Even the best of friends have fights, as it is human nature.
People tend to pick sides when their friends are fighting, whether they realize it or not.
On the other hand, others don’t prefer choosing sides because it puts them in an uncomfortable position amongst friends.
How should one approach this issue? Here are four points to consider.
1. If possible, steer clear of the drama.
Of course, you will inevitably be kept in the loop if your friends vent about the situation.
However, listening to gossip and allowing gossip to influence your judgment are two completely different things.
It would be in your best interest to stay out of battles that aren’t your own. You can always support your friends without getting involved in things that aren’t your business.
If you decide to take on the role of the mediator, stay completely neutral because if one side feels more attacked, they will probably resent you.
2. There are two sides to every story.
Although you should trust each one of your friends, understand that when one comes to you with a story about another, you shouldn’t be so quick to assume that’s the truth.
It’s not uncommon for people to exaggerate what happened when they are angry. Give the other person the benefit of the doubt because that’s what you would want if you were stuck in the same position.
In other words, be sure to get all the details before placing any judgment. You should also consider the fact that you may never know the full truth because both parties could be completely off with their stories.
3. Respect your friends’ privacy.
Some people might be tempted to let both parties know what the other is saying about them—what most refer to as “playing both sides of the fence.”
It might seem like common sense to not disclose what each side has said about the other, but sometimes people think they’re actually helping resolve the situation by doing this.
No matter what your intention is, refrain from revealing what has been said to you in confidentiality, whether it is positive or negative.
If you think that what is said to you should be said, then try persuading each friend to sit down and talk with the other about what’s on their mind, but don’t risk damaging your friends’ trust in the process.
4. Treat your friends equally.
Some people have a habit of taking a specific friend’s side if they are closer to them than a separate friend.
It’s normal for a group of friends to have friendships that vary, but don’t automatically pick a side even if you are technically closer to one friend.
Again, put yourself in the accused’s position. If you were in their place, you would certainly want everyone to hear you out without condemning you.
If there are other people involved in your social group, urge them not to take sides either if you notice they are beginning to form opinions toward the situation.