The Friend Triangle…

Jodi and Jenna, met through a mutual friend, named Sam.  They really hit it off and started spending time together.  Both Jodi and Jenna noticed that it seemed like something was going with Sam.  After weeks of asking, finally, Sam confessed that she wasn’t happy about the fact that Jodi and Jenna had been spending so much time together.  Sam shared that she felt left out.  After Sam had shared all of this with Jenna, they had the chance to hang out with some other friends.  Sam proceeded to pretend like she didn’t hear her, or would ignore her when Jenna tried to speak to her or ask her a question.

Some Background:  Jodi and Jenna want to spend time with Sam and they invite her to places or just hang out regularly.  Frequently, Sam isn’t able to come because of other commitments, or other reasons.  Both Jodi and Jenna are very sad as they both like her very much and consider her a good friend.

Jodi and Jenna asked:  “What should we do?

First, consider how she may be feeling.  Does it seem like there is more going on then just being left out?  Could she be Jealous?  Feeling unimportant, confused or sad?  Feeling “left out” may just be part of it.  Second, think about what is going on in her world.  Is she having home issues?  A recent breakup with a boyfriend?  Sibling issues?  This may be adding to her being upset in general and so your new found friendship may be taken extra hard.

Next, how do you feel?  Do you feel misunderstood?  Defensive?  Sad?  Angry or confused? Have you been neglecting Sam to nurture this new friendship?

Once you have identified what you feel about how Sam is treating your new friendship, and once you have tried to see it her way a bit, then go talk to her.  In person.  Sam is a good friend, you can show her that she is important to you by the simple act of showing up.  Seeing her face-to-face for this important issue will help her understand that in your world she matters.

Let Sam know what you have thought about.  Ask her if your understanding is correct (regarding how she is feeling) and let her correct your understanding if it’s not accurate.  It’s important to everyone to feel understand so make sure you have the best picture you can of where she is.   Let her know how you are feeling about how she is handling your new friendship.  Then find out what is it that you can do to help her feel okay, and feel better, about the situation.  Let her know how much her friendship means to you.  Hopefully, she will work her way to being happy you two hit it off so well!

Ideally, once she feels heard and shares what she needs from you, you can all come to some form of a acceptance.  WARNING:  If she says something ridiculous like “If you were my friends you would stop hanging out so much”…then you need to maybe give her some time to think about it, as that isn’t a fair solution.

  1. Figure out what you are really feeling and make sure you haven’t done something that you need to make amends for.
  2. Try to understand the other side (put yourself in their shoes).
  3. Talk.  Face-to-face.  Share your feelings and what you understand.  Try to use the word “I” not “You”.

Cheers to new and old friends!

Ask me Anything

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