One of the most common situations we hear kids struggle with relates to, what we call at URSTRONG, the dreaded Friendship Sandwich. A Friendship Sandwich is when you’re caught in the middle of two friends and, in most cases, it’s a sticky mess!
While we teach kids how to stay out of the middle, what if they’re the bread? What if they’re the kid who’s on one side of the Sandwich? Here’s how the question often goes: “My friend has this friend who I don’t get along with. I love hanging out with my friend, but this other person is always around. What do I do?”
We call this scenario, “The Case of the Friend’s Friend Fiasco,” and here’s our advice to kids:
First of all, it’s important to keep in mind that your friend is caught in a Friendship Sandwich. Your friend will most definitely feel stuck in the middle and is aware that the two of you don’t get along well.
So, here’s the advice – and it’s super simple:
Make life easier on your friend. Don’t make negative comments about their friend. Don’t pressure them to choose between the two of you. Be an awesome friend and be super cool about it. When the other person is around, simply use that time to do something else. Say something like, “Hey guys! I’m gonna head off and work on my science project now. I’ll catch ya later!” Invite your friend to hang out one-on-one another time. If your friend asks about it, simply say: “Oh, yeah, that’s totally cool that you’re friends with ____. We don’t really click, but that’s okay. Your friendship means a lot to me, so I don’t want you to ever feel caught in the middle!” And leave it at that.
You don’t have to click with everyone – even your friend’s friends. Just accept it for what it is and take the high road.
Written by Dana Kerford
Friendship Expert and Founder of URSTRONG