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Perry and Swift: How Do You Handle Friendship Fallouts?

02/10/2015 10:47 am ET | Updated Apr 12, 2015

It isn't always just happy music and dancing. Singer-songwriters Katy Perry and Taylor Swift are engaged in an ongoing rivalry. The alleged incident that sparked the "bad blood" between them revolves around three of Katy's back-up dancers who auditioned for and received slots on Taylor's world tour in support of her album Red. While the dancers were mid-tour, Katy reached out to see if they would be interested in quitting the gig with Taylor in order to accompany Katy on her tour instead. All three agreed to leave.

Their fight has gone public in several hostile ways, and the anger and animosity between them is expressed through their music. For example, Taylor's song Bad Blood is reportedly about Katy, and this past weekend at the Super Bowl, Katy offered her own retaliation, making a subtle diss at Taylor by dressing several of her dancers in polka dot bikinis identical to a red one that Taylor owns and was photographed in a few years back. The question is, when and how do you let it go? What happens when you have a falling out with a friend?

Many people might find or have found themselves in this situation. For one reason or another, a rift developed between you and your longtime pal. Often, especially when you are younger, the temptation is to reach out and recruit support by getting as many friends as possible to take your side. While these alliances can take the sting out of what occurred, it can also fuel your anger because it justifies the fact that you were wronged.

Typically, when there is a conflict between two confidantes, one or both might feel betrayed by the other. Whether it was broken trust because someone took up with the other's ex or a secret was shared, there are many scenarios in which this could happen. Such betrayals are hard to heal from and get over, especially if there is no acknowledgment of what was done to hurt you. There are also times when the person who betrayed their friend isn't even aware of doing anything to stir up trouble in the relationship. In my book How Could You Do This To Me? I call this an Unaware Betrayal. It is not surprising that people continue to handle the breach of a friendship the first way they knew to do when they were younger, by gathering as many people as you can who agree with you.

If you are in a situation dealing with an angry and resentful former friend or colleague in which you know you did something to instigate the negative feelings, and it means enough to you to want to salvage things, it is never too late to take responsibility for what you did and say you are sorry. It is one of the best ways to repair the damage. On the flip side, if you sense something is wrong but you are clueless about what might be going on, as well as if you think you might have done something but you aren't sure what, you can always ask directly so that you give your friend the chance to voice their concerns and hopefully clear the air. If you are the one feeling betrayed, ask yourself if there were signs that you might have missed suggesting that your friend was not as trustworthy as you thought. In other words, take what you have learned from this so you can protect yourself better in the future.

Unlike Katy and Taylor, you are probably not going to sing about the betrayal you might have caused or taken the brunt of. But you can always talk it out.

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