Monday, December 6, 2010

Should you fight your friend's battles?

Question:  My best friend's ex-boyfriend cheated on her and when I first heard that, I wanted to kick his ass!  Then I wanted to beat up the girl he cheated with.  We all go to school together and everytime I see my friend's ex or the girl he cheated with, I always yell rude comments to them or give them dirty looks.  My other friends think I'm going too far, but I'm doing it for my best friend.  Shouldn't I defend my best friend?  She's the one that got screwed over!  (Laguna Beach, CA)

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Social Shrink:  Have you heard the news recently about Chelsea Handler calling out Angelina Jolie as a "homewrecker"?  Chelsea went off on Angelina at her show last Friday in defense of her good friend Jennifer Aniston.  Maybe it's a PR stunt or she's trying to be funny, but Chelsea is rehashing something that happened a few years ago.  Are her intentions good?  Perhaps, since she's doing it for Ms. Aniston.  Is her approach the best?  Probably not.
While it's great that you want to be there for her friend, your anger about the situation is validating your best friend's anger and prohibiting her from moving on.  While it's upsetting that she got hurt and she has every right to be angry, it is unhealthy for her to carry this anger and resentment - especially if it involves talking s--t (which isn't the most productive use of time).

Learning from the Chelsea Handler example:  It's amusing to see Chelsea talk smack about Angelina, but stepping back, she just seems really angry about something that is in the past.  Chelsea is fighting Jen's battle when the issue is really between Angelina and Jen.  When you get involved, you just look like you're meddling - even though you're intentions are good.

We suggest you stop with the comments or dirty looks.  You're giving them attention and they don't deserve it.  Instead, ignore them completely.  You'll be sending a stronger message that they don't deserve your time at all.  Put that attention back to your best friend - and help her move on.


  1. I can fight my own battles, thank you very much. I have way too much class to drag my friends into it.

  2. I don't see anything wrong with fighting your best friend's battles. I have a friend who won't fight her own battles so I have to help her out. If I'm not around to stand up for her then people will use her for all she's worth! Her ex was a jerk and I made sure they both knew that, she eventually stopped talking to him because he was treating her so bad! Luckily, she saw what I saw in him!

  3. I don't think you should fight FOR them, you should stand up for your friends though.

    Yelling rude comments and giving them dirty looks ins't "standing up" for your friend. It's just more embarrassing, and you're making it seem like she still cares when she probably just wants you to stop. She apparently doesn't think as much of it as you do.

    My boyfriend absolutely hates my ex with a passion, for the same reasons you hate your best friend's ex. He cheated on me, and he still talks about wanting to beat my ex's ass for it, and that was 6 months ago.
    Honestly, it just gets annoying. It sucks for a while, but eventually you should just let it go. I'm still friends with my ex (mostly because we share about 2/3rds of the same friends). Sometimes I think it's cute when my boyfriend says my ex was an idiot and that he wants to kick him in the nads for being an idiot, but most of the time, it's just "please, let it GO and get over it."

  4. Let someone else handle their own situations. Not only do you drag your friend into drama that you have created but she will get to be responsible for it. People should handle their situations for themselves, and their friends should let them.

    I think if a friend is being attacked and you are there you should stick up for them. If they continue that behavior you should. But let your friend decide how she wants to deal with it. Calling names is the worst. Don't become a harasser especially when you're not warranted in the situation to have a say. Don't embarrass your friend.