DEAR KELLY: Recently this girl and I got into a fight over a guy whom we both liked. She’d been a good friend but lied to me that they weren’t talking until my other friend helped me catch them. When I confronted her, we got into a huge argument that later turned into a Twitter war, so everyone knew what was going on. She tweeted she didn’t lie to me and that because we weren’t going out or were an official couple, she didn’t have to tell me she was talking to him or anyone else. I told people not to trust her.
This past weekend she had a big party and I was not invited. I asked my two best friends not to go because they should support me. At first they seemed OK with it, but the night of the party they both bailed on me to go to the party because everyone was there. I later saw pictures on Instagram of all my friends acting all chummy with the other girl because it was her house and her party. Earlier in the week my friends were talking trash about her for how she was sneaky and lied about talking to the guy I liked. I was so mad at everyone and didn’t answer texts that night or Sunday.
I’m still not over it. Now we have prom coming up and if she has another party, I’ll be the one person left out again and my friends will all go to her house just like last time even if I ask them not to. I don’t want to be the one left out again and somehow I think that might happen. I can’t have a party because my parents would never let everyone drink. If no one else’s wants to have the party, I know everyone will end up at her house.
What should I do? I’m not the one who owes her an apology (she thinks so because of what I said on Twitter), so how will this ever get resolved if neither of us think we were wrong, but I don’t want my prom night ruined because of her. Should I just apologize, even if I know I wasn’t the one who did anything wrong?
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– Left Out Friend
DEAR LEFT OUT: Where to start?
Two girls who like the same guy have a high chance at having high drama. The she-said/she-said argument over who was right will be hard to resolve if both of you are waiting for an apology. The truth is you both were wrong. If she knew you liked him, she should have been honest with you about her feelings for him as well. Instead of lying to you, she should have been more upfront about how they were texting and talking to each other. If you said mean or inappropriate things about her on Twitter, then you were wrong. Never, and I repeat, never tweet when you are angry. This is begging for drama. When we are angry we typically say and do things we later regret. Why put those feelings out for the whole world (or at least all your friends) to see? In moments like that, Twitter equals trouble.
Don’t drag your friends into the middle of arguments between you and someone else. If they want to be friends with her or hang out with her, that’s their choice. Keep your friends out of it and keep the argument only between the people who aren’t getting along.
Your reason for making up with her feels very insincere. You only want to be friends with her to get the invite to her after-prom party. What happens if you end up at someone else’s house? Will you be angry again? Becoming her “friend” again just to avoid being the left-out friend won’t make for a good future for your friendship.
Try a more honest approach – not for an invite but rather for peace. Ask to talk with her to find some resolution so things are no longer uncomfortable between you guys. There will most likely be other times you will need to be together and if you aren’t speaking, it could be awkward not only for you both but for your friends as well. If you force your friends to pick between you, you will both lose out.
Perhaps you guys can agree to disagree about what shook down. Call it a misunderstanding. Tell her that she hurt you and you felt betrayed. But also take ownership that you should not have tweeted in the moment and apologize for any hurt you may have caused by your mean-spirited comments. See if you can forgive each other and let go of old hurts. Rebuilding a friendship may take time but if you are talking you have a better chance at moving forward.
Be prepared that the mending may take longer than the days before prom. Don’t push the make-up just to be included. Figure out other plans for after the dance. Does the night have to involve alcohol? Can you just have friends over, honor your parent’s no-drinking rules and do something fun like watch movies and eat late-night munchies? Just because your parents don’t allow alcohol doesn’t mean you should throw the towel in on having a fun night. Trust me, fun memories can be made without involving intoxicated people.
Staying angry and waiting for an apology will only hurt you. Don’t divide your friends over a guy. If he was playing both of you, then he wasn’t worth you getting into an argument in the first place. Girlfriends are far more important than some guy whose name you won’t remember in a few months.
Kelly Richardson, a Folsom therapist, works with adolescents.