Friend drama. None of us want it in our lives and yet sometimes it rears its ugly head. As an adult I like to think that I don’t have the kind of drama that runs rampant in high schools and middle schools, not so much.
So, I have this friend, let’s call her Ashley. Ashley and I have been working on a project together for about a year. Things seemed to be going great until recently. She started doing things like: meeting with people behind my back and then lying to me about it, making decisions about the future of our project without me, and involving new people. When I explain it like this it doesn’t seem so bad, but I can’t stand the sneaking around and lying! I am frustrated and confused.
As I try to figure out how to handle this situation it occurs to me that if adults have challenges with “friend drama”, imagine how difficult it is for the teens in our lives? I know I have seen crazy drama among teens and they do not have the same life experience to handle difficult situations.
What to do? Of course, I have talked to friends to figure out what to do and I’m sure she has too. Involving more and more people is not going to solve my problem. Ultimately it is going to come down to open, honest communication … easier said than done. If Ashley and I don’t sit down and talk this will just get worse. After I figure out what is going on I will need to decide what I want to do about the project and our friendship. If we’re not headed in the same direction then one of us may need to walk away from the project (probably me). But, maybe we can still salvage a friendship and learn a valuable lesson.
Things that can help with friend drama:
- Stay calm, do not sink to their level (no gossip!). If you overreact it gives the other person a reason to overreact also and then …. More drama!
- Talk to them! Set a time when you won’t be distracted or interrupted. Think about what you want to say in advance. Use statements that describe how you feel, and do not simply place blame.
- Try to understand their side. Maybe you are misunderstanding the situation.
- Understand that you cannot control how they respond to you. It could be good or bad, be prepared for both.
- Evaluate the friendship – is this someone that is a positive influence in your life?
- If you have drama all the time with multiple friends take a hard look at yourself! Are you choosing friends that like drama? Are you the one causing the drama?
- Talk with a trusted adult. They may have experience and insights that can help you. At the very least, they can support you!
How do you handle friend drama?