Monday, September 24 2012

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Image Credit: Queenofhearts820 | Flickr

I can bet your bottom dollar that sometime in the past, or maybe even right now, you have been dragged into an argument between two friends fighting which has zip, zero, zilch to do with you.

I can bet you have been used as a messenger, a halfway point between snarly comments or rumours or been asked to take sides when your peers are having a fall out.

Does this sound about right? Yeah, I thought so.

But don’t worry! You aren’t alone! I have been going through the same thing on and off for the past two weeks. Two of my good friends have been at each others throats over something so silly that shouldn’t have escalated to the drama it has become. But, unfortunately, it has and here I am stuck in the middle being ask to take sides and participate in an immature fight that could have been easily resolved. So, I thought to myself… what should I do? How do I handle this silly situation and stop myself from being involved in the exhaustingly painful conflict between a dynamic duo of amazing people? And that’s when I thought that maybe there would be others out there who are experiencing the same dilemma… so here are some tips to help you through.

Step One

Although it may be hard, you must approach each friend separately and make it very clear that you do NOT want any involvement in the argument, as it has nothing to do with you. Be honest with them and tell them they are being silly (if they are) AND that they need to stop being self-centred and apologise and forgive the other. This will get them thinking if their actions are truly necessary.

Step Two

Make it even clearer that you will not be used as a messenger to relay any comments or ‘bitchy’ remarks to the other friend, as this will only dig you deeper and deeper into a situation that has nothing to do with you. This can also cause miscommunication and who even wants to imagine the consequences if you relay a message wrong and make the situation even worse!

Step Three

Do not gossip about the situation to other friends, as this can cause a build-up of per involvement and people may start to spread incorrect rumours to try and receive an even bigger reaction from those fighting and things could get U-G-L-Y….VERY quickly.

Step Four

Give your friends space and time to cool off and figure things out. Maybe they just need to spend their time reflecting upon what has unfolded and they may realise on their own that they are in the wrong, and they may even apologise. Be patient and the situation may fix itself, without you have to intervene.

So, in the end what if this all doesn’t work? Sometimes if situations become seriously intense, and it seems beyond hope to be able to repair a friendship, get some outside adult help. Maybe ask a parent or teacher to help you out by speaking to your friends and getting them to express their honest feelings to one another to be able to mend what has been broken. But most importantly, make sure you love and support both of them through any tough time, as it could mean the world to someone to know that you are still supportive during a bump in the road they may be experiencing. I tried all of these steps, and things seem back to normal! So I wish you good luck if you are in the same boat as I was, and happy mediating!

Jess

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