Dear Honeycomb Hideout,
I am currently stuck between what seems like a divorce of the friend group. Without going into too much detail, my friends got into an altercation without me being present and now it seems like battle lines have been drawn. On one side of the argument I have a friend who feels they didn’t do anything wrong and apologized and on the other side I have friends who won’t acknowledge anything happened at all. It now feels like I am a child of divorce all over again. What advice do you have to offer me in this difficult situation?
First, let me just offer my sympathies to you because this situation is always a complete headache to all the parties involved. There is nothing worse than fighting inside the friend group especially since this is a group of people who are there because you seek to gain comfort from them.
If you’re anything like me, you treat the small group of friends you have like family and fighting between them can be very stressful and traumatizing. I also noticed how you mentioned being a child of divorce, so this must be hitting a bit harder for you.
I will say this as a child of divorce: you probably feel like it’s your job to get in the middle of this and try to fix it. While your intentions are in the right place, don’t do it. Since this situation didn’t involve you, don’t put yourself into it; you will only do more harm than good in the long run of things.
In this situation, stay neutral. Be Switzerland!
I know this may be difficult, but keeping your hands free of the situation will serve you well. If your friend group is like a family, something I learned is that families are going to fight and that is a natural thing.
The only difference between friends and family is you don’t get to choose your family. With that being said, there’s a very strong possibility that you will all come back together in a short amount of time.
If we have to address the worst case scenario that your friends won’t make-up, that leaves you the options of still remaining friends with both parties or picking a side. I personally recommend the former but to each their own.
Since you’re friends with both and neither side is budging, I have bad news for you: it’s going to be your childhood all over again. It’s going to be Saturday morning soccer games where your mom is in her lawn chair and your dad is on the bleachers with all the other hungover parents.
This situation is not ideal but you still will have both groups of friends there for you at major events you’d want everyone to be involved in like birthdays, graduations, and weddings. My advice would be to inform both sides that you will be inviting the other so they do not feel like they are being blindsided showing up to an event and the other is there.
One reality you may have to also face is they may skip events due to this, so you may have moments where you have to pick and choose who you invite to what. In my opinion this option is flawed because eventually you’ll seem like the bad guy for not inviting someone to something.
Remember you didn’t cause this problem and if your friends care enough about it they can conduct themselves like adults for your behalf.
I wish you the best in your new social circle and if you just want to cause chaos you could try the parent trap method or like an escape room forcing cooperation but the results of this may vary.
Honeycomb Hideout is the anonymous advice column from The Sting.