, there are so many ways that things can get lost in translation. The best thing you can do is give people the benefit of the doubt! Just because something seems harsh or rude does not mean it was meant to be.
- The best way to avoid miscommunication is to talk in person whenever possible. But if that’s not possible, try to arrange video calls so that both parties have visual cues as well as verbal ones!
3. If You or Your Friend Make Assumptions About the Other Person’s Feelings
Assumptions are one of the most common causes of communication breakdown between friends. This is because assumptions are easy to make and easy to believe. We all have many assumptions about each other’s feelings and motivations, especially when we are close to someone.
The problem with assumptions in general, however, is that they can be wrong, whether you make them about yourself or other people. The problem with assumptions about your friends is that you base your decisions on those assumptions, which can lead to communication problems down the road.
The good news is that once we understand how common this kind of miscommunication is among friends (and romantic partners!), we can learn how to talk to each other more effectively – making our relationships much healthier!
4. If You Think About Your Friendship Differently Than Your Friend Does
We all have our definitions of what makes a good friend. Sometimes you can be friends with someone and still have different expectations of the friendship (or not have the same level of commitment).
You are allowed to have these feelings, but you also need to be able to address them, because otherwise things can not get better and your friend can not understand how you feel.
Also, friendships are a two-way street in which you both have to be considerate of each other’s time and emotions – you can not expect the other person to always care more than you do. This is where an open and honest conversation is very helpful! If someone does not meet your expectations of a friend, you should let them know.
5. If Your Friend Gets Angry With You for Doing Something That Seemed Innocent to You
If your friend is angry at you for something that seemed innocent, it can be difficult to know how to respond. You may feel that you did nothing wrong, and yet your friend is angry with you. It is important to try to understand why your friend is angry and then address the problem directly.
If you can communicate openly, it will help resolve the problem. Otherwise, you may end up with a lingering resentment that may damage your friendship.
6. If Your Friend Thinks That They Always Have to Be There for You, but You Don’t Need That Much Support
It can be hard when you have a friend who seems to always need support, but it’s important to remember that we all have different thresholds for how much support we need. Just because your friend feels like they need to be there for you 24/7 does not mean you need that much support.
It’s perfectly fine to tell your friend that you need some space or that you’d rather handle things on your own. It’s important to be open with your friends about your needs so that everyone is on the same page.
Remember, just because someone is willing to support you does not mean they can support you to the extent that you need it. It’s okay to ask for help when you need it, but do not think you have to accept help from everyone who offers it. Sometimes it’s better to take matters into your own hands.
7. If Your Friend Does Not Give You Enough Credit for Something You Have Done
It can be frustrating when you feel like you are not getting enough credit for something you have done. Whether it’s a project you worked on together or something you did for your friend, it’s natural to want recognition for your efforts. If you find yourself in this situation, there are a few things you can do.
First, try to communicate your feelings to your friend calmly and respectfully. Possibly, they didn’t realize how important the recognition was to you.
If your friend still does not seem to understand your perspective, you may want to talk to a mutual friend or even a counselor about the situation. Remember that it is okay to advocate for yourself, but try to do so constructively and respectfully.
8. If You Feel That Their Behavior Towards You Has Changed, but They Don’t Agree
You and your friend have been close friends for years. You have always had a great time together, but lately, something feels different. Your friend seems distant and preoccupied. They’re less interested in spending time with you and he seems to be keeping secrets. When you confront them about it, they deny that anything has changed. They insist that they are just as close to you as ever.
But you can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong. If your friend’s behavior toward you has changed, there are a few possible explanations. Maybe they are going through a hard time and feel like they can’t confide in you. Or they may be pulled in other directions by other friends or commitments.
It’s also possible that they just need some space. Whatever the reason, it’s important to talk to your friend about how you are feeling. Only by communicating openly can you maintain a strong friendship.
9. If You Need Them to Listen, but They Want to Talk About Their Problems Instead
A good friend will listen to your problems. However, if a friend is always trying to steer the conversation to his or her problems, it may appear that he or she is not interested in you or what you have to say.
A self-centered friend may not see this as problematic behavior. Therefore, sometimes it’s best to be specific about why this is a problem for you – and then put your foot down if things don’t change.
10. If You Don’t Feel Supported When They Don’t Acknowledge How Hard It Is for You to Do Something
It’s always a good idea to support your friends when they are in need, but it can be really hard when you feel like you are not being supported. When you are facing a challenge, it’s only natural to want to cry on the shoulder of those closest to you, or at least find some words of encouragement.
But sometimes friends can inadvertently make you feel worse by not acknowledging how hard it is for you to do something.
If this has happened to you, it’s important to remember that it’s nothing personal; they may simply be unaware of the impact their words are having on you. Instead of getting angry, try to have a conversation about why their support is important to you. By being honest and open about your needs, you can help them understand how they can best be there for you.
11. If You Don’t Say What You Really Mean
We all know that moment when we are talking to a friend and we suddenly realize we are not saying what we really mean. Maybe we are afraid of hurting their feelings, or maybe we are just not ready to reveal our true thoughts and feelings. Either way, it can be a difficult situation to navigate.
The best thing you can do in these situations is, to be honest with your friend. Explain to him/her that you are having a hard time expressing yourself and ask him/her to be patient.
Chances are they’ll be more than happy to give you the time and space you need to figure out what you want to say. In the meantime, try to be as honest as possible. Do not give them false hope or lead them around by the nose.
Be genuine in your affection and support, even if you can’t tell them everything that’s going on in your head. After all, friends are supposed to help us through our tough times – not make them worse.
12. If You and Your Friend Have Plans to Hang Out, but They Bail at the Last Minute
It can be frustrating when your friends bail on you at the last minute. You have been looking forward to doing something with them all week, and then they suddenly cancel. But there are some things you can do to improve the situation.
First, try not to take it personally. Maybe the person had a good reason for canceling, such as an emergency or something that came up unexpectedly.
Second, do not be afraid to reach out to other friends. Just because your original plans fell through does not mean you can’t still enjoy yourself.
Third, take the opportunity to do something you enjoy yourself. Sometimes it’s nice to spend some time alone, and this is the perfect opportunity to do so.
Finally, remember that this is not the end of the world. You will have other opportunities to hang out with your friends, and this will not ruin your relationship with them.
13. If You Misinterpret Nonverbal Cues When Communicating in Person or on the Phone
If you interpret nonverbal communication differently than the sender meant it, an unfortunate misunderstanding is bound to happen. It is important to be aware of your nonverbal communication, including your body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, and eye contact. It’s also important to know that others may interpret these aspects of communication differently than you intend.
For example, if you are talking to a friend via text message or instant messaging and are in a hurry due to prior commitments, you may use abbreviations, write everything in all caps, or use slang without thinking about it. Although you may only mean “I am in a hurry, I have to be somewhere else soon” with these methods of communication, your friend may misinterpret this as you being angry with her or upset about something she said.
It’s helpful for everyone involved to communicate face-to-face or on the phone because you can see the other person’s reactions and hear the tone of their voice when you make statements or ask questions.
14. If Your Friend Said He/She Will Call You Back, but They Never Called
When a friend tells you they will call you back but never does, it can be hurtful. They may say this type of thing frequently, or maybe it only happens once in a while. In either case, it’s important to communicate how you feel and let your friend know that this makes you feel disrespected and like they don’t care about you. You want them to call you back because that means they care about what is going on in your life.
The next time your friend says they are going to call you back but doesn’t follow through on their promise, simply tell them the following:
“I was really looking forward to talking to you more today. I did not feel taken care of when I didn’t hear from you.”
15. If You Don’t Use the Right Tone of Voice or Facial Expression to Match Your Words
You are talking to a friend about their cake recipe. You want your friend to feel good about their cake recipe, so you say, “Your cake is delicious!” If you do not speak in an enthusiastic tone (as you would if you meant the cake is delicious) or if you do not smile when you say it, your friend will not know that you like the cake.
The words mean one thing, but the tone of voice and facial expression means something else. A wrong tone of voice can lead to misunderstanding and miscommunication.
Use facial expressions and tone of voice that match what you want to communicate to the person you are talking to.
16. If You Talk About a Person They Don’t Know
When talking to a friend about a person they don’t know, it’s important to be respectful and considerate. After all, your friend is confiding in you their impression of that person. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
First, avoid making assumptions about the person. It’s easy to jump to conclusions based on limited information, but this can lead to inaccurate or unfair impressions.
Second, be sure to share any important information about the person. This might include the person’s name, occupation, or relationship with your friend.
Third, be careful not to share anything that could be construed as gossip. This includes rumors, speculation, or negative comments about the person.
Finally, try to maintain an objective point of view. It can be helpful to remember that everyone has different experiences and perspectives. By keeping these things in mind, you can ensure that your conversation is respectful and informative.
17. If You Let a Problem Fester Too Long
If you let an issue fester for too long, it can be difficult to get out of the hole you have created. A minor dispute can turn into something much bigger if left untreated.
Even if it seems like talking about your problems is just another item on your to-do list, staying silent will only make things worse. To avoid falling into the mistake of burying your head in the sand, consider these suggestions:
- Take responsibility for your role in the situation. It’s easy to justify our actions by blaming our friends’ behavior – but before you point the finger at anyone else, look at yourself and consider how you may have contributed to the problem.
- Don’t wait for your friend to talk to you first! Even if it’s not entirely your fault (for example, if they said something insensitive that hurt your feelings), take it upon yourself to start the conversation and apologize or express concern if needed.
You may be surprised by the other person’s reaction – often people are so relieved that they forgive us for speaking up first, or they are inspired by our selflessness and apologize! Either way, this approach will nip any lingering tension in the bud and allow both parties to move on.
18. If You’re Talking About a Shared Friend That They Aren’t as Close With as You Are
Mentioning a friend you both know can be an easy way to move the conversation forward, but be careful when talking about a friend you do not have such a close bond with. For some people, this may not be a problem, and they probably do not care if you are just talking about your mutual friend.
The problem arises when you say something negative or even mention a situation without realizing how it will affect the other person. For example, you and your friend spent a lot of time getting to know each other during summer vacation.
Your other friend worked most of the vacation and did not have as much time to get together during the weeks off from school. The first person might mention what happened last week at lunch between themselves and their buddy at lunch– mentioning all the details, including how much fun they had together- but forget that their other friend wasn’t there for all those experiences.
To avoid hurting the other person’s feelings by mentioning a mutual friend to another person in conversation, it can be helpful to remember that there are probably reasons for not mentioning someone: either because they were not there, or because something happened that caused tension between them (and therefore they do not want anything said).
If someone has indicated that they would prefer to keep certain information to themselves until further notice, respect that – otherwise it could quickly become awkward!
19. If You Avoid Confrontation at All Costs
You’re the type of person who gets upset when your friend does something wrong, but you don’t confront the situation. You want to keep the peace at all costs and blame yourself for never speaking up.
Over time, you become angry and confused because you have a lot of pent-up anxiety and frustration from pretending that everything is fine with someone who doesn’t respect your feelings.
If this is how you feel, know that it’s not always wrong to confront a friend about something they did that hurt you. If you never feel safe or comfortable enough to tell them how their actions made you feel, it will probably only make things worse.
And so it will continue until one day a small problem escalates into a big confrontation where they may say something they can’t take back or vice versa. This can permanently damage a friendship, especially if there was no communication beforehand to let them know how their actions have affected you.
20. If Your Friend Is Dating Someone Who Treats Them Poorly
You have an uneasy feeling that your friend is with someone who is not the best for them. Maybe you know exactly why you think this, maybe you don’t – but at some point, you feel like you need to share these thoughts with them. It can be difficult to recognize when we are being treated poorly or taken advantage of, and that’s where friends come in.
No matter how good things seem on the surface, if your friend feels supported enough by you to share their innermost thoughts and feelings with you, they will likely appreciate what you have to say to them.
You should talk to your friend in a way that helps them see an objective view of their relationship and figure out what they want from it (or if they need anything from it at all). This does not mean it should come across as lecturing or judgmental.
While you may see through certain tactics better than your friend does, there’s still no guarantee that your opinion will change theirs. Therefore, this conversation must be open-ended and non-judgmental so that everyone feels that they are heard and valued.
21. If You’re Vague About Your Needs
If you’re vague about your needs, it’s hard for your friends to guess what you want. Be specific about what you need, and don’t leave that information to others. They may not be able to read your mind and interpret your needs correctly.
22. If You’re Afraid to Say What You Really Think or Feel in Front of Your Friends
Your friend is in a bad mood and you don’t know what to do. You feel like you’ve to walk on eggshells around them. You feel like your friend is easily offended. You feel like you’ve to be careful what you say. But the truth is, that doesn’t help either of you.
Although it’s important not to be insensitive when talking to friends who’re hurting, sometimes it can be hard to tell someone how you feel if that person is always afraid of saying or doing something wrong. This can make a friend feel alone and unsupported – and things may not be resolved until both people can fully express themselves to each other.
23. If Your Friend Is Oversharing Online and Hurting Your Feelings
If you notice your friend posting things on social media that you find hurtful, it’s easy to be disappointed, confused, or frustrated. If your friend has made a habit of sharing his or her personal life and opinions online, he or she may be exaggerating in ways that can be either very beneficial or harmful to you and others.
He or she may simply let the world share in his or her joys and successes. Or he or she may be posting about certain aspects of his or her life that only have negative consequences for him or herself. In either case, you mustn’t judge your friend’s choices solely on what he or she wants to share with the world.
Instead, ask yourself: Why is my friend doing this? Why is it so important when my friend says these things? Why am I embarrassed by my friend’s posts? Do I’ve reason to believe that my friend is hurting other people by making these posts?
24. If Your Friends Are Angry When You Cancel Plans, but Never Offer to Reschedule
Context: You’re out to dinner and drinks with a few friends. One of them cancels at the last minute because she’s too much to do, but she doesn’t offer to reschedule your plans.
This kind of miscommunication can be frustrating because it makes you feel like your friend is putting her needs first and not including you in her decisions. When a friend cancels plans, it’s best to reschedule so you don’t have to wonder if or when you’ll see each other again.
Plus, this might make the other person feel upset or like they’ve been stood up. By offering a specific date, your friend is showing that they respect your time and value spending time with you. However, you mustn’t commit to a specific date. If the first date doesn’t work out, offer him/her a few days/times that work for you instead!
25. If Someone Says They Agree With You but Does the Opposite
If you ask a friend for advice and he or she says, “You should do X,” but then does the exact opposite of X, it can seem like he or she disagrees with you. But more likely, your friend probably just trying to show you that they are independent and can do whatever they want. You may be trying to become more confident and self-assured.
26. If You Feel That Your Friends Aren’t Trustworthy or Loyal
This can happen if you feel that a friend is gossiping about you behind your back or sharing private information with other people.
Another form of feeling that your friends aren’t trustworthy or loyal is when you feel that you’re the only one who cares about the friendship. This can be due to unbalanced expectations when one person expects more from their friend than the other.
Finally, you may have unrealistic expectations of friend behavior and disappoint yourself. When this happens, you should think about what your expectations are and how reasonable they’re in the context of the relationship.
Another way to get the sense that someone isn’t trustworthy or loyal is when you feel like you’re walking on eggshells around them. This happens when someone is very defensive and takes everything personally, which makes it difficult to communicate without fearing that they will get upset at every opportunity.
If this is the case, you should ask them directly why they seem so defensive and come up with ways to be less nervous around you so that misunderstandings don’t happen between the two of you.
27. If They Cancel Plans but Don’t Tell You Why
This is a classic case because it’s so open to interpretation: maybe something came up and your friend can’t come. Maybe they are not feeling well. Or maybe they just don’t feel like being with you anymore.
There are two steps to dealing with this situation: first, you need to be prepared for an uncomfortable conversation, because that’s the only way to find out what’s going on in your friend’s head (or life).
Second, if you’re the one who cancels at the last minute, remember that silence can often be interpreted as rejection or disinterest – and no one wants either!
The best way to avoid misunderstandings when canceling plans is to make it clear that there are other options (e.g., “I can’t make it tonight, but I’d like to find a date next week that works for you”). If you offer an alternative plan and provide context from the start, there’s less room for assumptions or resentment on either side – no matter what ends up happening!
It’s hard enough to maintain a friendship through busy schedules and awkward conversations; don’t add unnecessary fuel to the fire of your friendship by letting assumptions keep you from being clear.
28. If Your Friend Doesn’t Give You a Chance to Explain Yourself
Don’t take this personally. Your friend probably feels hurt. Therefore, it’s understandable that they don’t want to face the situation or talk to you about it. They may not be ready to listen to your explanation or understand anything you’ve to say.
You can try calling or texting them to tell them that you still want to be friends with them and that they don’t have to worry about facing the situation if they don’t want to. But realize that your friend probably just needs some time to themselves right now, so take your time before trying again.
You can try calling again in a few days or even weeks, or you could send a short message telling them you’re thinking of them and giving them your best wishes for their happiness, health, and success in life.
29. If a Friend Needs to Borrow Money
It’s never fun to be in a situation where your friend needs to borrow money. Your friend may have a vague idea of when they’ll pay you back, but they probably don’t have a concrete plan.
They may delay repayment until you feel like you’ve to keep asking for it – but then you don’t want to seem pushy! The best thing you can do in a situation like this is to first decide if it’s worth your while to lend them money. If it’s, make sure both parties are clear about the terms of the loan. Determine how much money will be loaned, by when it must be repaid, and what happens if a payment is missed (does interest accrue?).
Also, make sure your friend has a way to pay you back within a reasonable time frame. You don’t want them waiting until the next paycheck (and then forget about it) or hope that their taxes will help (and then not).
If it doesn’t make sense to you to borrow the money, just say no! It can be hard to say no at first, but your friend will understand – even though they may not like it.
30. If You Don’t Agree on the Best Way to Resolve a Family Conflict or Disagreement
Sometimes there’s a disagreement between you and your friend when it comes to family issues. Maybe you don’t agree on the best way to handle a conflict or disagreement in your family. Maybe one of you has a problem with a family member, while the other thinks it’s no big deal.
Or maybe you’ve different ideas about what constitutes abusive behavior. You tend to see it as more serious than they do; they may see it as less wrong if it happened in their childhood or if everyone else in the family is okay with it. You may not even notice until there’s an outburst about an issue that one of you says is no big deal.
But such disagreements can lead to arguments and make things awkward between otherwise good friends if not resolved quickly.
The best thing you can do in such a situation with your friend is to consider where each of you is coming from, and figure out why you disagree so much on the issue.
Instead of judging your friend for how they feel or react, you can tell him or her that you understand where they are coming from, but also tell them how you feel about the situation (even if that’s very different). Respect your friend’s boundaries and remember that they should also respect your boundaries by taking into account how you feel about things.
31. If a Friend Says Something That Implies You Have a Flaw
Has a friend ever told you that you’re too sensitive or take something too seriously? The most likely answer is “yes,” because we all have flaws and things our friends don’t like about us. But when it comes to this particular type of miscommunication, your friend may be right.
A good way to tell if this type of miscommunication has been misconstrued as disapproval is if you think, “I don’t date them anymore because they think I’m too sensitive.” That would be an example of miscommunication because friends should accept each other for who they’re without trying to change each other.
32. If You and Your Friend Have Different Cultural or Family Backgrounds
Misunderstandings with a friend based on cultural differences or family backgrounds can happen if you and your friend have been raised or live in different cultures. Each of us develops a communication style based on our culture. So if you and your friend have had different cultural experiences, misunderstandings can occur.
For example, let’s say one of your friends from an Asian culture is telling you about her day. She may be interested in what you think about it, but in her culture, it’s considered rude to ask you directly for your opinion. You may not realize that she wants your opinion because she didn’t ask for it directly, whereas another friend who grew up in the U.S. would feel comfortable asking you questions or starting a conversation.
33. If a Friend Changes His or Her Behavior Toward You
It’s normal for friends to change their behavior toward you. This can be unsettling and lead to misunderstandings because it’s hard to know what they’re thinking or what they want from you.
Before you jump to conclusions, consider that your friend may have simply changed their mind and no longer wants to be friends with you. Or something has happened in their life that means they can’t spend as much time with you as they used to.
For example, if your friend has recently gotten into a new relationship, he or she may spend a lot of their free time with this new person.
It’s also important to remember that people often grow apart over time and lose interest in the things that used to be a big part of your free time (like watching movies or playing video games).
This doesn’t necessarily mean that your friend no longer values you as a person anymore – it just means that other things are occupying their attention to other things now.
34. If Your Friend Has a Different Personality Type Than You Do
For example, you might be a person who values authenticity and transparency. You like to speak from the heart, and you may think that the most important thing in a relationship is trust.
If your friend has a different personality type than you, he or she may value structure and logical thinking more than emotional intelligence or the ability to empathize with others. Some people understand logical arguments more than they can empathize with people who react emotionally.
It’s important to understand your personality type and how to communicate effectively, and how important it’s to learn how to communicate effectively with different personality types. It’s also helpful to have different personality types on teams because certain work tasks require certain personalities.
Communicating effectively means using the right words at the right time for the right purpose for each person involved.
35. If You Don’t Return Someone’s Favor
If you have a friend who helps you, it’s important not to let that friend down. You can burn bridges if you ignore their favors and are selfish, but it’s also important to recognize when a favor is unfair. If you’re asked to do something for someone, think about whether you can realistically fulfill the request before you just say yes.
If your friend asks for too much of your time or money, you shouldn’t feel obligated to help him or her. If they are expecting to get special treatment just because they helped you in the past, you should recognize this as highly unfair behavior and tell them how you feel about it.
The worst thing that can happen when you ask your friends for help is to let them down. But if someone is constantly pressuring you, that person may not be acting like a real friend at all.
36. If Your Friend Speaks a Different Dialect Than You
You and your friend speak the same language, but you still have trouble understanding each other. This situation can occur when you and your friend speak different dialects of a language.
For example, if you both speak Chinese, but he’s from Beijing and you’re from Hong Kong, this can lead to misunderstandings because they’re two different dialects of the same language (Chinese).
In such situations, the differences between the two dialects may be grammatical (i.e., differences in word order), lexical (i.e., differences in vocabulary), or phonological (i.e., differences in pronunciation). English speakers may also experience similar misunderstandings due to regional dialect differences.
37. If Someone Agrees With Your Statement but Doesn’t Elaborate on It, so You Think They Don’t Find It Interesting or Important
This is a difficult question to clarify because the situation can be ambiguous. Does your friend agree with you but not care about the topic, or does he agree with you and have nothing further to add?
He may not respond to your idea right away because he’s tired, busy, or just preoccupied with something else.
It’s important to make sure you understand your friend’s perspective. He may simply have nothing else to say at that moment, but he’ll bring it up later when he’s more time and energy.
If you make assumptions or ask questions that seem confrontational, you may unintentionally make him feel like he needs to defend himself right away – and instead of defending himself, he may choose silence as the best defense.
Do your best not to get too upset about this scenario unless there’s concrete evidence that your friend isn’t being honest or open with his feelings about something.
38. If You Interpret Too Much Into What the Other Person Said
One of the most common causes of misunderstanding among friends is that you interpret too much into what the other person has said.
To avoid this trap, it’s important to understand how many factors influence a conversation: the context in which it takes place, the tone of voice used, body language, and even what you bring to the table yourself.
If your friend says something that’s a bit off base based on everything else you know about them and your relationship, it can be easy to assume that they must have meant exactly what you think they meant.
But if you don’t take the time to clarify the meaning behind their words before you get angry or imply their intentions, there’s a good chance you’re wrong!
39. If You’re Talking To Someone Who Has a Different Accent and You Don’t Understand What They’re Saying
Anyone who’s ever tried to communicate with someone who’s a different accent knows how frustrating this can be. Even when both parties speak the same language, structural differences in the pronunciation of words can make understanding difficult.
This can lead to misunderstandings, which can be frustrating for both parties. However, there are a few things you can do to overcome these challenges.
First, try to listen carefully and pay attention to context. Even if you don’t understand every word, you can sometimes glean enough information from the conversation to understand the main idea.
Second, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unsure about something.
Finally, patience and good humor are key. While misunderstandings can be frustrating, they can also be an opportunity to connect with someone on a deeper level. So just give it a try!
When that happens, you can try one of the following:
- Ask them to repeat what they said
- Asking them to write down what was said
- Tell them you don’t understand what they said
- Asking them to speak more slowly, if possible
If someone speaks English, but in a way that’s hard for non-native speakers to understand (using lots of idioms and slang). This often happens in TV shows and movies! When it happens:
- Ask the person to repeat what they said or write it down so you can look it up later! You can also try looking it up on your phone or asking a friend who understands native English speakers better than you!
- Ask the person to repeat what they said or write it down so you can look it up later! You can also try looking it up on your phone or asking a friend who understands native English speakers better than you!
40. If You or Your Friend Expect Too Much From Each Other
Have you ever felt let down by a friend? Maybe they didn’t help you with something you thought they’d, or they gave up on your plans to do something with someone else.
Disappointment is a common feeling that many people experience when their friends don’t live up to their expectations. On the other hand, have you ever felt that your friends expect too much from you?
Maybe they want you to make a detour to meet up with them, or they don’t think it’s fair that they always have to compromise to keep your schedule. These are all examples of misunderstandings due to expectations.
The problem is that we often assume that our friends know what we expect of them without telling them, and when they don’t meet those expectations, we get mad at them. However, the problem could be solved by simply communicating our needs and expectations honestly.
For example, “Hey Mary! I was hoping to see you this weekend, but I’m also really busy with my classes right now, so I can’t come tonight. This gives Mary (your friend!) a chance to think about how she feels about rescheduling and decide if it also fits into her schedule so that both parties -including you – aren’t disappointed.
41. If You or Your Friend Responds to an Insensitive Joke
There’s nothing more embarrassing than responding to an insensitive joke in a way that causes miscommunication between you and your friend. It can be tempting to just laugh it off or make light of the situation, but that often makes things worse.
Instead, try to take a step back and see the situation from your friend’s point of view. If they’re joking, try to find the humor in it and laugh along. However, if you think they’re serious, it’s important to have a respectful conversation about why the joke is offensive.
By taking the time to talk things through, you can help your friend understand what you’re getting at and avoid future misunderstandings.
If you think your friend is joking but doesn’t mean it, you could unintentionally cause them great offense. You can avoid this by responding in such a way that you assume the comment wasn’t meant as a joke: “Don’t say that! You shouldn’t joke about something so serious!”
42. If Your Friend Has an Introverted or Extroverted Personality That’s Very Different From Yours
Everyone has a different personality, and this means that each person prefers to engage with others in different ways. Think about how you like to interact with others: are you more reserved and introspective or gregarious and talkative?
Whatever your answer, it’s important to be aware of yourself and your friend when you communicate. For example, if you’re an extrovert who likes to talk out whatever’s on his or her mind, but your friend is very withdrawn, you should consider how much information this person needs from you – and what aspects of your relationship they are most likely to process.
It also helps to be honest with yourself about what kind of friendship you’ve. If you have a close best friend who knows everything about your life, a disagreement can get even more heated than usual because both parties are so intimate with each other.
The same goes for a casual acquaintance (or someone who falls between these two extremes): disagreements can often become chaotic if not thought through in advance because emotions run high! Be aware that sometimes feelings get hurt in these discussions, even if you think “that would never happen” – and if you’re careful to keep everyone’s feelings in check, you can avoid unnecessary drama later!
43. If You Let Your Phone Prevent You From Connecting With Friends
If you allow your phone to prevent you from meeting up with your friends, it can be seen as rude. Not only is it annoying if you’re constantly looking at your phone while talking to a friend, but studies show that people even feel hurt when they see the person they’re talking to looking at their phone.
Also, many people say they feel like they’re losing face-to-face contact with their friends because we’re on our phones so much. No one says you should never look at your phone around friends!
But as technology replaces real human interaction more and more, it’s worth taking a look at why that’s and how we can change it. The next time you’re hanging out with a friend or just waiting in line to pay for something, put your phone away for a while so you can experience life without digital distractions. You may find that it makes life much more enjoyable for everyone!
44. If You Assume That Your Friend Will Know the Context of Your Text
It’s okay to assume that your friend will understand the meaning of your message if you write something like “The car is still in the store”. But if you send a text like “You know it’s not that easy for me” without saying exactly what it’s about, it can be confusing.
Make sure you add enough context to your texts so they’re clear and concise. If you’re going to use an inside joke or reference a shared experience, make sure the recipient of the text knows exactly what you mean before you send it. And texts with unclear context can lead to some pretty awkward conversations.
45. If You or Your Friend Mansplain
Mansplaining, strictly speaking, is when a man explains something to a woman in an overly simple way.
In other words: When you patronize someone because of their gender. If you want to avoid this in conversation with your friends, you shouldn’t think they’re too stupid to understand what a word means or how something works, and then explain it to them like a child.
If you can’t stop explaining things that the person you’re talking to probably already knows, and/or if you start explaining every little detail like they’re your freshman roommate who just moved out of their house for the first time, then you might be a mansplainer.
If your friend keeps telling you completely obvious things, or if he explains everything you do as if he’s helping his grandma use her laptop for the first time, and he doesn’t even realize how condescending he sounds, then he may be mansplaining.
46. Emojis Can Have Different Meanings Depending on the Person Using Them
Emojis can have different meanings depending on the person using them. What one person means by an emoji isn’t necessarily what another person means. The recipient of the emoji may interpret it differently than the sender’s intent.
Sometimes a sender uses an emoji to tell a friend they’ve something fun planned for the weekend, and someone interprets it to mean the sender has a new job or is moving out of town. Just like the tone of voice, context is critical when you’re trying to understand emojis and their meaning in text messages and emails.
Emojis are helpful because they convey emotions and expressions clearly, especially when you’re sending messages to people you’re not very close to or don’t know very well.
47. If You or Your Friend Take Things Too Personally
Sometimes we take things too personally without meaning to. People can be fickle and forgetful; they can be busy and stressed. When you take everything personally, you not only run the risk of misunderstanding someone else’s intentions but also of hurting your feelings in ways that weren’t necessarily necessary!
It’s hard to let go of perceived slights, especially when they come from people you care about or are close to. You may not remember the names of everyone who’s ever wronged you, but you’ll probably remember one thing: how it made you feel. The feeling of having been offended is much more memorable than a name!
48. If You Call Each Other Out on Social Media and You Feel They’ve Hurt You
If you’re upset with a friend and call them names on social media, you probably won’t be able to solve the problem. You may be making it worse. Here’s why: if you make your hurt feelings known on social media, your friend probably won’t see it as an opportunity to apologize or make things right.
They’re more likely to feel defended and attacked. And when people feel defensive, they’re usually not in the mood to listen to arguments. So if you want to come clean with your friend, it’s better to pick up the phone or meet in person. That way, you can have a calm, constructive conversation instead of a heated argument for the whole world to see.
49. If You or Your Friend Take Sides in an Argument
When you’re in the middle of a disagreement between two friends, it can be tempting to take sides and make assumptions about the other person’s intentions. However, you’re only adding fuel to the fire.
Keep your opinions to yourself and don’t get drawn into the argument. Listen to both sides of the story before making judgments or taking action – if that’s even necessary. You may also be able to act as a mediator or help the two resolve their differences together.
Remember: You aren’t an actor in this drama, and you aren’t likely to be baited with information about either party. Don’t get involved if you don’t have to!
50. If You Don’t See Eye to Eye on Politics When Your Friend Is Just as Passionate as You Are — And Feels as Strongly Opposed to Your Viewpoint
What’s the scenario?
Your friend and you’re arguing about politics. You both feel strongly about your views, but you’ve different ones. Your conversation becomes tenser and tenser and you get angry with each other.
What’re the risks of talking about politics with a friend?
You might argue with your friend about it – maybe you don’t talk to each other for days or weeks afterward, you permanently lose your friendship because of the topic, or maybe you just get frustrated when you know your friend disagrees with something you care about and vice versa.
How should you respond to this situation?
Let your emotions subside before trying to discuss the issue further. If someone gets emotional while discussing something important to them, other people won’t understand or listen to what they’re saying – this will only make things worse. If it can’t be worked out in a civilized way among friends, try not to talk about it at all!
It’s not worth risking a friendship over something like this if there’s no chance of ever finding common ground on the issue in question.
51. If You Talk About Someone Behind Their Back
It’s not proper to talk about others behind their backs. It’s also not a good way to make friends. If you talk about another person behind their back and your friend finds out, they may be hurt.
Worse, if the person you’re talking about hears what you’re saying from someone else, you could find yourself in a very awkward situation. They may get angry with you or feel as if they can’t trust you anymore.
Not only does it reflect poorly on your character if people find out something is going on behind their back, but speaking negatively about someone can destroy your reputation. Even if the person doesn’t hear what was said, it can cause a rift between them and your friend, which can be unpleasant for everyone involved.
52. Miscommunication Can Happen When We’re Tired or Stressed
This can be because we’re more easily irritated, misunderstand what someone is saying, or get distracted. If a friend says something that upsets you and you’ve had a long day at work, it may be because you’re tired, not because your friend did something intentionally unkind. Check yourself before you assume your friends have wronged you and you get too upset about it.
53. Criticizing in the Wrong Way
Even though it can be hard to receive criticism, it’s an important part of any friendship. We can all improve in one area or another. Your friend probably doesn’t just want to make you feel bad – attempting to help you. Criticism can help a person grow and improve, so don’t be too defensive when someone gives you feedback.
However, not all criticism is helpful. Sometimes it’s harsh or inappropriate and has unintended consequences. Remember that your friend cares about you, but sometimes they may not be able to communicate their thoughts constructively. When that happens, try asking questions instead of getting defensive and lashing out. What did they mean by “you could dress better”? How should you change? What are their ideas?
54. Giving Unsolicited Advice
Avoid advising until you know all the facts. Your friend might not want to hear your opinion at that moment. Make sure you’ve been asked, and then share your knowledge in a way that addresses your friend’s concerns.
Try to focus on solutions, not problems, in conversations.
Everyone has personal problems, but no one wants to be constantly reminded of them. Offer suggestions and advice when it seems appropriate, or just listen if your friend is more interested in inventing.
Here are some examples of unsolicited advice:
- You’re using too much flour. (Why don’t you just offer to help?).
- Have you tried [insert advice]? (It’s not helpful if it’s a suggestion from the Internet).
- Don’t you think [you should do what I want]? (This is a passive-aggressive attempt to control the situation).
If you absolutely must give someone unsolicited advice, there are a few ways to do it more effectively.
Try to understand why the person won’t take your advice, even though you’re convinced he or she needs it. Perhaps he or she’s afraid to invest resources or take action. Understand their point of view before you give them advice.
Be careful that your advice doesn’t lead to an unequal distribution of work in the relationship. For example, if your friend has asked for help with a project, simply offer your help rather than telling him or her that he or she’s doing it wrong.
55. Jealousy of a New Relationship
Insecurity and jealousy can quickly lead to misunderstandings and conflict between friends. If a friend is jealous of the attention someone else is getting in a new relationship, they may start to feel left out and ignored. This can lead to hurt feelings and resentment, which in turn can cause friends to start fighting with each other.
In some cases, jealousy can even lead to one friend trying to sabotage the other’s new relationship. Jealousy is a natural feeling, but it’s important to be aware of how it can affect your relationships. If you’re jealous of a friend’s new relationship, you should try to talk to them about it openly and honestly. Effective communication will help avoid misunderstandings and ensure that your friendship stays strong.
If your friends seem jealous of each other, try talking to them about why they’re so jealous – it could open up a whole new world of communication between the three of you!
It’s the responsibility of everyone in a friendship to communicate clearly and respectfully. If you’re aware of your friend’s feelings, have a good understanding of your friend’s communication style, and work together on healthy communication, you can avoid many examples of misunderstandings between friends.
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