What to Do When Your Friends Don’t Like Each Other

November 15, 2011  |  
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While shamefully watching a recent episode of Basketball Wives LA, I cringed as grown women argued, backstabbed, and argued some more all because they were forced to be friends due to the taping of a reality show. An outspoken Jackie Christie, the wife of Doug Christie, was supposedly put in a difficult situation as she attempted to be friends with all the women despite the fact that they didn’t get along with each other. Of course they later found out that she may have been the cause of the issues, but that’s another story and nevertheless it raised a good question: how do you maintain mutual friendships with your friends who don’t get along with each other? Allow me to elaborate.

Let’s face it: everyone isn’t meant to be the best of friends; actually everyone isn’t meant to be friends at all. While it doesn’t matter if all of our closest friends are in turn closest friends with each other, we would hope that each and every one of our homegirls can at least be cordial and get along; but what if they don’t?

Unless your opposing friends are never in the same place at the same time, it may not matter; but when birthday parties, weddings, and other special events roll around and you want all of your girlfriends under the same roof, it’s important that catty girl fights and BFF competitions (yes they do happen amongst grown women) are avoided.

So what do you do to keep the peace while maintaining your bonds with both friends?

Refrain From Taking Sides

It’s hard to avoid being in the middle of conflicts between friends as a mutual friend; but it’s important to refrain from voicing your opinion too much to prevent the illusion of taking sides and then putting your friendship with person in a vulnerable position. Sometimes it’s best to keep your opinions to yourself and avoid talking to one friend about the other, even if it’s in a casual manner. Better safe than sorry.

Don’t Add Fuel to the Fire

There is absolutely nothing worse than repeating to one friend what the other said. While this seems pretty self-explanatory, sometimes intentions can be good; but when people don’t get along and are forced to be around each other, even temporarily, levels of sensitivity are higher, and your harmless intentions can create an even more harmful situation.

Try To Find a Common Ground

Besides having you as a friend, there may be some other things that your friends have in common. Do they like the same shows? Hang out at similar places? If they have anything in common and must be around each other, bring up that common denominator. It may help bridge the gap and eliminate awkward silence to create a conversation of some sort.

If Necessary, Have a Heart to Heart

Instead of beating around the bush or attempting to develop strategies, talk to both of your friends about the situation. Find out what the issues are and address how the situation makes you feel as the individual caught in between the drama. Most importantly, see if they are willing to work out their differences, especially if they’ve been cool for a very long time.

Know When To Let It Go

After you’ve tried to connect both of your friends or attempt to get to the root of the issues with no avail, know when to chalk it up as a loss. Trying to get them to be friends when they’re not willing to do so will only put a strain on your friendship with them both. It’s important to know that some people simply don’t get along and will have issues with each other that they aren’t willing to iron out. You’ve done all you can do about it, so know when to let it go. Shouldering other people’s drama is not your place.

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