Beliefnet
Make Your Relationship Work

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Two of the most important people in your life, your boyfriend (or girlfriend) and your best friend, can’t stand the sight of each other.  They flat out hate each other.  You can feel more tension in the air when they’re together than you can at a dinner table with Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien.  It’s only a matter of time until the rope (you) in this match of tug of war snaps.

So what can you do?  How can you get them to like– or at least be civil toward each other when their in the same room?  The answer isn’t that simple considering you’re dealing with people’s emotions and personalities. However with a little help from our “Do and Do Not” list below, you’ll be well on your way down the road of peace and happiness.  Next stop, North and South Korea…

Do: Talk To Them Individually

When you get the opportunity, talk to both of them separately and try to figure out why the other person irks them so bad. Try and explain why the other person is so important to you in attempt to open up their eyes as to why they aren’t that bad after all.

For example when talking to your best friend you could say, “Yeah, Joe can be very consuming and protective of me when we’re all hanging out, but it’s just because he cares so much.”

Or when talking to your boyfriend, “OK, so Sara may like it when all the attention is on her and it may be annoying at times but that doesn’t change the fact that she’s always been there for me.”

At the least, they’ll understand why each other is important to you.  If they truly care about you, then they’ll care that they don’t get in the way of the people you care about.

Don’t: Hold a Press Conference

Bringing the two parties together and creating a huge spectacle is not going to mitigate the situation.  Not only will nothing get solved, but the issue at hand will probably get blown out of proportion.  The last thing you need is for things to turn into a court case with both people trying to convince you they’re right.  You’ll either crack and end up taking someone’s side, or you’ll remain neutral and both people will leave feeling more hatred for the other than they did in the first place.

Do: Point Out Common Interests

If they both love something then there’s a chance that they can find common ground chatting about that.  Sure they might not become best friends and may still dislike certain aspects of each other, but at least they’d be able to coexist in the same room.  So if they both hate the Yankees, bring it up in conversation and maybe invite them both to a baseball game next time the Yankees are in town.  You’d be surprised how hating the same thing can actually create quite the bond.

Don’t: Ignore What They Have To Say

There could be a deeper meaning as to why the two dislike each other and you’ll never know until you hear them both out. Perhaps your best friend has a good suspicion that your boyfriend is cheating on you.  Maybe your boyfriend has heard that your best friend has been spreading nasty rumors about you.  Or maybe they simply hate the way each other look.  Either way, you’ll never get anywhere until you listen to both parties.

Do: Encourage Civility

If you’ve tried everything and both parties still can’t agree to get along, focus on being civil.  It’s one thing to dislike someone and another to making nasty comments and roll your eyes every time they speak. If one of them seems to be acting this way, first let them know it’s time to grow up a little.  Then explain to them that their just making it harder on you and you’d like them to do you the favor and stop.  Make it about you rather than about the other person.  And when all else fails, just remind them that “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Don’t: Force the issue

If it’s not meant to be then it’s not meant to be.  The more you try and push the issue, the more they’ll resent the idea. Sometimes if you let things be, nature will take it’s course and it things will play out for the overall better on its own.  You bugging them to talk or hang out together will only make matters worse. They might try to fake a friendship just to get you off their back but it won’t be genuine and eventually one will snap.

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