Ask Angel – Stuck in the Middle

My two best friends got in a fight and are making me pick sides, I love them both but it’s making me miserable. How do I stop them from putting me in the middle? – Stuck in the Middle

Dear Stuck in the Middle,

Hey there, thank you for reaching out. Getting caught in the middle of things is never easy, but unfortunately, this is also a common experience for most people. These types of situations always get messy, but it’s best not to interfere nor choose one person over the other. You can try to offer emotional support by letting them vent to you, letting them know that you’re not going to choose sides, and trying to persuade them to talk to each other and try to work things out, rather than making you pick. Nothing will get fixed if they don’t get past it, so there’s really nothing that you, yourself, can do.

You could try to talk to them, whether it’s over text, over the phone, or in person, and let them know that you’re there for them and that they can come to you for help. It’s important to let them know that you won’t judge them. I’m sure they’re feeling very stressed out by the situation as well, so they’re going to need to have a friend they can trust. I also think that if you’re there for them, they won’t expect you to choose sides anymore because maybe your support will be enough for them. Don’t forget, if you ever feel like this whole situation is too much for you, you should definitely let them know and try to focus on other things for a little bit.

This is going to be tough, but you’re going to have to firmly tell them that you’re not picking sides, because you don’t want to pick one of them over the other. If you’d like, you can give them a reason like you don’t want to ruin either of your friendships. That’s very important, because otherwise, they might not stop dragging you into this when it’s making you miserable. You should definitely tell them that, as well, so that they can understand what they’re putting you through and so that they’ll realize how it’s affecting you. Then, hopefully, they’ll leave you out of it, or at least bring you into the argument less often.

Honestly, trying to convince two people who don’t like each other to do something together is quite often a difficult task, but hopefully with some persuasion, your friends will agree to talk things out. This one won’t work unless you have their full cooperation. I would advise that you stay with them while they talk, in case things get heated and they need to be calmed down. For example, if you notice that either of your friends are saying something that they shouldn’t be bringing up, that would be a situation where you should step in.

Although, if your friends still don’t accept the fact that you don’t want to be a part of this and still keep bringing you into their argument, maybe taking a step back from both of them could serve you well. Having to choose between two people you love is one of the worst feelings in the world, in my opinion. I’m so sorry that you have to go through that, but hopefully you’ll see things with a clearer perspective after reading this article and have a better idea of what to do about your friends.

Signed,

Angel