How to deal with when 2 of your friends are fighting
If you are a certain age, you have probably met a friendship problem it seems more academic than adult: two friends around you get into a petty argument that becomes long-standing, and you inevitably get dragged into the middle.
“It was a very precarious situation from the start,” Rogers told HuffPost. “I tried my best to stay out of this, but in the end one of the friends ended up turning on me and reconnect with the other friend.
No good deed goes unpunished, especially in the messy arena of adult friendships.
Rogers’ story of friend feuds is all too common, but there’s no real manual on how to handle it: step in or stay out? What do you do with social events like your birthday that you both want to attend? Fear not, the friendship quarrel advice is here! Below are five tips to make this awkward situation a little less stressful.
Don’t let them push you to take sides.
Maybe you don’t mind playing mediator maybe you even like to do it if you have a little bit of savior complex. But don’t let any of your friends convince you to play a referee role, where you have to weigh in on who is right and who is wrong, said Marie Land, psychologist based in Washington, DC
“To be clear with them, say something like, ‘I care about your feelings, but I’m not going to take sides,’” Land said. “If they don’t understand and are on the defensive, you have a right to explain how it affects you. “
For example, say something like, “It makes me a little uncomfortable talking about X with you. Can we talk about something else? What did you think of this new Jordan Peele film? “
To distract further and remind them that it is their responsibility for the situation, Land suggests saying, “I hope you can talk about it or feel better about things.”
Don’t personalize the situation too much.
Your circle of friends – and the state of each of those friendships – is obviously important to you. But at the end of the day, you are dealing with adults who dictate how they spend their free time and with whom. They decide which friendships they want to invest in or not, said Andrea Bonior, psychologist and facilitator of Baggage search, a weekly live chat on the Washington Post.
“It’s not your job to deal with other people’s conflicts, and while it can be very frustrating and stressful to have two friends arguing, remember that the more you do with yourself, the more miserable you will be. “she said.
Plan shared events in advance.
When social events are on, hang in there and invite whoever you want to your party, said Melissa S. Cohen, psychotherapist in Westfield, New Jersey. Part of being an adult stems from the self-centeredness and drama of our youth. Your friends should be able to recognize when they are not the focal point of the event. (Also, if this is a party setting, any additional people present should help reduce the intensity of the scorched earth vibrations that occur between them.)
“Everyone has to move beyond their own issues to focus on why they are coming together in the first place,” Cohen said. “Maybe in advance, remind them that it takes a lot more effort to snub someone than just being cordial. Even if we are hurt, everyone deserves to be treated with respect.
Cohen’s pro tip for interacting with someone you’d rather dislike? Extend the same level of politeness as you would with a stranger on the subway.
“Acknowledge their existence and then focus elsewhere,” she said.
Set healthy boundaries and rules for the conversation.
Put your own peace of mind first here. Set clear boundaries with each friend to establish your role – or really, your absence in this feud, Rogers said.
“I recommend applying rules such as no negative speech about the other friend in front of you, no relaying of messages between the two enemy friends and no reference to the quarrel in your presence,” she said.
Be prepared to accept that their friendship may have taken its course.
Friendships are fluid things. Sometimes in the process of growing individually or just going about our daily life, we outdo each other. You might get along wonderfully with these two people, but if they don’t “click” as friends anymore, that doesn’t need to bring any extra stress into your life.
“At this point, they may have little in common except their friendship with you,” said Irene S. Levine, psychologist and author of “Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup With Your Best Friend. ” “If being together in a threesome becomes too uncomfortable, you may have to see them individually from now on.”
“Of course, it helps to try to clear up any misunderstanding, but pushing too much can backfire,” she said. “All you can do is reassure your two friends that, individually, their friendship with you will always be important.”