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What to Do If Two Friends Don't Get Along

When two important people in your life can’t stand one another, it takes a tremendous toll on you.  How can you defuse this volcanic situation?

By
Richie Frieman,
December 18, 2013

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Option #2: A Friend-tervention

But what if you’ve reached your boiling point? It's time for a friend-tervention.

A friend-tervention is when you sit down two friends and lay everything on the table about how their animosity is affecting you. Now, as I said in Option #1, you don’t want to drive them further apart by making them discuss their feelings. But what if you’ve reached your boiling point? It's time for a friend-tervention.

Reach out to each one and say, “Can you come by my place tomorrow at 7? I need to talk.” They will push for details, but don’t give in. When they both arrive, they’ll see one another and of course want to leave. Instead, sit them down, with some nice food and drinks, and say, “Look, I understand you both aren’t too fond of one another but I need you to find some common ground. You don’t have to be best friends, but I need to know that you two can be in the same room without resorting to violence!” By doing this, you are opening the door for discussion – a discussion that may lead down the road to an amiable friendship (or at least civility).

Let them know you don’t need overnight results but you do need something from them down the line. Then, follow up with an event where they are in the same room but not in a one-on-one situation.  Do this repeatedly, so they get used to one another, but also make time for each of them individually. 

It’s never easy to bridge a divide, but if the animosity is affecting your relationships in a negative way, you have to do something about it fast and don’t wait for them to come around. Make the first move.

Do you have a great story about how you handled two friends that can’t get along?  Post all the details in the comment section below.

As always, if you have another manners question, I look forward to hearing from you at manners@quickanddirtytips.com. Follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT, and of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips for a more polite life.

If you have any recent graduates or new career professionals on your gift list, check out my new book, Reply All…And Other Ways to Tank Your Career. It's available in paperback, digital download, and as an audiobook read by me!

Friends image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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