“Why Negotiating With Friends Can Make You Sad”


Be Cautious When Negotiating with Friends



Negotiating with friends can make you sad because of the heightened emotions that can be involved; emotions can be invoked as the result of caring too much about the preservation of the relationship, which can create unimaginable angst. That level of angst can lead to sadness.

Most negotiators know it can be more difficult to negotiate with a friend, much more so than with someone you barely know. The longer the relationship and the greater the value you place on preserving it, the more daunting can be the negotiation process with a friend.

  1. What would you do if the following occurred to you?

A friend asks you for business advice. She knows you’re a savvy business person; you’ve owned your business for more than two decades. You’ve given your friend sage business advice in the past, based on your many years of business experience that others have valued and benefited from. Prior insights you’ve given her proved to be correct when you suggested she not address a certain business endeavor that she chose to engage in any way. As you had predicted, that venture later proved to be unfruitful.

  1. What do you do when you see your friend about to make the same business mistake again? Do you give her advice and adopt a ‘take it or leave it perspective’, or do you become dogmatic with your insistence that she not walk down the same dead end as before? If you decide to give her advice to what degree do you do so?

The answers really lie in the degree of care and concern you have for your friend and therein lies the dilemma. If you become too emotionally involved, you run the risk of being perceived as overbearing, a know it all, even demeaning, as you persist in attempting to defer your friend from the pending doom she’s about to engage in. You have to balance that emotional consternation against making yourself sick with anxiety.

When it comes to emotions invoked from negotiating with friends, you should/must realize that you need a mental tripwire that’s used to bring you back to a state of calm and/or a mindset that does not become overly fraught with hypertension. If the degree of tension is not controlled it can lead the discussion/negotiation down a path from which it becomes extremely difficult to continue the nurturing of the relationship. Thus, when it comes to negotiating with a friend, know when to back out of the negotiation/conversation. If you take a cooling off period before addressing the topic again, if ever, you’ll preserve the relationship … and everything will be right with the world.


Remember, you’re always negotiating!




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