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Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™

FRIENDSHIP: Torn Between Two Friends
Letter #: 379232
Category: Friendship

Original Letter

Hello,I am having some issues that i need help with. I have two friends who hate eachother and im trying to split my time with them. How can I? Please help!!! crying

Elder Response

Yours is a tough, and all-too-common problem: what to do when two people you care about are at odds with each other. You don't want to choose between them, because you love them both. Yet each of them resents the time that you spend with the other one.

Usually, I think, the best solution is to be absolutely honest with both friends, and tell them about your feelings. "I'm feeling bad about how it is between you and xxx, and I don't want to be caught in the middle. I like both of you, and want you for my friends. So when I'm with xxx, please don't think it means I'm siding with him/her against you. And if there's anything I can do to help the two of you to get along better, I sure want to do that."

Most people, if they are at all reasonable, will understand -- they may not like it, but they'll understand. If they want you for a friend they will have to realize that they can't control who your other friends will be. That's your decision, not theirs.

If one or both of them hates the other so much that they are insisting that you choose  -- if they are saying, essentially, that the friend of my enemy is my enemy too, there's not much you can do about it. They, too, have the right to make choices, and they may choose to end the friendship. Actually, that's not much of a loss because nobody needs friends who are that controlling and unreasonable.

The good news is that usually this kind of feud plays itself out in a relatively short time. So if you are truly a good friend to each of them, and refuse to join in or even listen to any bad-mouthing about either one, the problem may just melt away over time. Who knows -- they may become friends with each other, and the three of you can hang out together!

Thanks for writing to us, and do write back whenever you feel like it -- and good luck!

Best Regards,



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