What are you supposed to do when your friends break up? Here are a few ways to negotiate the situation:
- Be Supportive: It is hard going through a breakup–many feel the same feelings associated with death–so remember to be a supportive friend or family member. There may well be feelings of anger, jealousy and betrayal, even in an amicable split . Check in with your friend and provide company and distraction, but give them space when they need it.
- Don’t Get Caught in the Middle: In an amicable separation, it may be possible to keep up a relationship with both individuals, but the challenge will be not getting caught in the middle. Close friends will want to talk to you about the split since it will be the most pressing issue in their lives, but this can put you in the awkward position of mediator or double agent. To stay friends with both sides, avoid the breakup topic with at least one side. Sometimes you may have to decide where your loyalty lies: with a close friend, or with a more social acquaintance, or at least wait a period of time before normalizing relations with the other partner to make sure you can be there for your close friend.
- The Pair-Off: You have to be careful about getting drawn into another couple’s conflict when you and your partner are friends with the splitting couple, and each of you is closer to a different member of the dividing pair. Don’t let the other couple’s dispute spill over into your relationship. Remember that your duty as a friend is to be compassionate, supportive, loving, and objective when needed. It is not your job to be the mediator.
Hopefully these quick and dirty tips will help you keep relationships running smoothly. Here’s hoping that all your friends have long and happy lives together!