Dear Nicole: Should I invite feuding friends to a party?

Dear Nicole,

My friends just had a huge fight. I am not sure what it was even about but I know they aren’t speaking. I am throwing a holiday party soon and the idea of inviting both of them is making me worry the party will turn into battleground. I also can’t invite only one. I am equally friends with both. What should I do?

Seeking Peace Under the Wreath

I am not at all verbally patting you on the head when I say this is not your battle. It isn’t. If you want to invite them both, you should and say to them (separately of course). “I want to let you know I am inviting so and so. I hope you are able to put your personal conflicts aside at the party. But if not, I understand if you don’t want to come.”

Perhaps the party can be an excuse to get past their differences in time to have a good time.


Dear Nicole,

My friend has three kids and she brings them everywhere. I get that it must be hard to get a babysitter (her husband works a lot) but I also miss our one-on-one time. Is there any way to ask for her to hang out solo without her taking it the wrong way?

The Fifth Wheel

It’s hard when a friend’s reality changes and yours does not. So slow clap for both of you for maintaining this friendship! A few ideas:

Go someplace that has childcare. The Y in Bar Harbor has a childcare room. Take some laps around the track while her kiddos play safely nearby.

A place like the park where kids can run around while you sit on the benches with coffee and catch up might be better than forcing kids to, say, act nice in a more adult oriented outing. Yes, the kids will interrupt you but at least they’ll be doing something else allot of the time (maybe).

Ask your friend for a standing date. Do errands together. Oftentimes parents use time away from kids to, say, get to the post office or grocery store. Offer to go with your friend.


Dear Nicole,

One of my friends is super into this health program. It kind of seems like a pyramid scheme (she sells as part of a team). She’s always posting about it on Facebook and inviting me to join events. The “Holiday Slim Down” email just threw me over the edge. I am excited my friend has found a way to be happy but come on, get off our backs!

Unhealthy and Happy

I am sure you aren’t necessarily unhealthy, even if your friend sees you that way because you haven’t been using her miracle products.

This behavior is pretty annoying, regardless of the product or cause.

You can support your friend in non-financial ways. “Like” their Facebook page (then block updates from it from your feed if they annoy you). Send her an email saying you are happy she has found something that makes her so happy. When you see her, ask how her business is going.

But no need to go to any buying parties or join online events. Untag that promotional flyer she tagged you in. If she added you to an email list without asking, unsubscribe.

If she acts in another way, simply tell her you wish her great success but you are happy with your life as is. Sounds like she’ll eventually be onto the next thing in the course of a few months anyway.

Nicole Ouellette

Nicole Ouellette

When Nicole isn't giving advice she's completely unqualified to give, she runs an Internet marketing company in Bar Harbor, where she lives with her husband Derrick and their short dog Gidget. She loves young adult novels, cooking and talking French to anyone who'll talk back. [email protected]
Nicole Ouellette

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