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How do you tell your friend that you disagree with them without hurting their feelings?

165 Answers
Last Updated: 12/31/2021 at 11:31pm
How do you tell your friend that you disagree with them without hurting their feelings?
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Evelyn Coker, MSW, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I am down to earth and enjoy working with all clients. I have a special passion to support teen girls and women. My work is nonjudgmental and provides a safe space to grow.

Top Rated Answers
March 5th, 2017 3:46am
Maybe you don't have to say you disagree, but to just respectfully state your own point of view. So long as you are not insulting, shaming, or demeaning them in any way, there is no reason anyone should feel hurt. And if they do, it's not your problem.
March 18th, 2017 6:25pm
Always start with "in my view, my opinion, as i see it, how i think of it, my perception, etc " This clearly says you are saying your truth, not THE truth, or, worst, their truth. So you are speaking as friend, not as god or whatever. If anyone still reacts negatively to this strategy => drop them, they are not friends in the first place. No human friend will rebel or fight against such a stance, or strategy, to be honest and affirm your point of view, clarifying its really your point of view only.
March 31st, 2017 3:35pm
I think it's so important to keep communication with those closest to you very open. It's so vital to be able to talk freely with those we love. It helps relationship flourish. When we have strong communication with our friends, it's easier to deal with things like disagreements without making anyone upset. Friends don't have to agree on everything all the time, and that important to remember too. It doesn't mean we love someone any less just because we have opposing views.
April 22nd, 2017 1:38pm
I never point the finger. When you do that you're placing blame and you're hurting not only them but the friendship itself. When I disagree I always first see their point of view on the subject and if I don't agree then I simply but kindly say so. It's okay not to agree with your friends, but you should always be considerate of their feelings and how your words could come across. Words can be as sweet as honey, or as sharp as a knife, depending on how you use them.
May 5th, 2017 6:15pm
"I can see what you mean, but I think about it in a totally different way." Note perspectives and backgrounds, and remember as long as they don't cause mental distress or physical damage, an opinion is just an opinion.
May 10th, 2017 10:12pm
When I disagree with my friend I say my opinion and then also take their accounted for because opinions are but we haven't had to do is you can change the bill for the pinion and I think that's what's wrong with what's happening people trying to take change other peoples opinions and it shouldn't be that way because opinions are meant to be one's personal thing not to be changed by I thought somebody else has
May 17th, 2017 1:59am
Be polite, much like constructive criticism. You can say that you agree to a certain extent, however, there is also this part/ this side to this debate. Don't overpower them, do not shut them down. Simply acknowledge what they are saying, and state the other side.
June 4th, 2017 6:42pm
I think you could state that this is your opinion and you're not intending to hurt them, as they are your friend. State your disagreement and just reassure that your disagreement to your friend isn't there to be held up like a wall or a barrier between the two of you, you just believe something of which is different to them. And hey, differences are what make us unique in this world.
June 15th, 2017 4:05am
Explain to them that you respect their opinion but that you don't agree with them. Say it in a calming manner and keep the environment a safe place.
June 29th, 2017 6:42pm
Think about how you would want someone else to tell you that they disagree with you. The "Golden Rule" might be cliche, but it's often the best place to start considering others' feelings.
August 18th, 2017 5:34pm
Remember that you can disagree with someone without necessarily saying they're wrong. ("I see what you mean, but ___", "But have you thought about ___", and other phrases like that might make it seem less personal)
August 27th, 2017 10:11pm
Honesty is very important, but being polite is the key. Explain your point of view politely and be very clear about your ideias, but not offending or pointing out how wrong their view is. We all have different ideias, but it's important to respect others
September 15th, 2017 10:14am
I honestly tell them how I feel, some times they do get mad but true friends will always come around. The old saying Truth hurts and some times we ask and are really not ready to receive the truth.
November 3rd, 2017 9:29pm
It's great that you're considering your friend's side in this. However, disagreeing is what keeps friendships and relationships healthy and balanced. When I come across someone with whom I disagree, I simply say that. I say I disagree. We often forget that it is up to the other person to manage their beliefs and their feelings, and not necessarily up to us. That being said, of course going up and saying "wow, you're stupid, that's completely wrong, you're thinking and/or doing this wrong", that would be a disrespectful way to disagree, and of course the person would be expected to feel hurt. But simply saying something like "Have you considered this perspective?" Or "well, this is how I'm seeing things" Or even, depending on the situation, saying something as blunt as "I disagree" are healthy ways to engage in discussion and also get your point across. If the other person becomes hurt and/or defensive, that is something they have to process for themselves. And that too, is okay! We can't appease everyone.
November 8th, 2017 7:53pm
I acknowledge and validate their perspective, ask what makes them think that's the best idea. I let them know the way I see the situation and why. And support them in taking the action they choose for themselves.
November 15th, 2017 6:35am
Id suggest you verbalise that although you see their point however you dont have he same belief. But respect them
November 17th, 2017 1:41am
By letting them know that your opinion differs from them and that you respect theirs as long as they respect yours
November 24th, 2017 1:29am
I would always agree with them first before voicing out my opinion. Then, I will try to gently suggest something from the points he/she mentioned. I will slowly add my point of view to his/her thought. Rather than hoping him/her to listen to my disagreement, reaching a mutual understanding is important too.
December 20th, 2017 12:42am
A true friend would value your honesty more than if you agreed with them and then the truth came out that you didn’t. Be honest and upfront with them, But do it in a nice way (Put the shoe on the other foot…. Or how would you like it to go down if it was you). Remember that you are friends after all and you should be able to have agreements and disagreements without jeopardizing that, you are human and we are not all programmed the same, it’s okay to have your own views on things.
December 23rd, 2017 4:34am
Sometimes when you disagree with someone, it will hurt their feelings, but that is not your fault. Everyone is responsible for their own emotional experience. As long as you love that friend and care for them the best you can, that is all that matters. Just because you have a different opinion than them doesn't mean you love them any less. They may get upset when you first disagree with them, but again that is okay and that is something they need to work through--that is not your fault. The love that you have for them and the disagreement are not related. So I would just remind them that it is possible to have different opinions, and still love and care for each other as friends. Nothing has changed just because you disagreed.
December 24th, 2017 7:38am
Any friendship IS always possible without agreeing or liking absolutely everything together! You can say that while you acknowledge and respect their opinion on said topic, tell them politely but honestly your thoughts on the same thing. If you approach the situation in a calm and civil manner, the person is far more likely to treat you well too.
January 4th, 2018 4:55am
An important thing to remember while opposing someone is keeping a calm, reasonable tone to your voice and being in control of your emotions.
January 7th, 2018 7:25pm
It really depends on the type of relationship you have with your friend. I have some friends I can be very blunt with and flat out say "I don't agree with you. I think........." and there are some friends I have to be more sensitive with "I hear what you're saying, and I think that's a very valid opinion, but I feel..........". Using "I feel" and "I think" statements really puts the focus on the fact that it's ok to be different. Telling someone they're WRONG will always come with pushback and sometimes with hurt feelings. Saying that you feel differently (in a calm, respectful manner while also validating their views) lessons the problem.
January 11th, 2018 9:00pm
I find the best way is to first repeat back to your friends their argument in a way that shows you understand the underlying reasoning behind their opinion and then afterwards offer your opinion. 'Throwing John a party would be fun and it'd really show that we care about him ... but I am worried that with him being so introverted he might get stressed out by all the attention'
January 16th, 2018 6:23pm
Do it positively, change statements into questions, find more benefits in it, choose words carefully, show examples, do it sincerely, and smile.
January 18th, 2018 10:22am
As strange as it sounds, you have to censor out a few words. Words and feelings that can make their feelings regarding a certain topic seem invalidated or wrong can affect them negatively, so a healthy dose of discretion is recommended. Along with a bit of politeness and civility, you can make your opinion heard and make yourself to be a person that they'd want to have civil discourse with.
February 3rd, 2018 9:59am
Well, it can help to start by validating their opinions and clarifying that even if you don't agree that doesn't make their point less valid. :)
February 25th, 2018 8:47pm
Just be honest about it, but make sure to say that you don't mind that they have a different opinion on this. You can disagree on certain things, but it doesn't mean that you dislike them for having a different opinion. If you say it in a respectful manner, they shouldn't get hurt over your disagreement
March 8th, 2018 5:21am
I understand that we do not want to hurt our freind's feelings. When faced with a disagreement its best to put it forward in a mild manner. Such that you show you respect their thoughts but at the same time you disagree with them. It would also be good if you don't make it sound like you are right even if that may be the case
March 28th, 2018 2:03am
I believe starting with letting them know that you understand their point, and keep it on their point not them. Next I would ask them questions about their point and or ask them if they have considered... and offer an alternative view.