Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

“I hate a lot of stuff that a lot of people do.”

Hey Terra,

I hate it when people ask "Can I ask you a question?" I hate when people butt into my business. I hate when I'm in a movie and there is one person who has to make a comment about everything that happens. I REALLY hate it when adults treat me like I am 2 years old! I hate it when people talk with their mouths open. I hate babysitting for kids that are brother and sister, because all they do is come crying to me about how much they hate each other! I hate it when I go to my grandma's house and she makes me take the nastiest cough syrup in the universe just because I cleared my throat. I hate it when guys like you and you like them and they say "I like her I just don't want a girlfriend right now!"(ya, that makes a whole lot of sense) I really hate it when one of my teachers comes up to me and whispers something to me when their breath is KICKIN!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hating it all

Dear Hating it all,

Thanks for writing and sharing with me some of the things you hate. Hopefully it made you feel a bit better to make that list. But maybe not. You know, you can't control any of the annoying and "hateful" habits of other people. Sad but true. People do what they do, and like those people in the movie audience (I had a group of them sitting behind me the other day) you can't control them either.

What you CAN do, is control your behavior in relation to the behavior of others. What I mean by that is simply this.... Your attitude about what happens around you and your need to place events into two piles "This is GOOD" and this is "STUFF I HATE", creates difficulty for you and you alone. It's like this, if you hate trees with all their branches, and bark and leaves and you happen to live in a forest, well, you're going to spend an awful lot of mental energy being pissed off all the time. That's totally your choice and you're welcome to it. But if you think it might be more fun to not be so pissed off, then that's going to require a shift in attitude. Instead of cursing your head off and stomping the ground every time you see a tree, you could make a conscious choice to do something else. For example, take a deep breath, exhale slowly, and think "Huh, it's a tree." Not good. Not bad. Just a tree.

I guarantee that if you want to create a happier self in the new year, you have the power to do it. Am I suggesting that you somehow start bending over backwards to pretend to LOVE all the things you say you HATE? No way! I'm just saying you might feel a whole lot better about life in general (and yourself in particular) if you learn how to chill a bit. Because all this hating isn't doing you any good. In fact, you may be creating a huge wall around yourself so that other people just keep their distance.

In friendship,


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.

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