I was once told to hold a golf club like a baby bird. Hold the club lightly and do not over grip or the ball would not not go straight. This baby bird strategy certainly works with relationships as well. Our emotions coupled with how we are approached will dictate how we will react to our partner or friend. If you are strained, then you know that there will will be an imbalance with the other person. What we would find a stupid comment could turn into a mortal wound. SOLID footing is established by BOTH people realizing that emotions and communication can turn a great time into a terrible outing. Footing that is less stable requires patience by the one victimized. Yet, remember that successful relationships are built over time and the baby bird notion is built over time as well.
I have been on both sides of relationship equation and once again it takes immediate reflection for me to be able to successfully navigate this territory. As in all relationships, patience and a commitment to the other person will guide us through this volatile territory. If you value the relationship then treat it like a baby bird; delicately.