I have 2 friends; we’ll call them Annabelle and Betsy. Both of them are good friends of mine, but they have decided that they don’t like each other. I will call Annabelle on the phone and talk to her about what’s going on in my life. Invariably the conversation will turn to Betsy and Annabelle will go on and on about how awful Betsy is and how terrible a person she is.
Then I will call Betsy. And somehow the conversation will turn to Annabelle, even though I try to avoid it. Betsy will go on and on about Annabelle and how terrible she is and such.
I’m not entirely sure how to handle the situation. I’ll be honest, I have made some mistakes. It’s not as simple as “don’t talk to them about each other.” There are other people in the mix that connect all of us that make it impossible to avoid the subject. It’s very complicated. I’ve tried to make it clear that I’m Switzerland in this situation, but then I’m also the messenger, so I’m not always completely innocent.
The Curse of the INFJ
Does this ever happen to you? Do you ever end up being in the middle of your friends? Cause it happens to me all the time. It’s not just these two, either. I end up in the middle and counseling both sides. It’s impossible for me to pick a side though because I can see both of their points of view. It’s the blessing and curse of the INFJ, being able to see all the sides of everything.
The worst part for me is that I take on the emotions of everyone involved. Sometimes I get so confused about whose emotions are whose that I start claiming them as my own. What do you do when you get into this situation? After years and years of trying and failing, here’s what I have found works the best for me.
Tips for Being in the Middle of an Argument Between Friends
1 Take a Step Back
I like to be the person that is there for my friends. I answer messages promptly and am always available, even when I’m not. So, when I get caught in the middle of something, I know to take a step back. I don’t have to be that person all the time.
2 It’s OK to Not Be OK
I always want to be the solution to other people’s problems. I want to fix their issues. It’s always hard for me to admit to them that I have a problem too. But it’s important to remember that you don’t have to be the strong one all the time. It’s ok to not be ok. It’s ok for you to feel all the feels and even have a meltdown once in a while. Just don’t unpack and live there.
3 It’s Ok to Not Have the Answer
I want to fix all the problems. I’m all about learning and research. I’m great at figuring things out and finding a solution. Sometimes I get frustrated when I can’t find the solution, especially if it’s not my problem I’m trying to solve. I feel like I’ve let my friends down in some way. It’s also ok for you to not have the solution to their problems. A lot of what your friends need is just someone to be there for them and listen to them. It helps so much just to have someone in your corner.
4 Set Boundaries
It’s so important to set boundaries with people. It’s important for them to know that you are not taking sides, but that you care about them and want to be there for them. You can still love them and not be on their side. This doesn’t mean that you are against them, just that you are not taking anyone’s side. Sometimes you will have to remind them of this as well.
I know it’s a lot easier said than done. Believe me, I know. But it’s essential for your mental health. You can’t be in the middle of the battlefield all of the time. You will be the one who doesn’t make it.
I hope this helps! Let me know if you have found anything else that helps you in this situation!