A few months ago, Mumbai-based clinical psychologist Hvovi Bhagwagar was approached by a 33-yearold MNC professional after a break-up had left him rattled. It wasn’t a split of the romantic kind. He had had a nasty fight with his best buddy of many years. “Interestingly,” says Bhagwagar, “he was going through a divorce at the same time.

“He couldn’t handle the criticism and the fact that his friend wasn’t supporting him. They nearly came to blows, and cut off all contact,” she adds.

“We realised through therapy that he had a problem in conflict resolution. This had slowly eroded his marriage and was responsible for the fight with his friend too,” says Bhagwagar.

Eventually, they met, discussed the problem and buried the hatchet. “His marriage was beyond repair, but at least he got back with his friend,” says Bhagwagar. A healthy relationship is one where friends aren’t afraid to disagree because they do it with the goal of coming to an understanding. “They thrash things out so that their friendship remains a safe place where they can be themselves.”

Featured in Mumbai Mirror, January 16, 2013.