I read the letter from "Second Choice", and I kind of feel like that's me - I'm not always the nicest to one of my friends. But the thing is - I don't want to be!!! I don't like her, but she keeps following me around, and she thinks she's impressing me but she's NOT, and it's SUPER annoying. How do I let go?
- Letting Go
Dear Letting Go,
You do not need to be friends with people who you do not want to be friends with, but treating her badly is not the way to go about things. Sometimes, in intimate settings like school, you will need to pretend that you like people in order to avoid conflicts. You should give this girl a chance, and maybe you will find that you actually enjoy her company. Maybe you can hang out with her and some of your other friends so that you do not need to be the only one that she is focusing on. This girl is just looking for a friend, and you should treat her with respect. Your feelings are always valid, but you need to deal with people who you find “annoying” if they are not doing things that go against basic ethics and morals.
I always feel like I am my friends second (or more) choice. I love spending time with her, and she loves spending time with me when we are not with our other friends. She makes it obvious that I’m not her favorite and she cares more about our other friends even by the little things she does, which makes me feel like I’m not good enough. The problem is, I have so much fun around her and she’s so nice. I can’t imagine letting her go, but even if I did I’d probably lose my other friends I really love.
- Second Choice
Dear Second Choice,
It is unfortunate that you are experiencing the feeling of not being this girl’s favorite person, but it is possible for you to be friends without being her go-to gal. Not every friend in your life has to be your best friend. Simply enjoying her company is enough of a reason to stay friends. If you truly feel hurt by her, you should tell her. She might not be aware of her behaviour. You can distance yourself a bit without ending your friendship. Maybe you just need to find other friends who you can have a deeper connection with. Just remember that how she acts does not measure your worth, but if she makes you feel small, it may be time to let go.
I have a friend who consistently makes me feel terrible. She decides to be nice to me some days and mean to me other days, she has gossiped about me many times, and she always puts me in really uncomfortable situations. She knows I'm not friends with a girl that she is friends with and will talk about her behind her back to me every day, even though I've told her it makes me uncomfortable. I can't step away from this toxic friend because she has too much social influence and would just get everyone to say mean things about me again, but I feel paranoid and hated whenever I come to school because I'm always worried she's decided to be mean to me today. I can't even talk to her about it because she absolutely terrifies me at this point. I don't know what to do or who to go to... please help?
Find someone in your life who you trust to talk about this situation. Tell a parent, teacher, advisor, coach, or close friend or relative. This girl is a bully, and you should not have to endure her toxicity any longer. It sounds as if your fear of her is ruining your experience at school, so try not to give her that power. One way to step away from this friendship is to stop hanging out with her, and try to avoid her. This is a subtle way to stop being around her without drawing attention to your discomfort with being around her.
I have a “friend” who is really toxic to be around. She is horrible to people behind their back and only wants to talk about dating people. She assumes a lot about my past that makes me uncomfortable. I would feel horrible to just ditch her, but I am miserable when I am around her. What do I do?
It important for you to learn your boundaries and to analyze the aspects of your life that are causing unhappiness. If this “friend” is making you feel so terrible, it would be best if you cut her out of your life. It is difficult and scary to cut someone out, but this is an important step in advocating for your health and happiness. You do not need to dramatically end your relationship, but you should be direct with her so that you do not lead her on. Try your best to be honest with her about your feelings, and say that it is really hard for you to spend time with her. When talking to her, try to make it about how she makes you feel, rather than about how she is as a person.
Even at this age, I have bills to pay. My parents don't cover the costs for many things, and I was expected to get a job to pay for my sports, car, and leisurely activities. At the same time, my homework load is massive, and I am very busy between sports, school, work, my family, and friends. How do I find a balance?
-Broke and Sleepy
Dear Broke and Sleepy,
Try to schedule your time to make everything fit in. Set time limits for how long you want to spend on each activity. However, if you find that everything is getting to be too much, you need to prioritize. There are times when you will need to say no, whether that is to sports or to hanging out with friends. Make a list of the things that the absolutely need to do and the things that you may not like as much. Sometimes, you need to turn down a request to do something in order to get some rest. Think about the long term. Set a realistic goal and try to reach it. Talk to the people in your life who you can count on. There is no shame in asking for help, whether it is from a friend, parent, or teacher.
I think that my boyfriend of ten months is cheating on my with my best friend. When we were together, he left his phone on the table and a text popped up on his phone, saying “what’s up?” I didn’t think much of it but then I asked him to hang out later and he was busy. So I asked my friend if we could hang out, but she said she was busy. From this I am concluding that they were hanging out together. Also, one time I saw them walking around the neighborhood together. What should I do?
Right now, you are just speculating. You have no concrete evidence, and it seems as if you are searching for evidence to support your conclusion. If your boyfriend and best friend are your true friends, you should feel comfortable talking to them. Talk to them each in private, making it clear that this is just a feeling that you have rather than something you actually believe. Also, it is important that you work on figuring out the root of your suspicions. Your evidence by itself is not highly convincing; is there something in your relationships that you are not fully comfortable with, making you suspect betrayal? Remember, even if your friends are being honest with you, you do not need to continue these relationships. It is never healthy to feel paranoid about a relationship, so this could be a sign that you need to end things and move on.
It’s my first year at Lincoln and I want to get to know my classmates a little better, but my dance classes take up so much time and I never have any time to have anyone over. I love dance, and I want to join the company I dance for when I get older, but I also want to have friends that are not just outside of school. What should I do?
Dear Busy Dancer,
There are many ways for you to fit what you want to do in to your schedule. If you want to have a social life while still working hard at dance, you need to try to find time to fit it in. Take a look at your schedule, and see if you can find areas that you are spending more time in than you want to be. Cutting back on the amount of time it takes for many activities will open up more time for you to do what you want to. Also, try to find time in school to hang out with your friends and bond with them. Maybe you can hang out with friends on the weekend after dance. Be flexible about the idea of change, and try not to get to stuck into a routine that will make you afraid of change.
I'm feeling very lost at the moment. I currently have a group of friends from my old school that I consider myself very close with, but I'm not sure if I'm as close with them as I used to be. I've been so busy with school lately that I haven't had the time to actually see them face-to-face since September, but I talk to them online every day. My birthday is coming up very soon, and coincidentally, someone in my friend group has her birthday the day before mine. My friends have decided to plan a surprise birthday party for her, but it's as if they forgot that mine is the day after. And I know if they wanted to do a joint surprise, they wouldn't let me in on the plans in the first place. For some reason, this actually makes me feel really hurt, but at the same time, I wonder if I'm coming off as selfish? It's not as if I don't have any friends at this school because I really do (and I love them so, so much), but is this a sign to move on from my old friends?
Dear Confused Marshmallow,
If you really care about these friends, try to find more time to put into your relationships with them. However, you should still work hard to move forward in your friendships with your other group of friends. It is completely natural for friends to grow apart, especially after changing schools. It is possible for you to remain friends with the people from your old school without being as close as you used to be. Consider what is most important to you. Is it worth ruining friendships that you value over this birthday party? If it were not for this party, would you still want to stay friends with them despite not seeing them a lot?
Even though you are upset that they are probably not planning a surprise party for you, them including you in the plans for your other friends’ party shows that they care about you, and they still consider all of you to be friends with each other. There is still a chance that they remember your birthday. You are allowed to be upset, but it is up to you to decide if this is enough of a reason to move on from your old friends. Do you have any other feelings that make you want to abandon these friendships? You might just be getting too old for your friendships with these friends, and that feeling might just be coming apparent because of this birthday situation. You have multiple options, so trust your gut.
My boyfriend and I have been together for two years. He checks all of the boxes, and I love him. However, I do not feel attracted to him anymore. He is respectful, funny, smart, and kind, but I cannot stand being around him anymore. My friends always tell me how lucky I am to have such a great boyfriend. My parents love him, and my grandmother even gave him her engagement ring to propose to me with when we are older. He is so right, so where did I go so wrong? I do not know how to get out of this relationship. I hate confrontation, but I dread the thought of being with him forever.
- Dating Mr. Boring
Dear Dating Mr. Boring,
If this relationship is making you so unhappy, your number one priority should be to end this relationship. It sounds like you are extremely influenced by the feelings of those around you, which can be a good thing, but you need to learn how to manage your reaction to their influence on you. Your friends and family love your boyfriend, but if they love you, they will understand that you want to break up with him. Set aside time to talk with your boyfriend, and bring up your feelings to him in a kind and gentle manner. It is perfectly acceptable to use something such as the cliché “it’s not you, it’s me.” Tell him that he is a great guy, but the chemistry that you used to feel with him is gone.
I love acting more than anything I have ever done. It is my true passion, and nothing can change that. I am not confident chasing it however because I have no background in dancing and singing. I feel unqualified to do the one thing that I love. I am scared that I will chase my dream and fall flat on my face at the bottom of the heap like so many other people. Everyone I talk to agrees that I cannot chase this career, but I have nothing else that I am passionate about. Please help!
Dear Career Confused,
The mindset that you have is similar to the ones of people who end up unhappy because their dreams seem far to big. If acting is your passion, then you need to pursue it if you want to find happiness in life. That being said, you should set smaller, more realistic expectations for yourself. If you are able to take acting classes, that might be a good place to start. The internet and libraries have many resources to educate you about the acting industries. Try to be involved in acting activities to improve your skills and to determine if this is really what you want to do. Also, try to immerse yourself in other activities as well to expand your mindset and see if there is anything else that you are passionate about. If acting is what you want to do in life, then it does not matter what other people are telling you. This is your life, and you deserve to be happy. You can always have another job to keep you grounded while you pursue a career in acting, or maybe you can just do acting as a hobby. Try to continue learning as much as possible, both about acting and about yourself as a person. You are still young, so you have time to learn and figure things out.