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Friend holding a grudge

Jooberick wrote:

I have a friend who went through a very messy breakup and now maintains the view that his ex is 'evil' despite months of people trying to help him get over it.

In August I'm going to be doing a youth theatre production (6 hours a day 6 days a week) with my friend and his ex and I either alienate his ex and all her friends (what he wants) or he will say I 'betrayed' him and probably not talk to me.

I'm a bit stuck for solutions so any advice would be great.

Dear Jooberick

While he's conceivably right about his ex, he is wrong to carry on a vendetta, and even wronger to try and drag his friends into it. You are not putting yourself in an impossible position, HE is forcing it on you.

I think the key is to talk to him before the event, and the conversation probably needs to include:

  1. I understand your position
  2. I really don't want to be involved
  3. I'm not taking sides, this is an opportunity that has nothing to do with your relationship.

All you can do is be honest and forewarn him; after that, it's up to him. If he either tries to bully you, or goes off in a massive sulk, that is his choice, and you cannot take responsibility.

It would be his loss if he drives away his friends with this unreasonable attempt to force people to take sides. There may come a point where his friendship is not worth the sacrifice.

As an aside, "despite months of people trying to help him get over it" - leave it. Any attention to this is just fanning the flames. Play it down, he has to work through this himself.

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