Having a big group of friends is fantastic; you’ve always got a shoulder to cry on, an ear to chew off, and (for me, anyway) a closet to raid.

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However, it’s not always rainbows and smiles when it comes to large groups of people with various opinions on many different things.

When conflict occurs, it can be extremely difficult to deal with; after all, you know and love both people on either side.

So…what do you do when your friends are fighting with each other?

1. Try not to dive in or pick sides.

Yeah, yeah, easier said than done. But you’ll thank yourself in the long run if you try to stay neutral.

Talk with both friends when things cool down. Make casual conversation and under no circumstances should you bring up the fight.

That being said, if the argument is brought up, refuse to take part. If your friend is really someone who cares about you and your relationships with your other friends, he/she will respect your wishes and move onto another conversation.

Who knows? Maybe people will start to reconcile if they see you’re willing to let it all go or not get involved.

2. Recognize why your friends are mad.

It doesn’t matter if they’re talking politics, religion, or how much they hate the other’s boyfriends. Steer clear of the topics at all costs and advise others to do the same.

Explain that you understand WHY your friend is upset, but that dwelling on the anger isn’t going to help anyone in the long run.

3. If you’re the one who’s fighting with a friend, it’s up to you to end it.

Take the initiative. Be the bigger person. Insert leadership cliché here. At the risk of losing some imaginably good friends, is the fight really worth continuing?

If you stand up and apologize or make an attempt toward reconciliation, your friend will surely back down as well, will accept your apology and probably offer one up as well.

4. Group outings!

I’m not saying organize a program that requires you all to be an arm’s length away from each other at all times, but, if it’s not too stormy, encourage the group to all hang out as an entity.

Play some board games. Plan a picnic. Go to a movie or something of the sort. Chances are, new jokes will be forged out of the experience and you’ll all leave feeling happier and more appreciative of each other’s company.

Sure, college is fun and the independence is great, but it would be nothing without your friends. Make an effort to keep them around—it may be quite a while before you run into a greater group of people again.

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