Feuding friends

Let me preface this by saying I can’t stand drama and avoid it as if it were the worst form of flu ever. However, I am friends with two girls who pretty much hate one another and I find myself involved too often. It’s not that I would like to be involved, but the girls seem to vent about one another to me. They know that I won’t trash the other, and I hardly ever even offer advice, and I never take sides. Yet since they are both my friends I feel like I end up caught in the middle. What would you do? It seems unlikely that they will ever be friends, but I don’t want to stress anymore about their differences!! Help!

9 thoughts on “Feuding friends

  1. Eleanor Roosevelt says:

    [When each one starts complaining, tell her you don’t want to hear it because you’re friends with the other girl and you don’t want to be put in the middle.

  2. Happy Pants says:

    [Yep. Simple as that. Tell them you don’t want to hear it. If they’re really your friends, they’ll respect your wishes to not get involved.

  3. MargieCharles says:

    [As other people are saying, you definitely need to tell each of them that you don’t want to hear it anymore. From experience, trying to correct them isn’t going to work. You just have to flat out say something like, “I know you may not be friends with so-and-so, but I am. It makes me really uncomfortable when you say things like this, and I’d really appreciate it if you wouldn’t trash talk her in front of me. Let’s just agree not to bring her up in conversation.”

    And then if either of them starts to bring up the other again, you need to cut them off at the very beginning. Don’t even let them finish their story. That will make them learn that you’re not going to tolerate it at all, whereas if you wait until they’re done talking before chastising them then they’re going to think they can still unload on you.

  4. Dennis Hong says:

    [Yeah, pretty much what everyone else said. It may be the easiest path, but you’re not staying neutral by letting them vent, even if you don’t actively participate in the trash talking. You’re just being complicit, which is just as bad, if not worse. It’d be like if, say, Switzerland let the Nazis hunt down Jews within their borders, but… you know, they just didn’t offer any them any help, so they were technically still being neutral. 😉

    If you really want to stay neutral, the only way to do it is to let both of them know that they’re not allowed to trash the other person in front of you.

  5. karlos says:

    [When they start complaining about one another you could always say, why do you say that? X said they think you’re really neat and they want to be friends.

    Keep doing that and maybe eventually they’ll realise they should be friends, failing that they may realise and get annoyed with you, then again. Who are they going to complain to?

  6. Matt Sanchelli says:

    [There isn’t much I can add other than to first echo what mostly everyone else has stated.

    First; make it known that you don’t want to be put in the middle of it. That largely means no trash talking the other person while you are there.

    We can’t expect everyone to life everyone in the world. The same essentially applies to even our friends. Some friends may get along, others will cause friction. They both need to respect that you are friends with both of them.

    If they can’t respect your wishes then they are not respect the friendship they have with you.

  7. PKP says:

    [I had a similar situation back in university. I couldn’t stand it either, so I told them to work it out between them or I was done with them both. I actually told them this at a bus stop where we were all awkwardly waiting for the same bus. Apologies were made and we got on with life.

  8. Jasmine says:

    [Hmmm… I have totally been guilty of this. Note to self: no more venting. In the meantime, make sure you don’t open the door for your friends to vent. Comments like “hey such and such is going to be there” or “at least you won’t have to see so and so” can backfire on you- and make misrepresent your intention to not be involved!

  9. theattack says:

    [My parents have been complaining about each other to me for as long as I can remember. About three weeks ago, I had an explosion over it when my mom complained that 1) my dad was inconsiderate because he installed a new shower curtain-rod without checking the height with her, and 2) he bought her the wrong kind of jewelry for their anniversary. I yelled at my mom over it, and she hung up the phone on me, assuming that I thought he was always right and she never was. We both cried over the whole scenario, and while I was more hurt than anything, she was shaking with anger. Please avoid my situation and work it out before you have a breakdown over it yourself and make the situation worse. Eventually, my mom listened to my apology and plea for her to stop the complaints when I explained that even just listening to her vent forces me to take a side, but we could have avoided some tears if I’d asked her to stop calmly before it got so out of hand.

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