How do you tell your friend that you disagree with them without hurting their feelings?
Last Updated: 12/31/2021 at 11:31pm
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
State that you understand their opinion, and have different thoughts on the matter. Sometimes we can be afraid to say no or disagree with our friends. It’s normal that you and your friends aren’t the same people, and you don’t have to have the same opinion on every single thing you talk about. Your friend will understand. Show some of the reasons why you disagree. However, always make sure to use ‘I’ when stating your reasons. It’s never good to tell someone they’re wrong about their opinion on a subject, and can even be offensive. Remember that you probably aren’t right, and neither is your friend! That’s perfectly okay. You’re expressing your opinion, not the facts, more often than not, opinions are just that; opinions.
it happens most of the time when your views do not match with your friends. and sharing your views might hurt their feeling. you might find it hard to make them understand about your views. but calming down yourself and then explaining things to them with a clear line existing between yours and theirs would surely help. for a more clear vision, you can try explaining them what made you think so. you may ask them to be in your shoes for a moment and then, look at the things. if this does not help, you can just politely let them know that views are different but that must not bring any problems in their friendship. and understanding is not the only option. they can disagree and still be your friends.
I tell them that although I understand where they are coming from, I have had different experiences and believe that something else is more correct. I apologize if it hurts their feelings, that is not my intention. I share what I have experienced and why I believe what I believe. I make sure to listen to their side of the story and what they believe. They need to feel heard too. I usually do not pressure them into switching their opinion, I just focus on facts and expressing why I don't agree with them. I counter their arguments and offer information they may have not thought about or knew about
You use assertivness. You express your understanding of what they're saying with no judegment. You reflect back to them what they're saying, and have empathy, even if your beliefs are completely different. You could say something along the lines of "that is a very interesting perspective. care to listen to an alternative perspective as well?" or you could say something like "i see this in a completely different perspective. i would love to also share with you what this is". as long as I am not being judgemental, harsh, or rude, it is easy to politely let my friend know that I disagree with them.
Use "I"-messages, i.e. stress that it is your opinion. Make sure to state your point without attacking the other person but rather discussing the topic at hand. To avoid offending them also mention that you understand where they're coming from or what their opinion is based on. In case you have professional knowledge and empirical data straight-up disproving said friend, let them know that you're an expert and their claim is solely based on intangible things. However, such opinions do not have to be wrong out of principle. Offer up material to educate your friend if they wish so. Most important thing: Make it about the thing you disagree with and not the person.
A true friend will understand that not every opinion they have is right and true. People have differences, and having a healthy argument within friendships in order to exhange opions are perfectly better. You can tell your friend that if you disagree, you should strat it in a nice and calm way. Explain to her your side, why you disagree and why you think her idea is not appropriate. Communication is must to any relationships and even among friendship. You guys known each other, so I do believe that your friend will never take it in the wrong way. That you just want to express your own opinion.
In any friendship, one must feel free to speak their mind, otherwise it would be considered as dominance and not friendship. But one must bring their opinions to the table without hurting that of others. So before you speak your mind, remind yourself that you are not doing this to be right or prove your friend wrong, you are doing this to simply make your friend see things from a different perspective that they probably did not know of before. Accept their viewpoint if you think it is valid, or politely reject it by backing it with reasons as to why you are rejecting it, for example, 'I respect your viewpoint, but I do not think that is completely right. You see, it does not consider X and Y factors, and for this reason I do not agree with what it is you have to say.' SEE, not too difficult, just realize that your friendship is more important than who is right or wrong, but if your friendship includes completely disregarding your opinions then, FIND NEW FRIENDS!
Try and, firstly, see the perspective of the other, asking them questions to clarify specific aspects of their opinion; attempt to understand why this is their opinion. Then, if you feel like you understand their point of view, give a short summary, and ask if you understood it properly (or properly enough). Afterwards, you can ask a probing question, which has an aspect of your point of view in it, but is not very direct: “Have you thought about … ?” “But what if … happened?” “What do you think of … ?” Notice their response, is it aggravated or irritated? Then it is probably better to not push the conversation too far, and ask why they seem to be getting a bit heated about this topic, or ask why this topic is important to them. Here you may not have fully given your opinion to the other, but they probably noticed that you did not fully agree with them; furthermore, you have learned something new about your friend, which bettered your relationship. On the other hand, if the response is calmer, or if the other seems interested in your point of view (or if they were to directly ask for your opinion), you can ask a more direct question and state your opinion more directly: “I don’t see how … is possible ?” “Could you clarify why … would be true?” “I don’t agree with you on this, because … . What do you think?” “I cannot fully see your point of view here, since … . What do you think?” Here the conversation gain more freedom since it will be focused on the topic ― nevertheless, the feelings of the other person still have to be kept in mind. In the end, you and your friend should have a better perspective on one another’s opinions. (It is not the goal to change the opinion of the other.) During the entirety of the conversation, it remains important to stay calm and actively listen to the other, to always attempt to see their point of view as best you can. Moreover, to make sure that your friend does not become angry or irritated.
Just be honest and fair. Not agreeing does not always declare war. It is very healthy to be able to express your feelings and opinions. Maybe start by saying something like "I respect what you are saying, however I don't totally agree. I am not sayi g either of us is right or wrong, just sharing my thoughts, but I support you no matter what." If they are truly your friend you should be able to have peaceful talks and disagreements without fighting. Good luck, I hope you can resolve it peacefully!
The best way to tell a friend you disagree is to say just that! If you use a tone that isn't agressive, it puts the conversation at ease, and everyone can discuss why they dont share the same views. 99% of these are solved at 'I disagree' because you get along and understand people have different opinions. If you don't solve it there, explain your side and why you think differently. Sharing your point of view on the matter often helps to sympathize with the other person. Understanding the other sides of the story makes for an all- around better discussion.
I would first listen to my friend carefully all their points and reference because they have some view point which I haven't seen. so after listening to them I would answer them assertively that everyone have their own view point about things and my point of view differs from theirs.
I think it is important to realize that your friends are your friends for a reason. They are the people that we can be our most genuine selves to, that we can empathize and show who we really are. So in terms of hurting their feelings, it is important to remember to come from a place of love and understanding when talking to them or giving them advice on a situation. It is very easy to not see or understand where boundaries could be crossed. But it is important to remember that as a friend, your support and honesty is what matters the most as well.
Show your friend you have listened to them, tell them you understand and appreciate their perspective. You could then ask them if they have ever thought about it like this? Also it’s a good idea to start the sentence with “I believe”- everybody has a different belief system, so by saying this you could let your friend know that you believe something different without implying they are wrong. You will come across a lot less intimidating. If you and your friend can’t see eye to eye, try to avoid talking about this subject together in the future, everybody can’t agree on the same things all the time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be friends.
Maybe you can try something like-"Hey, I hear what you’re saying. I don’t think either of us is wrong, but I think we are on a different page for this right now. I want you to know that I’m not completely comfortable with that right now. Do you feel comfortable for us to talk about it a bit more? I want us to both be comfortable with this decision. You’re really important to me, so I don’t want to lose you as a friend and I know we can find a comfortable medium place to figure this out together. Let me know a good time to chat?"
Many times, we are reluctant to share our opinions with other people because we don't want to hurt their feelings, but that may not be the most effective option. Communication is a vital component of any successful and strong relationship. As much as possible, I would try to validate their points without sounding defensive. Starting your reply with something like "I do respect your opinion on it however in my opinion, I believe ___" could help you to not make them feel hurt. Respecting others' opinions and making them feel valid helps to reduce tension. Sometimes our friends may not expect us to disagree with them and may take some time to think about it. Being polite in your replies lowers the chances of hurting someone else.
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