What do you do when your friends argue and they pull you in to, most likely, take sides? How do you feel? Is it possible to listen and be a good friend without taking sides??
It stinks to be in the middle of when friends argue. You feel like your friendship with them is as much at risk as the relationship between the ones in the fight. If you agree with one on any point, she might take it back to the other friend and say, “Well, so-and-so agrees with me about this,” and the other friend will feel betrayed. They might end up upset with you, and they resolve their issue, and you are friendless. OUCH!
So, how can you be a good friend and not put yourself in a situation to be the friend on the outside when the conflict is over? Here are some easy tips on being stuck in the middle.
- Don’t take sides? - this isn’t your disagreement; it’s their issue to work out.
- Be a good listener? - it’s okay to listen and be empathetic to how they feel. “I’m sorry you feel this way. I hope you guys can work it out”.
- Don’t get mixed up in the drama? - don’t let yourself become emotionally involved. If you start taking it personally, you will automatically take sides.
- Shed a positive light? - help them see the good in each other, and how much they care about each other.
- Be Real? - if you feel one friend has done something that is obviously wrong, ask her to look at it, and if that was done to her, how would she feel?
- Communicate your feelings? - let them know how it makes you feel and that you want them to resolve it.
Being in the middle can feel crummy, but you can lessen the bad feelings by knowing that this isn’t your problem to fix, and that whatever happens with their friendship is right for them.
When friends argue, if the friendship dissolves between them, hopefully you can maintain a friendship with both of them without taking sides. Let them know that this is affecting you, and you would like to see them work it out.
Keep Loving Yourself, Debra
Teen and parenting mentor Debra Beck, who has spent over 20 years working with teens and parents, is a devoted mother, sought-after presenter, and author.? She has helped thousands of girls develop their self-esteem. She now runs her popular parenting website,? EmpoweredTeensandParents.com, encourages girls to be the best “young women” possible, and gives moms and dads the understanding they need to help their girls mature with pride and confidence.? Her award-winning book “My Feet Aren’t Ugly: A Girl’s Guide to Loving Herself from the Inside Out”, has been revised and updated for re-release in September 2011 with Beaufort Books.
It is hard to be in the middle of an argument between friends, and we hope these tips help solve the problem and keep your friendships going ? strong.