Being the Middle Man will never be a good idea. Whilst doing everything you can to protect both sides of a situation, you will forget one very important thing – to protect yourself. You are the most important person in life, don’t ever put yourself second.
The Middle Man is like the worst job you’ve ever had. Severely underpaid, over-worked, no benefits, an unsupportive team, your office is probably in the car park, you get where I’m going with this….
When you play the real-life role of the Middle Man, you spend your time worrying about making sure both parties are OK; they aren’t getting hurt by things you know (as the confidante), for which you stay silent to inflict the least amount of harm possible. You carry the weight of two other people on your shoulders. You support each of them, but you say nothing, apart from trying to navigate the prickly path you’re walking.
You say nothing because you know alerting either party to what is really going on will hurt them.
You say nothing because no matter what you say, they will remain stubborn in their own opinion of the situation, which is never the reality. Your words of wisdom will fall on deaf ears, and may even come back on you, even though you have their best interests at heart.
For the Middle Man, it will always be a lose-lose battle.
My advice from what I have experienced first hand, and learned the hard way are the following:
1. You will know during the situation that you have been ID’d as the MM. At this point of realisation, you need to act firmly. Tell both parties that you love them, but you do not wish to be a part of their situation that you have been dragged into.
2. Stand firm when they continually don’t respect your wishes.
3. If they truly are your friend, then they will only want the best for you and to see you happy. If they do not respect your wishes, then perhaps question why they are in your life if they don’t think its important to respect you.
4. You will always be the bad guy when you play the role of the Middle Man. You will be blamed because they don’t want to take ownership of the blame themselves in creating this situation.
5. Stay strong, and remember, if you learn one thing, it’s never to put yourself in a situation like this again.
6. Don’t apologise for standing up for yourself. No one else does. You deserve to be happy & not to be brought down by others actions.
7. Don’t think that what your doing is selfish. Know that you are allowed to put yourself first and stand by your gut and your moral code.
8. The only thing you can control is your reaction. Keep your energy and time for things that make you happy.
I hope you come out unscathed.