It’s them, or me, but you can’t have both

,., decision making

Image by nerovivo via Flickr

by Madeline Laughs

When you are faced with making a choice between two worlds, it should never be about human beings.

In the heat of a disagreement has someone ever said to you “It’s either me or them! You can’t have both!”? What did you do? Did you make a decision on the spot? Did you ask for time to think about it? Did you try to reason with the person demanding you delete someone from your life? Did you understand what you were dealing with at the time?

There are few times in life when making this demand on someone is acceptable. Life threatening situations comes to mind. When a committed romance reaches critical mass during a triangle tryst is another. I can see the need for both of those events to reach some kind of resolution that completes all parties concerned with some substance of comfort.

Feeling insecure about a friendship is never one of them. If the need to pull someone into your complete and total realm means they can not be individual and make friends on terms they are familiar with, then why are you with them? What this says to me is there is more going on than just being insecure. There are also some serious trust issues. If you don’t trust the person you want to be close to, then why are you with them? 

Holding yourself up as the best choice, or a consolation prize, puts you into the precarious position of living up to this declaration. Oftentimes people do not have that kind of energy, much less the inclination. Unless you’re ready to work overtime making the other person glad they chose you, don’t make the ultimatum.

In the past I have had a difficult time explaining to someone that just because I no longer wished to continue a connection with a mutual friend, it didn’t mean they could not continue as they always have with this person. For me it was a personal choice that I felt would work out well in the long run. There were behaviors in the other person that I recognized as toxic, so being protective of myself and wanting the best for both of my friends, I decided the right thing to do for all of us was to bow out of the part that was doomed not to work.

My friend was confused about my decision and wanted to fix it.

To fix this new development she offered some options. Her best was to give it some time, it would work itself out. Clearly if this were that kind of circumstance I could have come to that conclusion on my own. But giving it time could only mean one thing if the other party is refusing to participate and that means the situation would not improve and my patience would be tested on a daily basis, as it had been already. Why put me through that? Especially when I had reached the end of my tolerance enough to sever ties?

Sensing my resolution she then offered to stop being a friend to this person too. My reaction to that was total surprise. It was also not my intention to even suggest this as an option. Absolutely not! If the person is your friend and you enjoy them, then why not continue as you always have? Not having me as part of the equation can only mean the stress of sharing is eliminated for the person causing the waves of dissension washing over me like a tsunami. You end up with not one, but two contented friends. Win-win!

I explained that to continue nurturing this tie with the other person, knowing they had an agenda to discredit me with cries of foul play at every turn, was pointless. It was especially frustrating when the person pretended that nothing was wrong when I probed, but screamed bloody murder the minute my back was turned. That is not healthy. That is insecurity profound on the part of the other person that I should pose enough threat to make them that uncomfortable. Why would I put someone else through that kind of turmoil for the sake of appearance? For that is what it had become, friends for the sake of appearing like nothing was wrong. That is not the definition of a friend to me and not someone I wish to grant a window into my life.

There are people that have not matured enough to share the delights and joys of the people in their lives that they love with others. They say they want what is best for their friend but in their mind they feel the best is exclusively them. They work this angle to the detriment and eventual decline of every one of their friend’s connections that fall outside of the kingdom they have control over.

This is called isolation.

Cajoling, threatening to possibly cutting off your access to her because this new person you’ve brought into the fold is causing them distress, is merely emotional blackmail. When you’re in the thick of it, this will be hard to discern because the attachment is strong. You want to make her happy. You want to keep your friend, even it means giving up someone you love being with.

Something to remember is that a real friend, one that has love for you and wants your life to be as good as it can be, would never put you through that.

My way of handling this situation will always be the same. I will offer an explanation if asked by simply stating my case for the decision I’m making. I do not make choices like this impulsively. People are not disposable, however they can be kept at a distance once they’ve shown me they have the ability to be hurtful and dishonest. I have too much self respect to allow this kind of abuse to continue in my own kingdom.

Want to reside within the walls of my castle? Then don’t pee on the walls.

The next time you find yourself in the middle of friends that don’t like each other, pay attention to the one leaving the threesome and their reasons for making this drastic move. Healthy breaks will mean you are not asked to make choices you don’t want to make and that your relationships with both people are allowed to coexist peacefully. Anything other than that, is not friendly.

Good luck out there and remember, love among friends is not supposed to hurt.

About Madeline Scribes

A writer with a sense of humor. If anyone can laugh at life, it's me.
This entry was posted in All kinds of Advice and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to It’s them, or me, but you can’t have both

  1. Nazia says:

    “It’s either me or them! You can’t have both!”?
    Ans:take the option of moderation or if choice is difficult then pick one who makes choice of you more than your desire..
    What did you do? Did you make a decision on the spot?
    Ans:Timely decision is very important but if option of taking time is here one should avail it instead of hurry.
    Did you ask for time to think about it?
    ans:That is right decision before finalizing any choice
    Did you try to reason with the person demanding you delete someone from your life?
    Ans:That should be your personal choice, like or dislike to whom you have to delete or whom you want to accompany.Never let any body to be your controller of your personal choices.
    Did you understand what you were dealing with at the time?
    Ans:this is very important.In case of confusion more time of understanding is required to get better response.


  2. Pingback: The rabbit hole of control | Spread Information

  3. I love your question and answer comment Nazia 🙂 you make some very valid points.


  4. Pingback: The rabbit hole of control | Madeline Scribes

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