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The Pest: Navigating three-person friend groups

The number three is all around us, whether we are aware of it or not. From nature’s and religion’s tendencies to favor threes, the rule of three in visual design and the psychological evidence that proves the effect of the memorable and satisfying number, it surrounds us.

However, the more obvious way we all experience the phenomenon of the number three is in our friend groups – everybody has or has had one, and I’m sorry. 

Three-person friend groups can be one of the most rewarding, special friendships ever. They can also be deeply painful. I’ve personally always been drawn toward them, and I also hate them. 

Those trios did not have a negative aspect until middle school when the label of “best friend” became popular. You could only have one, and if you had more than one, you were the person that posted “happy birthday” for literally everyone. 

I am thankful I always had that one best friend, but our toxic trait was rotating the third person in our friend group. It became a never-ending cycle of us alone, us with a third person, one of us getting closer with the third, us realizing that we miss each other and then us alone again. High school wouldn’t be high school without a repetitive cycle of toxic behavior, right? 

I feel so sorry for our victims. 

I’ll continue to use high school as an excuse for my toxic behavior, but a short three months later, I went to college and decided that I was suddenly done with that sort of thing. However, I joined a group of two best friends, and you could argue it was the perfect form of karma. 

This went great until it didn’t – everything has its honeymoon phase, I suppose.

It makes me sad to hear my two best friends talk bad about each other because those are the people that I chose. Am I the problem because I’m in the middle of them? Probably, but they also have self control.

Part of me loves to play the role of the peacekeeper. I love knowing all, comforting all and knowing that, no matter what, they are more mad at each other than they are at me at this moment. 

Yes, I am a Leo before you ask. 

It’s hard to be the middleman, but it’s worse to be an outsider. Don’t let two best friends who are closer to each other than they are with you talk about you. After all, you’ll probably have to be their therapist at some point.

Here’s to never learning my lesson, because when those trios are in a good spot, they are always my favorite. I wish the best of luck to anyone stuck in the borderline social experiment that is a three-person friend group.

The Pest is a satirical column and does not reflect the views of The Post.

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