• Keeping Friends

Friendship: When Three’s A Crowd

Published: December 29, 2010 | Last Updated: March 15, 2022 By | Reply Continue Reading
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Sometimes three’s a crowd when it comes to friendships because there are more personalities that need to mesh.


Dear Irene,

I wish that you could help me with an ongoing problem that I have. It is with Amy, the friend of my dear friend Lucy. For whatever reasons, Amy hates me.

Although we are all adults (in our 40’s!), she acts like a jealous kid in school. She rolls her eyes when I talk, ignores me, constantly takes phone calls during meals out (it is usually her mother on the phone), and dominates the conversation.

Since it is so unpleasant to be around Amy, I don’t go out with Lucy if Amy will be there. I realize that Amy is jealous and insecure, but she is also out of line with her behavior. It just feels like three’s a crowd.

So far I have taken the high road so as not to disrupt a get together with a fight but that doesn’t do anything to stop or change the situation.

Lucy won’t stick up for me as she doesn’t want to get in the middle. Do you have any advice for me?



Dear Vikki,

If Amy’s hatred is so seething that she is rolling her eyes at you, I understand your discomfort in being with her and respect your decision to stay away from Lucy when she’s around.

However, I think you have a problem with Lucy as well. She says she’s in the middle but if Amy’s behavior towards her dear friend is clearly inappropriate, Lucy’s failure to say something to her has to feel like a betrayal to you.

Forget about Amy (she’s not your friend) but you need to talk to Lucy and point this out to her. There’s no middle ground when one friend is grossly insensitive to another.

Hope this helps.

My best,

Curious about where the phrase “three’s a crowd” came from? According to Dictionary.com, the phrase alludes to a third person spoiling the privacy of a pair of lovers, a proverb that can be traced as far back as 1546.

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