Ask Lauren: How to Deal with a Friend Feud

Ask Lauren: How to Deal with a Friend Feud
I really enjoy writing Ask Lauren posts. I get together with my LC.com editors and read through questions you all post in the comments, which are always very interesting to discuss. Today I’ll be covering the topic of friend feuds: What to do when your besties are in a fight and you’re stuck in the middle…

This is a place I have definitely found myself in before, where neither one of my friends had wronged me personally but I was inevitably stuck in the middle of their argument. The hard thing about this situation is that you want to support each friend, but there are obviously feelings of betrayal from one friend if you take sides with the other.

My approach with petty issues is to try and stay neutral, even if I do secretly have a side. However, if I know that one friend did something really wrong and I feel strongly about it, I will speak up. After gathering my thoughts, I will calmly say something like, “Hey I don’t want to take sides, but I’m afraid what you did might be affecting your friendships.” Obviously this might turn into a little argument of it’s own, but I truly believe that you are the company you keep. Your friends and relationships are a reflection on you. So if one of your friends is doing something you really don’t agree with, you should politely voice that. If it’s a minor issue that is strictly between your two friends though, stay out of it and just treat both friends equally (easier said than done, I know).

Sometimes friendships fall apart and that’s unfortunate. But it’s important to not let it change your own relationships with those friends. Things change, and that’s part of life. When all else fails, my best advice is to always, always follow the golden rule: Treat others how you would like to be treated.

Have you ever been stuck in the middle of a fight between two friends? What about a fight with your bestie?

Leave your stories below and feel free to leave some Ask Lauren requests too. You might see your request in my next blog post!

XO Lauren

 

Photo: Joan Holloway
Categories: Ask Lauren, Grow, Lauren Conrad
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  • http://everydayingrace.blogspot.ca/ Grace

    Thank you so much for addressing this! I think it’s sometimes hard to remain neutral when one of your friends really is at fault, but it’s a good thing to try to do :)

    http://everydayingrace.blogspot.ca/

    • $110495307

      It’s good to be neutral and not get in between friends but I always respected the friends who were willing to talk to me truthfully the most. You can stay neutral but I always recommend still giving at least a political version of your opinion because being silent now can sometimes lead to worse issues later. Honesty and communication are the #1 qualities needed for a good and true friendship to work.

  • arielle q.

    staying neutral is so difficult, but you’re right, it’s the only way to keep both friendships in tact while your friends are feuding. thanks so much for sharing! such a helpful post.

    love, arielle
    a simple elegance

  • Leah C

    My question is, how do you deal with a fued between you and your best friend because your lives are both different now? My friend is married with 2 kids and lives in my home town and I moved away to go to college 3 hours away and have a new bf going on a year and not home as often as even I like and going through my own medical issues but she feels like I’ve abandoned her when in fact she’s the one who doesn’t reach out to me.

    • Estef

      Im in the same position right now, without the college part. She’s married and I passed through a big emotional breakdown for a medial issue that I had. She never understood or even try, Im super disappointed and like your friend she thinks I’ve abandoned her and that I dont want to spend time with her.

    • $110495307

      Re-evaluate your friendship. Do you still have things in common that you both still do? Being a wife and especially a mother is a very busy schedule and if there is nothing you really have in common anymore as you have gotten older, then it might be best to just let it go. People drift the most after high school because your lives are different including your goals and how you spend your time. If there is an activity that you two still like doing together, then just be respectful that she has a busy life with people to please and try to set something up maybe once a month or so to do that activity together. It could be that she is just very busy but if you offered to go to the gym together for example, it’s a good way she doesn’t have to change her schedule much but would still get to see you. Then you could even go to lunch after to catch up an talk. Also, keep in mind that little ones are SUCH a handful! If she’s got children under the age of 7 then your best bet might be going with her to take the little ones to the park or something of that effect.

  • http://memoriesofthepacific.blogspot.com.es/ Cristina Gomez

    Thanks for the advice, Lauren! Fortunately, I’ve never had to deal with a situation like this. Staying neutral is the ideal thing to do however it must be very difficult.

    http://memoriesofthepacific.blogspot.com.es/

  • Lauren Horton

    Recently my two best friends had a falling out, and I find the hardest thing is trying not to bring them up in conversation with the other because I know they don’t want to hear about each other. It is particularly difficult because they are both such a big part of my life!

    • Nina

      I did this for a long time as well before I just decided to stop because I didn’t want to edit myself – beause as you say both were such a big part of my life at the time and it was a big effort – and both of my friends were fine with it as they knew they both were a big part of my life. One was a bit more gracious than the other at first but even my friend who struggled a little with it grew to accept it as well.
      Don’t let it change who you are – that’s what I found.

  • http://dreamliveandrepeat.blogspot.com/ Ashley of Dream.Live.Repeat.

    Great advice! Thanks for sharing!

    dreamliveandrepeat.blogspot.com

  • http://www.champagneonmondays.com Elizabeth @ ChampagneOnMondays

    I do my best to stay out of other people’s conflicts but I find it best to be as direct as possible. If I’m in a fight with a friend I pretty much confront the issue right away, I don’t like letting things like that sit, they just weigh so heavy on me!

  • Alyssa Tomasic

    I’m not confrontational at all, so I try to avoid conflict.

    http://www.bellalurosa.com/2014/07/fairytale-wish-list-college-edition.html

  • Vanessa

    Hi Lauren. I had a friend, yes its like a feel right now, in the past. We met on University, and we had a close group. At this point everyone is living in a different country or city, 4 of us are married and 2 of us are single. Even the marriage never was a problem for us, we found time for each other and hang out with the husbands/fiance/boyfriends.

    We create a group on whatsapp where we could share our feelings, dramas, accomplishments and was a great way to connect because we are living in different countries like Brazil, USA and Canada.

    One of the girls sent a picture of a obese lady, she lives in the USA, saying that they were lazy, she should take more care of herself. After I saw it, I went crazy!! The lady was having problems to turn around, its wasnt funny, it was sad. Sad for my “friend” who took a picture of the lady. I sent a msg saying do you realize how hard must be to her got out of home if there are people like you who make fun and take pictures of her. How do you think she was feeling? I told her that i dint expected such thing from her and I was really disappointed. And that obesity was a disease.

    After that she replied it ” i wont even comment! and the she never commented on our group anymore, 4 of my friend took her side and only one my side. So, she was checking the whatsapp to see what was going on with us and she also blocked me on instagram, which I only realized after a long time.

    I spend sending msg to my friends on whatsapp but then i realized that she was checking all the msgs and didn t want to reply, So i felt uncomfortable with the situation and left the group, my friend who was at my side she left as well, how she was the manager of the group it end up when she left.

    After this I blocked her on all social medias and on my phone as well.

    I never talk to her anymore, and honestly I don´t feel like. I loved and respected her as a friend but this type of attitude doesnt go with I believe.

    The situation between the other girls and I were tense. But i keep sending message asking how they were doing, postal cards and letters, trying to keep normal, because after all I still love them.

    Lauren, what is you opinion about this?

    Sometimes I think I might be too harsh on her, but at this point don´t feel like trying anything.

    Thank you for your time.

    XOXO

    Vanessa

    • $110495307

      As people get older they start to divide more and that is a natural part of life. I am sure you have heard the phrase, “You are who your friends are.” and it is so true. It is very hard for people to maintain a close friendship when they do not share similar morals, religion, political views, or other deep passions/interests.
      It seems to me that this particular friend who originally posted the comment has very different views than you do on either weight or personal responsibility. I understand that SOME people truly do have a medical condition that causes their weight to reach unhealthy numbers. However, there are also quite a few people, especially in the USA, who truly are just lazy, eat whatever they want, and have no shame about it. To disrespect your body in such a manner can definitely be offensive to some other people. Obviously I don’t know if the obese woman in the photo was obese as a result of a medical condition or her own doing. I understand why there are people who don’t respect when other people allow themselves to get to an unhealthy point because psychologically it shows that those people don’t care about themselves so how can they care about anyone else? Psychologically, if it is their own fault and not a medical condition then they either have problems with self-control or are anti-societal. If they are obese and wearing clothing that is not modest then it really shows they don’t care about themselves or society because whether due to a health condition or self-negligence, obesity is not something to show off as being proud of. If the obese woman was not dressed appropriately and/or unhealthy from her own doing then I can see why your friend would not have wanted to get into an argument with you about how she made it harder on herself to go out when she decided she couldn’t put in a little effort for exercise as well as practice a little self-control.
      However, if this person was obese because of a medical condition then I tend to think your friend just didn’t know that and jumped to the conclusion that it was her own fault. I have never been outside of the US but I have traveled to half of the states within the US. In my travels I saw women that were so much larger in weight than what I was used to that it did make me a little sick. I feel bad for the people who have a medical condition but for all of the people who don’t, I find it repulsive that people can be that blatantly disrespectful to their own bodies or suffer that badly from lack of impulse control.
      In my opinion, you may have been a little harsh in your confronting on the situation (you could’ve asked if it was a health condition before assuming unless you knew for sure) but I also think that your friend overreacted in deleting you without your knowledge. If you really feel you want to connect with her then I would suggest you sending her an apology and saying that you value her friendship and would like to know how she is doing and maybe you can all get together sometime. That one small apology may go a long way to allow the other 4 who followed her to let go of the situation as it would remove the tension. However, you have both blocked each other and if one of you were married and the other single then your lives are very different and this incident may have just been that last straw that happened to pull you two apart but it would’ve been something else sooner or later. Perhaps you want to send an apology without plans to get together for your own closure anyway? If you are never going to be seeing each other again or ever being in the same spots then personally, I would just let it go and focus my time more on the friends you have now.

  • Janina

    Great tips! Thank you so much!

    XO Janina

    http://janinafran.blogspot.ca

    • http://blogaboutdesign.com/ B.A.D l Blog About Design

      I agree! Thanks for the tips :)

      Check out the B.A.D blog:blogaboutdesign.com

  • Starshine

    Hi Lauren! To stay on topic on friend feuds, I have quite some soap-like drama going on. My best friend started seeing my boyfriend’s twin brother. Instead of getting me warmed up – as in getting used to this scenario which is already weird enough – she disrespected my feelings by going very fast. The twin brother – whom I never had any problems with, all of a sudden saw it as some kind of competition. Everything my best friend was, was better than me. It was quite embarassing as my best friend had just met him, and he suddenly wasn’t acting nice to me. Instead of standing up for me, she loved the attention he was giving her – at my expense. It kind of reminded me of the situation you were once in with Heidi & Spencer, where Spencer hurt your feelings but Heidi didn’t do anything about it. Withing the 9 months they are together, they had a secret wedding where nobody was invited, and a baby. As my boyfriend has a feud with his twin brother now because of this, unfortunately it turned out into a family drama. :-(

    • Kat

      Starshine, it seems that there is something troubling within their (best friend and boyfriend) relationship — which has absolutely nothing to do with you. I like how you compared it to Heidi and Spencer because if you remember Lauren did try to help and all that came out of that was a broken friendship with Heidi and their continuous relationship. It seems like it would be best to maybe just focus on your relationship with your boyfriend. Don’t worry about what they do. Now that they have eloped and have a baby there isn’t much that you can really say to her in regards to the decisions that she has previously made. Just live YOUR life without regret and move on to finding a friend who makes you better rather than competes with you.

      Love what I just wrote? Well, I run an inspirational site: http://swallowthetruth.com and make videos involving awesome quotes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJq7-WAzqBI

    • $110495307

      If you love your boyfriend and you can accept that the girl is no longer your best friend (as a true friend would never treat another that way) make sure you always have your boyfriend’s back. He is going to need your support if he was close with his brother and it will mean a lot to him to know that he’s not alone. Make sure you can also tell the two apart or you will always have problems until then.

  • Cátia Ferreira

    Great advice =)

  • Bryanna Saainz

    okay so i have a question… im mad at my best friend of 4 years. first because im always inviting her over im always giving her gifts but she doesnt do the same. i probobly invite her over once or twice a month but i havnt been to her place in a year and i never see her use or wear any gifts i give her….plus when shes away im always the one to start the conversation through text or phone call but she never textes me unless she needs a favor….it seems im the only one putting effort in our friendship…what should i do?

    • angela

      you need to think long and hard about how this friendship is making you feel. you then have a few choices: you can bring it up with her in a polite but direct way (and maybe she’ll realize what she’s been doing), or you can choose to put in less effort and focus your feelings and time on those who do appreciate your sweet intentions!

    • Lauren

      I have the exact same problem! Everytime I tell her something, she just can’t be happy for me. For example when I told her I got a boyfriend for the first time ever, she blew me off and told me it makes her angry that I have one because she doesn’t. She never ever ever replies to a text or a call unless she needs a favor. She never hangs out with me and we used to have sleepovers all the time since we were in diapers. She has no problem hanging out with her other friends and posting pictures of it. So annoying, its been going on for months. I stopped texting her a month ago and now she’s complaining about how I never talk to her or invite her to anything anymore….hm I wonder why! Im just ready to cut her out of my life but its hard because we’re also related.

      • Bryanna LS

        Gosh it just makes me mad… whenever I try to come across this topic to her she makes me feel like its my fault. So in the end I alwaya apologize! Also when I need a favor shes to busy but when she needed me to go to her fundraiser I tried everything in my power to go but I had a family issue. Plus her answer to all my texts and calls is always ” okay” or ” maybe”. I wish she would show more interest!

      • Bryanna LS

        It must suck being related to her and to have to be excited on your own!

  • http://www.thesinglediaries.com/ The Single Diaries

    Cleaning up a fight always depends on the communication. When faced with a situation when you’re in the middle (or not directly a part of it), it might help to simply be a good listener (click here for more on what makes a good listener/communicator).

    Catherine
    Are You a Good Listener? on TheSingleDiaries.com

  • Amandeep

    Hey, that’s great advice and I’ve learnt from experience that is the best thing to do, but sometimes it doesn’t always work out like that. I recently found myself to be in a similar situation. Both of my friends were in a feud, despite secretly agreeing with one of the friends I didn’t say anything, but listened to each side. However, as the feud continued the friend that was involved in the feud started to become really distant from me for no apparent reason. Despite the fact that she was always relying on me for various stuff and I was willing to help, she began turning the feud between her and the other friend, between me and her. I had no idea what I had done wrong and I tried to talk about but it just ended in huge argument and I finally got to see her true colours. So at the end of it all I ended up looosing one of my friends, whilst the two friends who were originally having the feud became friends again. So overall despite the fact that I tried to stay neutral in an argument I ended up being dragged into and lost a friend, and that was the day that I realized that I didn’t need people like that in my life and just having a few really good friends that will be there for you is so much better.

  • Tracy

    Communication is the best thing to do when dealing with this kind of stuff!

    http://fashion-soup.com/

  • Nicole

    It’s hard to stay out of the fight without them getting mad at you.

  • Kat

    Lauren, I agree with you that fights within the friendship group can be quite difficult because you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. However, for most of the time there is that one friend who is always starting a fight with everyone — and you sometimes need to cut the head off the snake. Live your life for yourself and not anyone else. It’s crucial to find friends who make you a better person and not drag you down. Life is too short. XO

    Love what I just wrote? I make videos involving awesome quotes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJq7-WAzqBI and I also run an inspirational site: http://swallowthetruth.com.

  • Jo

    Unfortunately I am stuck in the middle between what I want to tell my bestfriend and what I do say. You will probably think oh this is so common or this is rediculous. Well my issue is my best friends boyfriend. He has cheated on other girls for her and while having a “thing with her he has nosed and done other things. He has been super mean to me. And I don’t know what to do. The times he has treated her terribly don’t seem to matter anymore. I have made it apparent as to how I feel about him. Aren’t best friends supposed to hang out and do things together. Well he seems to get into the way of that. She has all the time in the world to do something as simple as respond to texts from him. But yet I am not in that amount of time. I have been best fitness with her for just under 5 years. I don’t want some darn boy ruining it. Can anybody help me please? I really need it

    • $110495307

      You need to determine the seriousness of their relationship first and foremost to understand if it’s even worth sticking out. Their ages is one of the biggest factors in that equation. I assume you are talking about younger people (under 25 or at least 30) and if that is the case then it looks better for you as younger people can be more flighty with their relationship decisions as they are still growing and figuring out what works and doesn’t for them. If they are 25/30+ then you might want to re-think your friendship with this girl as they are more likely to stay together and are old enough to be less likely to change who they are. Even if they do break up it is likely she will continue to go for men of that type. (Young girls however often change their interest types as they mature.)
      Secondly, how truly close are you and your friend? Are you often straightforward with each other? If you believe that she trusts your word beyond anyone else’s then you can try to talk to her. It seems like you have already done that though and to keep pushing the issue will only push her away. The best thing you can do is to let her know that you care about her and are always there for her. Make yourself as available as you can so that if the relationship fails, she won’t feel alone and abandoned. If he is treating you in a manner that is disrespectful or makes you feel uncomfortable then you should, for the sake of your friendship, try to stay away from his company. Forcing yourself to be around him will only make you and him more uncomfortable so limit how much you interact with them together. If possible, I’d limit hanging out with him to group activities where multiple people are there, it’s never fun to be a third wheel anyway.
      Unless you have TANGIBLE PROOF of this boyfriend cheating, avoid that conversation. The last thing you want is to look like the bad guy with your best friend and without solid proof that you can hand to her, it will get you no where to make accusations except closer to the door.
      To show your friend that you respect her and care about her, why don’t you try to set up a girl’s night? Disguise it under the premise that YOU need a girl’s night with your best friend, set it up in advance, and try to do it at your house if possible so that the boyfriend can’t show up. On this girl’s night, don’t talk about boys. Watch fun movies, play games, and just enjoy your friendship and remind her how much fun you two have together when he’s not around. Soon enough that relationship will most likely fall apart on it’s own and she will appreciate that you never left nor made it more dramatic then it needed to be.

  • Liz

    My friend and I haven’ t really talked in over 4 months, we got into a fight over a trip she and I were supposed to take but her boyfriend invited himself to come along… First: This trip was supposed a girls only adventure, we aren’t married, and we are in our mid-twenties so we wanted to do something just for us. Second: Her boyfriend and I do not get along at all, he is good to her and I know she loves him so I stay friendly towards him, but he and I butt heads all of the time, so when he invited himself… I told him that this was just supposed to be our trip, when he wouldn’t let up I decided that I didn’t want to go. So the reason we haven’t talked is because I was hurt they my friend didn’t stand up for this trip that was supposed to be just for us… I want to clear the air between us, but her boyfriend thinks I am a bad friend and that she should just break off the friendship. I have no idea what to do! He wont talk me, so i can’t even clear the air with him and I feel since she is around him all of the time she hears all the bad and wont let me explain myself.

    • $110495307

      First and foremost, I am so sorry that your trip did not work out. I sincerely hope you get another chance to travel as I highly recommend it. Secondly, did your friend know that it was supposed to be a girls-only adventure? There are a couple of things to consider here. There is a big possibility that her boyfriend did not feel comfortable with the idea of you two traveling around the world and that is understandable as that can strain a romantic
      relationship. That would be a likely and unfortunate timing issue with your
      trip. I also commend you for not going on that trip, wise decision. A road trip
      is a very bonding experience and can make or break any relationship and there is no worse third wheel situation then on a road trip. When my husband and I got married, our honeymoon was a road trip to see the USA and lots of people joked with us that we should’ve road tripped before we got married to make sure it would work. (We had been together nearly inseparable for 2 years already though and knew it would work.) It is very interesting to me that you and the boyfriend would not get along since you must have semi-similar personalities to both be so close to her and obviously you say he doesn’t mistreat her. If you are happy for her and her relationship and you just want your friendship back then I would just send her an apology with an explanation. Try to show understanding and respect for their relationship while also voicing the concerns of your own friendship. Perhaps something along the lines of, “I was really excited about our trip we had been planning for so long, so I’m sorry that I got so disappointed when it didn’t work out. Please understand that my refusal to go on the trip was no reflection on how I feel about your guys’ relationship as I respect it and appreciate that he treats you well. I understand why you would want your bf on the trip as that would be very romantic but I knew the road would be a bad place for third wheels which he and I would have been taking turns doing. I also understand why he would not want just the two of us
      going but I hope that he trusts me and knows that I just wanted a youthful fun trip seeing the sights. I really value our friendship and hope that this bad
      timing incident does not become a bigger issue as I don’t feel it’s anything
      worth losing our friendship over.”

  • Pelin G

    Hi, that edit is originally mine on tumblr, here this is the link,http://iheartbilson.tumblr.com/post/49534423500/as-long-as-we-have-each-other, please change the source :)) thank you very much and love Lauren btw!! :)

  • Clyde
  • Myrna

    I need some advice on a situation with one of my friends. She and I have been friends for as long as I can remember. We went to different schools when we were younger but it didn’t hurt our relationship because we did sports together. In 7th grade I transferred to the school that she was at. I was excited because I knew someone and I had one automatic friend. We remained friends. I was always a good friend to her. She was in a terrible accident after freshman year and I was always there for her. I visited her in the hospital and everything. This year she told me that she was going to find me a prom date. She told me that she was going to tell her friend to ask me. She complained last year because he was clingy and wouldn’t leave her alone all night. He liked her but she told me “believe me you can have him” when we talked about her telling him to take me. I was excited because I didn’t want to go to prom the second year in a row with no date. I knew that I would have fun with him because he was easy to talk to and I had been getting to know him better and become his friend more this year. Closer to prom time she texted me and told me that he was going to ask her to prom and wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t be mad at her if she went with him. Being a good friend and not wanting to create drama I told her it would be fine I would just go by myself again :( Later on I confronted her and told her that I was hurt and disappointed that she did that to me. Now we don’t talk. The guy she went to prom with won’t talk to me either. I was thinking about meeting her to clear the air before we go to college. What should I do?

  • Summer

    I had a best friend all through college on the east coast. I moved to the west coast and after a few years I knew I was going to be in Southern California forever. I convinced her that she would love it and got her to move out to the west coast with me since she was going through some tough times with an ex. I helped arrange for her to move in with me, and I helped her get a job in my same industry. I had told her before she came that I like being independent and that I spend a lot of time with my boyfriend because I didn’t want her to be disappointed if I didn’t spend every moment with her. The only thing is, when she did move to the west coast things got tense. She didn’t feel like I was giving her enough attention, I guess. I introduced her to my entire group of friends and made sure she wasn’t lonely. A lot happened but fast forward a few years and our tensions boiled over. We had a falling out and never really spoke again. She still remains close friends with all the people I introduced her to and I often have to see that all over social media. But there were several times I tried to make up with her. I just wanted my friend back and was willing to give it another shot. Only every time I tried, she never came through. Then I saw her at a mutual friends’ wedding on the east coast and we had such a great time together the whole weekend. I asked her to hang out when we were both back in California and she kind of blew me off. I feel like an idiot that cares too much. What would you do if you were me? Is there a time to just let it go? I get angry because I feel that she should want to be friends too but on the other hand maybe I am just living in the past and things will never be the same.

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