Is She Mad at Her Girlfriends?

You’ve been there before: She’s mad at her friend, possibly her friends, and she’s listing off her grievances to you. It’s a long list. You don’t have a clue as to how to respond, and you are starting to worry that when you do open your mouth, you are going to get in trouble for accidentally “siding” with the offender. True, women’s friendships are complicated and sometimes we may get upset at each other for reasons completely baffling to men. (I’m generalizing, but how many guys lose sleep over their best buddy not returning their casual email? Over a comment on Facebook page? Over a failure to take a phone call?) You’ve been there before, and you’ll be there again. Here’s how you can help her, and make it easier on yourself.

If She Has Just Started Venting…
Be attentive and quietly empathetic. Bear in mind that what’s no biggie for you may be huge for her, and vice versa. If you give her your patient attention — so, no, the wandering eye right now is a pretty bad idea — your quietness will vibe confidence, which is part of what she needs from you. She’s not distressed because she wants to complain for fun (although, true, there are some exceptions); the perceived slight has really hurt her.

If Her Point Is Eluding You…
Ask her to stop, go back and explain. If she’s angry (and she is), she won’t mind repeating her grievance in greater detail. Yes, this means that this will all take longer; accept it. And let’s face it, your girl may not be so wrong about a catty friend — it might just be a matter of helping her communicate the right information.

If You Happen to Be Friendly with the Other Side…
Don’t side with the other side. The breakdown is simple: you and your girl over here, the rest over there. Women are all about loyalty (which is what gets them into this kind of trouble in the first place) and your loyalties lie with your significant other…unless you have plans to leave for the other side. Even if that’s the case, this would not be the time to mention those plans.

If She Is Heading into Conspiracy Theory Territory…
If she’s been ranting for a while and it seems like she’s going to spiral out of control with possible conspiracy theories, try to stop her — politely. Tell her you understand but suggest that she change the topic and come back to the issue later; tell her you don’t like to see her upset. (You don’t, right?)

If You Have Time…
Make a little gesture to show that you care: her favourite confection; her guilty pleasure trashy magazine; a bouquet of flowers. Any of these, and others, are a small financial investment and a great personal investment — especially considering her gratitude for having a supportive boyfriend in this world full of betrayal.

If You Don’t Want to Get It….
If she’s been complaining about toxic friendships way too much, it’s only going to get worse from here on. Might be time to ask yourself if this is a dealbreaker.

Image by Thinkstock Photos.

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