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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
Moderated by

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
September 9th, 2020 1:42am
Validate their point of view. If you begin your conversation with a negative tone, your friend will already be on the defensive. I would start by listening to what they have to say, follow it up with "I hear you when you say XYZ and I respect your point of view. I see it differently" and explain your point of view. Even best friends and spouses do not agree 100% of the time. That is OK. It's normal for your friend to feel a little hurt or upset that you disagreed, but the way you deliver the message can be all the difference between quickly moving past it or creating tension.
September 20th, 2020 3:12am
To avoid offending someone, the point of your statement should be to make the other person understand from YOUR point of view - not for you to challenge THEIR view. You can show that you're disagreeing with them without making it too straightforward, like saying "I disagree" . Whenever my friends give an opinion I don't agree with, I start by saying "However, I think ______ , you understand what I'm saying?" and so on. If the other person is someone who might get offended easily, I try to show that I respect - and maybe even agree with to an extent - their opinion (if possible). To prevent any lingering negative feelings, I usually change the subject of the conversation to a more positive topic once the disagreement part is over - so the other person knows what I think, but hopefully won't have hard feelings later.
September 24th, 2020 7:24pm
Be honest! Being honest is much better than not, if you were to lie about your opinion, it may be more hurtful in the end. The best way to say something without hurting their feelings is to be kind, and never enforce your opinion on someone, don't be rude and/or condecending in anyway, just be you and simpily give your honest opinion! If you feel you struggle with this alot you can always talk to me about it. I've struggled with the same issues when I used to surround myself with negative people who suppressed my opinions, however now I've gained the confidence in myself to tell how I see situtations and my opinions and you can too!
September 25th, 2020 2:35pm
Hiya; I'm FrostWire, your supporting listener. Your question is very important. How does one tell a friend that they disagree without hurting them emotionally? Some people are unbothered by criticism an love persuasion if it's coming from a friend. But that's just some, not everyone is the same as another; one has to ask the most appropriate questions mentally an quickly sometimes when dealing with things as such. If one is to slow, you could look like a fibber; if one is to quick, you could look like a know it all. Arguments within relations as friends can very well be both good and bad too. So, i believe we should do our best to steer clear of confrontation if possible. But then theirs a chance of a friend needing a tough friend. Take my own story for reasoning, okay? Me an a friend were living together. This friend of mines has a temper problem to this day. One day as we work throughout the city we came home to the apartment an my friend got into a big argument with his spouse that caused my friend to put a big hole in the wall. I immediately stepped in to address the problem my friend was creating for us because i disagreed with his logic on stress release. One action deserves another. In return for my honesty, my friend left in the car. I was able to patch the hole over time an even teach my friend a new skill.
September 27th, 2020 8:56pm
Make sure that you explain to your friend that you are trying to explain your point of view. Include that this is your opinion and your opinion only. Make sure to use "I" statements and not to use "you" statements. Say things like "I think this because..." or "I feel this way because...". Try to avoid saying things like "You are doing this and it's a horrible idea." It is also important to use a soft, balanced tone so that your friend will not feel attacked in any way by your statement. Try to explain how you could see their point of view and then go on to try and explain yours.
October 15th, 2020 7:20am
If you put it in a way to only express your disagreement without attacking their esteem, your friend might understand that people can think differently. You may try something like "I think I understand your point and why you think that way, it makes sense and sounds like a good idea. I have another way of seeing this thing, I'm not saying yours is wrong and mine is right, it's just different. What I see is......what do you think?". By saying what you think even if it seems to be totally opposite to what your friend sees, it won't hurt their ego when you don't make it sound like your disagreement is a personal attack to their way of thinking.
October 21st, 2020 4:17am
Disagreeing with friend(s) can be tough. I'd feel that we may not be fit for each other anymore. But, hey even the closest person and used to be understanding person with me may disagreeing on something. And in every relationship (romantic or not), communication is very important. As you feel it is necessary to say your disagreements, I would say it too. As long as it is good for them and me. I'd say my disagreement in ways that would improve themselves and myself. This quote, "Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier." reminds me on how to be thoughtful in every way. I'd using the "I think/feel ............. " sentence to communicate my thoughts. It usually works with me. That way, I let my friend know what I think/feel on certain matters without belittle theirs. Ending my opinions with something like, "What you think does make sense (if it really does, you can say it) but I don't really agree on it." Hope this helps. Stay safe and healthy.
October 21st, 2020 5:02pm
If one of my friends says or does something that I disagree with, I will address the situation politely. I will not attack them or make them feel like they should get defensive over my differing opinion on the matter. I will say to them, “I hear where you are coming from when you say that, and I understand your feelings and opinions, but this is how it looks from my perspective.” I would ensure that they felt like their feelings were still valid regardless of my disagreement, and I would kindly show them my point of view on the situation.
October 31st, 2020 11:49pm
It it not uncommon to disagree with your friends. Although we share some common interests or values with our friends, we are still unique. Everyone is different. One way to tell your friend that you disagree with their statement is by acknowledging that you two share different opinions. You can first say, "I understand that you feel this way, and it is ok for you to feel that way." Then you can say what your opinion on the topic is and end with "We do not always have to agree on everything we talk about. We have different views on certain things, because we are our own person." Basically agree to disagree.
November 4th, 2020 6:29pm
When we're friends with someone, we care about their feelings and what they have to say. Therefore, it is very common to want to handle conflicts of opinion in a tactful and kind way. If the friendship has healthy boundaries, your friend should be able to recognize that you disagreeing with them is not a reflection on them, and vice versa. People can have different opinions without being in overt conflict with one another, and no one's feelings have to be hurt by the statement of an alternate view point. If you are still concerned that they will take offence to, or be hurt by, you voicing a disagreement, you might try to voice it in a way that is kind, but honest, and gentle. "I feel" statements are great for averting conflict and hurt. For example, instead of saying "You're wrong and here's why" which is likely to put someone in a defensive or adverse mindset, you could say something along the lines of, "I feel differently about the subject" because it's more objective, and that way you can let them know you don't feel the same, but you also don't have to explain unless they ask you.
November 14th, 2020 10:40am
I would tell them that their feelings and opinions are valid and real, but so are mine. Nobody is going to always 100% agree on everything, even the best of friends. Having different opinions is okay, it is what makes us human and different. I would also say that disagreeing on something won't have an effect on the friendship/relationship unless it was something huge such as part of your morals or beliefs, but even then people have differing opinions, it is normal to not always agree with the people around you but rather accept and embrace the differences and support one another.
November 15th, 2020 10:29am
It's important to remember that we are all entitled to our own opinions and that all feelings are valid! When disagreeing with a friend, be respectful of what they have said - acknowledge their perspective: "I hear you" or "I see where you're coming from". This shows them you have listened and respected their opinion. Then, effectively put your point across as well: "In my experience ..." or "I've come to realize that ...". Make sure you do not outright disregard what your friend has said or belittle them. It's okay to disagree on certain things. The sign of a healthy friendship is that you are able to value each others thoughts and feelings. If they are hurt by your disagreement, that's okay as well! You should never have to hide your thoughts from them. Openly discuss what made them upset and why you hold your opinion. A discussion can help clear the air and see things from each other's point of view!
November 28th, 2020 5:41pm
Telling friends that you disagree with them can be really hard. I personally struggle with this as well, so you really aren't alone, and considering that there is a question like this means the you really aren't alone. First, you should be nice about it. Don't make it sound like you are trying to argue with them, and no one wants someone that is arrogant and thinks that they are better or smarter than everyone else. Don't make a big deal about it. Making big deals about disagreeing with someone is one way to make someone mad at you. And if it's something that is really sensitive to our friend, then you shouldn't bring it up in the first place. Sometimes your silence can be very comforting and not hurt anyone's feelings.
November 28th, 2020 10:05pm
Consider trying to understand their point, and what part of it you disagree with. Of course, everyone has their own perspectives and there's nothing wrong with that. It's not wrong to express your perspective either. If your friend says something you disagree with, you can consider politely saying something like: "In my opinion...." or "Well, maybe you could look at it this way.." or "Well, what if...." It's up to you how you want to form it depending on the topic/situation but it would be better if you say it politely rather than harshly and fighting over it. It may also be not wise to get into an argument, so if you feel like the conversation is going sideways, you can always end the conversation and start a new topic.
December 3rd, 2020 7:35am
Share your own opinion without invalidating theirs. If you are really friends he/she would understand that you are only trying to help or at least give him/her another view of things. Make her/him understand that this is just your opinion, and just explain to him or her why you disagree. She or he doesn't necessarily have to shape hers or his to adapt yours, right? Don't worry. If you are only looking out for their best interest then you're good, but if it's just some teeny tiny thing maybe it is best not to be so verbal about it maybe? Anyway, you have a good day!
December 10th, 2020 7:09am
Let's divide the sentences with which you will tell your friend that you disagree with them into three parts. In first part you tell your friend something positive about him, what you like about them or what they said, did, made. Then in second part you politely, kindly and in a supportive way state your disagreement about what they said or did (made). But never anything negative or belittling about their personality as they can understood it as rejection of themselves and also makes further communication impossible. Never curse them. In last part tell them something positive or encouraging to them again.
December 11th, 2020 10:50pm
Hi there! It's so nice that someone spoke up about this. Yes, it is very important to speak out about your opinions, but when it is to our friends, we may hesitate. It is completely normal because we often don't want them to be hurt or think you are a bad person by disagreeing. From my experiences, I prefer to balance what I say. I am more of a easygoing personality and I hate to be in arguments. I often simply put my opinions and ideas out there. I talk about how their idea is positive or good and I'd give out my own thoughts that may be negative to them. This balances and they won't think you are a terrible person if you just talked about the negative side and not noting the positive side. I hope my experience and thoughts can help>
December 12th, 2020 11:59pm
This can be tricky to speak to your friend of such a situation like this, depending on how close your friendship is or how long you both have been friends. Disagreeing with your friend can be tough since you are taking a toll that would hurt your friend's personality or ruin your friendship with that friend. It is important to let them know by staying calm and polite once the friend has remained quiet and ready to listen to you. One of the best ways to tell a friend that you disagree is to first acknowledge or understand their side of the situation. This means that you value the other person's thoughts and feelings. After the friend has vailated their opinion on this situation, you can gently tell to the friend your side of this issue in a polite but neutral tone. Both sides are important to balance a final decision between you and your friend and they will not see it as much of a personal attack. Instead, it is a more respectful way that the friend has to accept that you see things differently and that would be alright for the two of you.
December 13th, 2020 5:52pm
Speak your opinion respectfully without yelling at them that they’re wrong and try to give arguments politely that they can’t refuse. If your friends respect you as a person, they will generally give you a chance to speak your mind but even if they don’t, wait till they are done presenting their point of view and then you can correct them depending on what they said that you felt wasn’t right. This way they can see that you gave them a chance to speak while you also give them reason to understand you. Just like you want them to listen to them, they expect the same thing from you.
December 13th, 2020 11:24pm
It’s never good to tell your friend that they are wrong. Everyone is different. The best way to approach is say as a friend “I can see your point, I would approach it a little different by x,y,z. But that’s just me” it gives ownership to your friend of their feelings while keeping yours heard. Everyone learns differently Another way to approach is maybe a little more abrasive but it depends on the type of friendship you have. You can say “that’s not what I would do, but you can do it your way” this is a little passive aggressive but leaves room for your friend who very well be making a bad decision that could harm them a chance to consider your side.
January 1st, 2021 9:36pm
We are all individuals meaning we have different tastes, styles, opinions, etc. Disagreeing with somebody is totally normal and should not be something that would make somebody feel bad. If you disagree with someone, you can say it using positive words or just be polite about your response. For example, if somebody asks if you like a song they like ands you do not, a great response would be "It is not my favorite song but i appreciate you showing it to me". Disagreements will come up in work, school or even at home. Knowing how to positively respond to something you disagree with is important! Try a few scenarios in your head if you are unsure and put the person in your shoes to see what type of response you would want from them!
January 13th, 2021 2:26am
Just said it, "I don't agree with you". I feel like to answer this appropriately I need more information. What are you guys disagreeing on? If it's petting dumb things then who cares? People, friends, partners, family members aren't suppose to agree on everything. That's cult mentality. But if you guys are disagreeing on things that go against your values then that's another story. To answer you question with the little context I have to go off of, I would say exactly what you already said. "I don't agree with you, but don't let that hurt your feelings". People want reassurance, so let them know ya'll are still friends but just don't see eye to eye on this one thing.
January 24th, 2021 2:33am
This is actually a fairly simple concept, so you're in luck here. It's okay to disagree with a friend, but you definitely don't want to hurt their feelings by disagreeing. We can do this by respectfully voicing our disagreement. For example, instead of saying, "you're wrong, I disagree with that completely," you could say something such as, "I respect your opinion and I understand why you think that, but I disagree because..." It's important that you tell your friend that you respect and understand their opinion, as this makes it a positive interaction rather than a negative one. Good luck!
January 28th, 2021 9:45pm
Tell them your feelings and why you feel the way you do about a certain thing. be honest and say i don't mean to offend you but this is mu opinion and i hope you respect it as i respect yours. It is important to be honest with others as well as respecting them as well. It is okay to disagree because no one thinks alike and everyone has a different personality and mentality. Just be honest and true to your beliefs. it is okay to disagree because we are all different individuals. we can still be friends and disagree
February 4th, 2021 4:46am
I usually try to understand where they are coming from. Instead of aggressively telling them I disagree with them, I try to frame it as " I understand where you're coming from, but I see it differently..." or something along those lines. This makes the conversation to continue as a healthy and mature one, instead of developing to be disrespectful. Also, at the end of the conversation, I assure them that although we don't agree on some topics, our relationship is unaffected by our differences. This has helped me to have hard conversations without jeopardizing my friends feelings or our friendship.
February 20th, 2021 2:39am
I dont think you have to worry about their feelings being hurt unless you are being rude, as long as you approach it with a positive attitude most people do not get their feelings hurt if you have a difference of opinion. So if you and your friends disagree about something that is a sensitive topic like religion or politics, you should always understand they have the right to their opinion and you have the right to your own. If you show that you respect their opinion, or beliefs then they will hopfully respect that you have your own thoughts as well
February 26th, 2021 4:13pm
I try to tell what I think and don't be passively aggressive. I like sarcasm and irony, but what feels better is to reacting immanently and just simply saying what I think. Most often, when the partner in talk is intelligent, they would agree or at least assume my point of view without any problem. With more insecure or stubborn people it at least get with accepting my way of thinking and doesn't cause any trouble at all. It takes assertiveness but unexpectedly it's most often socially granted. What is different is trying to convince someone to the own point.
March 14th, 2021 6:34pm
It is important to fully listen to your friend's opinion and acknowledge their feelings. Be honest with the fact that you are having an honest and open conversation, and that respectfully you must disclose that you disagree and are happy to explain why. Acknowledge their feelings and that their opinion is valid, however you disagree and have to be honest about that in order to have an honest friendship with mutual respect. Any friend should be able to deal with this so long as both feelings are calmly and openly expressed, and the there is time to heal or cool down when necessary.
May 19th, 2021 5:21am
I have personally struggled with expressing how I feel to my friends because I felt like they would be angry if they were to find out. I always wanted to keep the peace and would ignore how I felt. However, I have realized through experience that a true friendship means that you can be honest with the other person. It is important that you are able to express how you feel as much as the other person is able to. It does not make you a bad friend, and you can do so respectfully in a non-confrontational way. This may be easier said than done, but it comes with recognizing what you want out of a friendship. Being direct does not mean being confrontational, and problems can certainly be resolved in an open, honest way (and can even allow you to understand the other person better)!
May 28th, 2021 11:54pm
The best way to start is to know that you are fully understanding their point of view first, and repeating it back. Then, being honest and saying that you aren't quite sure that you would make the same choice in their shoes. If they begin to get defensive, reaffirm that you see their line of reasoning, but you think that something else might make them feel better in the long run. At the end, though, you have to realize that it is entirely their decision to make, and you need to make sure that they know that you will support them, regardless of whether you think it is the best decision for them or not.