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:

Rejection:
“I'm distant from the person I thought was my best friend in the whole world.”

Hey Terra,

I like this guy that I barely know, but my best friend is good friends with him. I didn't know that until after I told her I liked him... I told her to keep it a secret but I should've known she'd run back and tell him. He told her I'm okay but he wouldn't go out with me. When I get the guts to talk to him the second he gets the chance he practically runs from me..it hurts because I would talk to him before he knew I liked him and he didn't do that.

Now instead of supporting me and making me feel better my friend is telling me, "You really need to get over yourself. He obviously hates you and you cant keep obsessing over him. It's not healthy and the more you do it the more he'll hate you." So instead of making me feel better she makes me feel worse. On top of that, she tells him everything I say about him and how sad it makes me that he doesn't like me. And to make things worse, ever since she's known I liked him she's trying to be best friends with him. She never used to do that before... and it makes me kinda "jealous".

I just wish I was at least good friends with him like her (not even my bf -- just good Friends). But we're not and she rubs it in my face. It makes me really sad so I'm getting really lonely and sad. And it's making me distant from the person I thought was my best friend in the whole wide world... but now I'm having second thoughts on that...

Please!! Tell me what I can do to feel better and explain this trouble-filled middle school life to me!

B. Trayed

Dear B. Trayed,

Your friend doesn't seem like much of a friend at all. She says it's not healthy for you to obsess over him. She might be right, but that's besides the point. What's not healthy is having friends who don't support you, aren't kind, and seem to be more interested in making trouble than putting your mind at ease. As for taking the private stuff you share with her and her spreading it all over the place, well... you tell me: What kind of friend is that anyway?

I think you already know the answer to that one.

Here's my advice: take a deep breath and let it out slowly. (Take another slow deep breath... They're free! LOL) That should help to calm you down.

Now that you're feeling calmer say to yourself: "I'm a good person and a good friend to other people. I deserve to have people treat me with respect."

Say it again and start believing it.

Okay, next step... You need to get a backbone. By that I mean, shake off the "sad and lonely" and start to stand up for yourself. If you're feeling brave enough, have a private conversation with this so-called best friend of yours. Tell her calmly and maturely just how you've been feeling about the way she's been treating you and this friendship. Be clear. Be direct. (But please DON'T sink to the level of calling names. That won't accomplish anything.) You might say something like this: "I don't appreciate the way you've been treating me. I've been feeling hurt and really disappointed. If you can't treat me with the same respect that I treat you then I can't be friends with you any more."

If she acts like she doesn't know what you're talking about, then give her specific examples of what you mean. (You've written them in your email to me. In fact, you've done a great job expressing how you feel about what she's been up to. Now it's time to let her know how you feel.)

WARNING: If you act all weepy and like a victim, she's going to use it against you. So, if you don't feel like you can talk to her calmly, then write it down instead of talking to her face to face.

Don't expect that she's going to get it. It sounds like she's pretty much only interested in looking out for herself. That's her choice. It's not your job to convince her that what she's doing is hurtful. All you need to do is take back your power and make sure that you don't allow this friend (or this guy) or anyone, to put you down and make you lose your self-respect.

You have everything you need to be who you are with strength and dignity (in middle school and beyond). The sooner you let go of needing the approval of other people (especially people who don't really care about you) then the happier you'll be.

I hope this helps.

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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