Maybe it's because I've never really fit in with any one group, but growing up I always had some friends who didn't like each other. I was fine with that and my general policy was that if either party disliked the other so much that they didn't want me to spend time with both, I saw that as a sign that I should only spend time with the group that didn't care who my other friends were. Maybe that's just because I'm so stubborn.
From time to time, I'll even have a friend who I don't like their other friends. If they want to know, I'll tell my friend why I don't like the others or even why I don't think that they're a good influence, but I can't remember ever saying "Us or Them."
The paradox is that I can't ask my friends to adopt that same attitude. If I have a friend who is being told by their friends that they shouldn't spend time with me, I can't say that they should leave the other friends just because that's my policy. Because by saying that they should leave the other friends, that is invoking my policy that they should leave me.
So how do I avoid the paradox but keep my friend who is being forced to choose? The only way I know how to deal with the situation is to let go of my friend even if it's not fair or even if I don't think it's best for them. Any other suggestions?