Thursday, January 16

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Can I be friends with my best friend's enemy?

by Gloria Ezeh and Daniel Nkado



This has remained one of the trickiest questions regarding friendships for a long time. The truth is that it has no simple answer.

If you ask me how okay it is to remain friends with someone who is not friends with your best friend, I'd tell you that it depends.


It really depends. First of all, human relationships can be quite complicated. There are people who would never get along, yet each having others they share an inseparable relationship with. More so, there are a lot of factors that determine how well two people get along, some of them controllable and others not so much.

These factors include things like circumstances of the first meeting, age and status of both parties at the time of encounter and the personality of each person. It is possible for two people to meet and not vibe while the situation is different with them and other people.

If your best friend is in a bad place with someone you are close to, you do not necessarily have to discard your friendship because of that. If you have tried and found out their differences are irreconcilable, you can ask each of them what they want and respect their choices. If they insist on never crossing paths, you should respect that and never put them in that situation.

Even if one doesn't mind and the other specifically tells you they wouldn't wish to be found in the same space with the other, you must respect that and never work on the contrary. You should also let your best friend know why you are keeping your relationship with the other person.

You can go like this:


"I am really sorry you and [Juliet] do not get along. Even though I'd have wished things were different between you two and that we all remain friends, I know the way we relate with every individual differs so I don't blame any of you. You must know that I consider both of you friends and my being friends with [him/her] does not and will never come in the way of my friendship with you. Hopefully, things get better with time, bestie."

Any reasonable friend should be able to understand your position and respect it too. I mean what if it is a family member that your friend could not get along with? Will you discard your family member because of your friend's sour relationship with them?

There is only one condition where you are absolutely unallowed to be close to your best friend's enemy.

And that is when the person involved has been outright mean, nasty or harmful to your best friend. For example, under no circumstances should you be close to someone who has assaulted, stolen from or abused your best friend before.

Never! I mean, why would you even want to be friends with that kind of person in the first place. As long as you are very sure these things happened and are true, you must stay away from the person at once.


You can also let them know how disappointed their bad behaviour has made you feel and why you have decided to stay away from them.

If they value your relationship, their remorse will force them to try to make amends.

***

Daniel Nkado and Gloria Ezeh, writing exclusively for DNB Stories.

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