Being the “middle man” in a relationship is never easy.
The constant issue with being titled the “middle man” is being forced to take a side or to get involved in manipulation. Ladies, we all know how annoying it is when your best friend’s boyfriend texts you for advice about a fight your best friend just got in with him. It is not only annoying because you could care less, but because if you give advice, you have to know the right things to say and what NOT to say or bring up.
For instance, having brothers who have girlfriends is sometimes frustrating. When fights outbreak usually the brother’s girlfriend vents to you or asks for advice. What do you do when the girlfriend is bluntly talking smack about your brother?
1. Do NOT involve yourself unless the circumstance calls for it.
Always take a step back and either praise your brother for his “great” qualities or refuse the text and simply not text back. It is not a big deal! Not responding may sound rude, but it’s best not involve yourself if the fight has nothing to do with you.
2. Do NOT manipulate the girlfriend.
Manipulation involves thinking about what the girlfriend’s actual intentions are and trying to alter her way of thinking, causing you to control
a fight that has NOTHING to do with you. Realize that the girlfriend is really only reaching out to you to get to your brother. Anything she texts you is actually a message for your brother!
3. DO be respectful.
The relationship between you and the girlfriend should not change because of a fight with another person. Always be translucent and simple. If you, the outsider, hurt the boyfriend or girlfriend’s feelings, the situation between the couple may worsen. Back off and if advice is asked for, be honest but not rude.
4. DO express loyalty.
So it seems now that you are involved in the fight between a close friend’s relationship or a family member’s. Always remember who you are closer to. You should not feel the need to take sides. Step out of the situation if your voice doesn’t need to be heard, thus keeping your relationship with your best friend or your brother strong.
Anonymous: “When my brother’s girlfriend texts me, I never want to respond, but we are friends too—so I feel the need to involve myself even when it isn’t necessary. I think she wants me to get mad at my brother because she is.”
This girl clearly doesn’t want to be involved— my advice would be to not get involved and to be honest with the girlfriend. She would probably appreciate your loyalty to your brother.
Anonymous 2: “My best friend’s boyfriend always blows up my message inbox on my phone when they get into a fight, ranting about how bitchy my friend is.”
Clearly he wants you to tell her how he feels because 1. He may be too scared to or 2. He wants to get her angry that he’s texting you. Do not over involve yourself. Give your piece and step back. Always communicate the conversation with your best friend and tell her your truthful response. If word gets back to her that you said another
thing to her boyfriend, a fight could occur now between you and your best friend.
As the ultimate “middle man,” I never forget that their relationship has more to it that what I am exposed to. Assumptions could flourish but really, I do not know what is going on in their relationship at all times. Because of that, I can never help as much as I think I can because they are the only ones who can help their own relationship.
Offer other ways to communicate without your help. They need to realize that a relationship with fighting ALL of the time is not a real relationship. Being the middle man in relationships like these really teaches you how to NOT act in relationships!