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

136 Answers
Last Updated: 12/13/2020 at 11:24pm
How do you tell your friend that you disagree with them without hurting their feelings?
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Veronica Wade-Hampton, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I enjoy working with individuals of all capacities as I view the role of therapist as one in which you help the client learn to cope with the pressures of daily life.

Top Rated Answers
AllEars777
October 8th, 2020 6:48pm
You begin with a statement like "While I heard your point, I think this also could be a possibility that...." You don't tell them a no or that you disagree with them straightforward. You show that while you disagree you still care for your friend and are just putting forth your opinion. Avoid direct statements like "You are wrong." Avoid dismissing their point but give a message that you have considered their point and after that you still feel a different way. In the end if there is no middle ground, you can always say "Lets just agree to disagree as this doesn't change the fact that we are friends and lets just respect each other's opinion and move ahead."
Mine23
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.
Chevy81
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.
glowingTruth228
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.
Anonymous
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.
Anonymous
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.
Anonymous
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.
Anonymous
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!
Anonymous
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.
talkswithariba
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.
MyMindSpeak
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!
gentleSun78
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.
Anonymous
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>
Lunx1824
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.
sanabanu
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.
Anonymous
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.