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  • Esther Perel and Mary Alice Miller

Could it really be that easy to resolve conflict?

Updated: Feb 10


A dear friend texted me last week to let me know he was upset with me. We had made plans to talk the previous Sunday morning. When he called that day, I said I was still sleepy and asked if we could reschedule. What I didn’t know was that he had woken up early on the last day of his vacation to have this call. And it wasn’t the first time he had felt disregarded by me in this way. So he wrote me a letter.

It wasn’t only to get his feelings off his chest. He was sounding an alarm. Our relationship needs attention. By addressing the conflict head-on, he was showing how much our friendship matters to him. As I drafted my reply, I felt gratitude for his honesty, care, and communication. I told him so. I acknowledged my poor behavior and how it could come off as careless. I apologized and made a point of telling him that I, too, care about our friendship.

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