Dear Dr. Archer,
I can't stop arguing with my friend! What can I do?
I'm losing him fast. It's always over the same stupid, small things and it all stems from a fear of being hurt, plus a lack of trust brought on by past friendships that have failed. He hasn't done anything to make me feel this lack of trust. What can I do?
Very often when we repeatedly find fault with a friend or even a lover, it's for two reasons: 1) We feel they have slighted and/or disrespected us. 2) We don't want to remain friends anymore, and are subconsciously pushing them away.
As far as this friend goes, search within yourself to find the answer to the question: Do you really want to remain friends? Do you truly enjoy spending time with them and are you happy when together, or are you counting the minutes to get away? If you really don’t enjoy the friendship, then end it now and just walk away.
On the other hand if you really enjoy their company then you need to decide what they might have done to upset you. Think hard, I bet there is something you can come up with. Then have a talk and put it out in the open and try to work it out.
Open yourself up to new friends, as well. When looking for new friends, be aware of body language. If you cross your arms and look down, you're not encouraging others to engage in conversation.
Head up, look them in the eye, and above all, smile. You will look approachable and easy going, inviting others into your space. Keep in mind conversation is a two way street, and while we think of conversation and communication as talking, most of the time it's more important to LISTEN.
Saying hello and striking up a conversation with an introvert could be the beginning of a great friendship, and they'll be happy you approached them.