From the U.S.: I studied psychology myself and I know more than anyone that we tend to get into patterns of behaviors that cause conflict with others without even realizing it. What I would like to know is if I sound like I am in a bad pattern and how to overcome it?
So I am finding myself in more and more distress because a person that I used to have an incredible connection with and that cared very much for me and I for them has turned into the person I have most conflict with.
So a little background, this person is male, I am a female. We are best friends and have decided to start a company together and both have invested a lot into the company in terms of money and hours. We used to get along perfectly and have a similar dream, but now there are constant fights and everything is falling apart and I would like to know how to get out of this vicious cycle that we seem to be stuck in so we can work together and get this company forward.
The fights always start in the same way. I do or say something that he doesnt like or agree with, and he gets angry. Before we would calmly discuss and reach a mutual understanding but now, he gets angry in that he attacks me for whatever it is I did, whether its not thinking about some detail and messing up or making a mistake or making a decision he didnt agree with. I, in turn, become defensive, which makes him more angry, and I become sad that were fighting again and wonder why he wont listen to me, in response he becomes dismissive saying that there I go creating a big drama again.
While were both aware that this is destructive and weve tried to stop many times, we just cannot seem to stop and its causing him to be more closed, and me to be more sad. Every little fight that passes or things that happens it becomes harder to communicate. Why is this happening?
Am I acting like the victim? Why has he closed his mind to anything I say and how can I open it agian when ive tried all psychological methods and nothing works with him. The more I try the more closed he is. How can we get out of this vicious cycle? We have to work together we cant abandon this business. Help?Am I Playing the Victim?
Am I Playing the Victim?
As you’ve discovered, being friends and being business partners are two different things. You are correct that the two of you are in a destructive pattern. But it is a mutual dance. And it takes two to make a cycle. That’s why it is called a “cycle”.
I don’t think the two of you can solve this on your own. If you could, you would have done so already. You need new eyes on the problem, preferably experienced “eyes”, who can help the two of you get out of a destructive pattern and into a productive pattern of relating.
I therefore suggest you get a consultant to help you. No, this doesn’t have to cost money. Check out the website for SCORE: https://www.score.org/. SCORE provides free business advice through a network of volunteer business experts. You can get help by phone, online, or by arranging to meet with a mentor.
The stakes are high. Most start-ups fail. When business partners don’t get along, the business inevitably suffers and often closes. I hope the two of you can get past whatever ego issues might get in the way and reach out for the help you need.
I wish you well.