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If Your Friend Has Fallen Out With Them, Should You?

So your friends in real life, twitter or Facebook have a falling out.  Should you remain friends with those people?  Or is that disloyal?  What about if they fall out with a whole association or organisation?

I’m friends on twitter and Facebook with people that I know have fallen out with other people in the long and distant past.  In ‘real life’, I might stay on ‘polite’ terms depending on the situation; like with neighbours.

I’m also happily available for any blogging community like BritMums, Love All Blogs, Tots100, Net Mums, Mumsnet, ooh and if Huffington post or Parentdish fancied me, then I’m here!  But I can totally understand that this could be frowned upon as many are much more loyal to just one community.

I’m trying to mix a balance between four wise, but contradictory pieces of advice …

Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face

Judge people on how they treat you

If they did it to someone else, they’re just as likely to do it to you

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

We all makes mistakes

Everyone deserves a second chance

 

There have been times in my past where I’ve been upset by friends sitting on the fence, I think it can easily make you a little paranoid.  In a way the clarity of being disliked is very secure!  However that is really rather daft, as not everyone in the world fancies both David Tennant and Ryan Reynolds, so why would we all have the same likes and dislikes in terms of combinations of friends?

It might sound cynical to say ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’, but when I wrote about the ‘Mums Standing Up Together Campaign‘ idea I’d had, my twitter time line got very quiet, and it was almost like my back itched.  Eventually a mummy blogger I only vaguely knew let me know that she had been inundated all day by messages about it and my suspicions were correct.  But should that actually bother me?  After all when I thought about it on reflection and realised that there are many different types of discussion, I also realised that to do what I want to do will mean that this happens a hell of a lot more.  I’ve been warned about people appearing supportive, but not being behind closed doors, however, on the other hand there are times when I have been really nice to someone in a situation where they needed help, but wasn’t really close or fond of them at all.

I was talking to a good friend yesterday, and she explained that in ‘cave man’ times, we would have competed psychologically for the men, who used the more simple technique of clubbing each other over the head.  The woman who survived the psychological attack and appeared stronger emotionally and mentally would appeal more to the physically stronger man.  So if it’s that hard wired into us to be horrid sometimes, maybe we shouldn’t blame each other for it and just get on with it?  Does it mean that we can’t but help to view every woman as competition?

Anyway, those are just my musings.  What do you think?  Do you stick to a clique, or try to be friends with everyone?  Is it fickle to be in both Mumsnet and NetMums?  Do they mind?  I admit to feeling a subtle pressure to pick one blogging community and not be a tart and spread myself around all Love all Blogs, Tots100 and Britmums.  Are there people out there subtly recording my fickleness; I suspect so?

Right I’m off to a toddler group; another bastion of female cliqueness!  So that Little Dimples can learn to share by hitting someone over the head.  Soon she’s going to be facing these all important questions about friendships, but at the moment, just being the same age is about all the criteria she needs.

 

14 comments to If Your Friend Has Fallen Out With Them, Should You?

  • Susanna

    Like I tell my daughters, it’s nice to have lots of friends. Each network offers something different and valuable.

    • mummywhisperer

      Thats wise Susanna – when I had my son I made sure I had lots of groups of Mums that I was involved in as I knew that things change, people go back to work and people fall out! It has given me lots of options over the years.

  • I’m don’t think doing things for more than one network is ever really frowned upon, or if it is I haven’t come across it yet, mind you having said that I am still a newbie… We all know we have to ‘put ourselves around’ a bit and that’s why we all join every network we can get our hands on!

  • mummywhisperer

    I suspect that the realists of us understand that it’s not disloyal to be a member of different groups, but I admit to having sensed a slight ‘pressure’ recently – not from either you or susanna though I would say.

  • Interesting post. I’m not sure this applies to social media so much – I certainly wouldn’t ever worry if someone’s working with a competitor. You’re bloggers. Who am I to tell you what to do? *curses the invention of democracy that prevents this*

    In normal life, I’d say you should base your opinion of someone on YOUR experience of that person. I would like to think that, no matter what I may have heard about someone, I reserve judgement until I’ve met them and dealt with them, because my experience will inevitably be different to yours.

    However, if I hear negative things about someone before dealing with them, or a company has a reputation for treating partners and suppliers poorly, then I’m certainly more cautious. That’s just being smart.

    Similarly, I’d never judge someone for being friends with someone I don’t like. I’ve always said to all of my friends, “I don’t care for that person but you must base your opinion on your own experience.” It strikes me as massively arrogant to assume that your view of a person, based on your unique experience, is the ONLY one that is true or correct.

    But yes, I do judge people by the company they keep. If someone knows about someone else’s poor behaviour – infidelity, theft, dishonesty – and still chooses to associate with them, then I tend to think less of them. If you knowingly associate with people who continually act unkindly or dishonestly, then you are implicitly endorsing that behaviour, which would at the very least make me question your judgement.

    I think there’s a constant balance between being careful, and being fair. It’s certainly not easy.

    • mummywhisperer

      I would always have put you in a more pragmatic group Sally.

      I’m like you – I take what I’ve heard on board, but try to give them a chance too. Ironically though I also judge people on the company they keep and I have found that it has stood me in good stead. I think it’s wise to check out who our kids, and family are associating with as a priority. With people who are friendly to me, who else they are friendly with gives me a clue as to their values and whether I’m just a useful friend or a long lasting one.

      I think that most of the pressure I have felt on line has been subtle, and not actually from the organisations. NetMums vs Mumsnet is a well known issue which I suspect is more to do with the members. Within our blogging community it again is more the members who put on the subtle hints about loyalties. Maybe they are judging me by the company I keep or the fickleness of my approach ;o)

  • Elaine

    I have no idea but like you am happy to be in every one – I learn things and meet different people in different places and I hope that I have something to offer… maybe I’m delusional though ;-) I also seem to miss all the fallings out so never know who doesn’t like who so have to go on my experiences trying to be nice to everyone and helping those who help me.

  • Musings from a mum

    I thought your campaign sounded like a really lovely idea and meant to say so at the time. I think it’s easy to fall into different camps and cliques without really thinking it through. I try hard to be open and friendly with everyone and if people don’t like me for it then so be it. I hate seeing the person in the playground stood alone so I talk to them. It’s horrible when you feel left out or that others are talking about you but at the end of the day I teach my children to be friends with everyone, allegiances change all the time so all you can be is true to yourself.

  • mummywhisperer

    Thank you musings from a mum, sounds like a good and well thought through plan.

    Funnily enough I have always taught my son to be very aware of the playground too – it helps him to be aware of children who might be in need of help and also when he is upset it highlights to him that there are ‘other’ children out there to play with.

  • I often wonder whether its ‘better’ to be established in one group or try to be friends with everyone. In my real life I find I am on the edge of many groups, with no real ‘best friends’ this seems mirrored in my blogging life…I don’t know what is best, but I try to be nice and friendly to everyone :-))

    I like the cave man analogy. xx

  • mummywhisperer

    Yep I don’t have the intense ‘best friend’ relationships that some women have either.

  • Great post and I sense the same things – nice to see someone openly speaking about it x

  • mummywhisperer

    Thank you Liska – I have another coming though about directness versus vagueness, because I wasn’t very direct in this post. I think that the Mummy blogging world is going to have a big shake up this year and it might be a bit uncomfortable, but we’ll come out better for it xx

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