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:

Friends and Enemies:
“My mates always let me down.”

Hey Terra,

I'm so angry with my mates. They're always saying they're doing this or that. They tell me to meet them somewhere but in the end they never turn up. I'm so furious and it's my birthday in 2 days. I don't know what to do???

Sad

Dear Sad,

I'm really sorry that you don't have friends that you can count on. I don't blame you for feeling sad or "furious". A real friendship is based on mutual trust, respect, honesty, open communication and conscious ethical choice-making. It sounds like the relationship you've got with your mates is missing most of these key elements.

Not good for a healthy relationship, but you didn't need me to tell you that!

It sounds like this has been going on for a while. I hope you've had the courage to tell your friends what you told me. That you don't appreciate their setting up times to meet you and then not showing up. If you have told them how their behavior makes you feel, what have they said? If you haven't yet told them how you feel, you absolutely should! By not telling them you are sending them a message that you don't mind being treated this way! But you do mind and it's stressing you out and it's time you did something about it so that you aren't continually disappointment by these people.

You can't control anything outside of yourself. That includes how other people think, feel, and the choices they make. You do have 100% control over the choices YOU make.

It's time you asked yourself: What's my goal here?

My guess is that your goal is to have friends that respect you, who you can count on to be there for you and to keep their agreements with you.

If you aren't getting what you want from your mates, then find some new mates. You deserve to be treated well.

Choose to hold your friends to a higher standard.

When you are clear about what you want and want you will not put up with, then you start to take charge of the kinds of people you choose to get close to.

Taking back that kind of control in your life, is the best birthday gift you can give yourself.

I hope this helps.

By the way, Happy Birthday. Make sure you spend part of the day with people who truly care about you. And if you can't be with any of the people who truly care, then call them. Remember, you deserve to be loved and respected.

In friendship,

Terra


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


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