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:

Shyness:
“I don't have too many friends.”

Hey Terra,

I'm kinda a nobody. I'm very shy and quiet to everyone and I don't hold too much of a conversation. So, I don't have too many friends. I just sit there and listen.

Well, I have learned to be a little more social. But not a lot. I was really mad at my friend, because she was starting to ignore me and she always wanted to sit next to my other friend instead of me. At first I though, "well, ok." But then she started to ignore me a lot and she never sat next to me. She was always whispering and gossiping with my other friend, but she never did that with me anymore. So then I decided to pluck up my courage and give her a long e-mail about how angry I was. I talked about how much she ignored me and that I didn't have any 'real' friends (even though that's not true, I was being angry). But I think it was too much. Because in return, I received a bunch of e-mails from her saying that she was sorry and she didn't mean to. It almost made me cry. I told her that I didn't want to talk about it at school, or it will make me cry, but I am still scared about going to school. I know my friend, she is a big mouth. She might talk to me about it.

What should I do?

Shy

Dear Shy,

You actually have two things to talk about. Let's look at the first thing you said:

  1. "I'm kinda a nobody." That's a rather harsh thing to say about yourself. You should be your own best friend and yet it sounds like you don't give yourself any encouragement or support. If you think you're a "nobody" then you must be measuring yourself against that idea of a "somebody", and you're telling yourself that you don't measure up. You're definitely somebody, you just may have forgotten who that is.
  2. You did exactly the right thing to tell your friend how you were feeling about the way she was treating you. Brava for your courage to do that! (A "nobody" would have just sat and silently suffered. But not you!)
Your friend responded with a good hearted intention to make the friendship stronger. So, you got the best result you could hope for! Why are you unwilling to talk to her about it so that the two of you can strengthen the friendship? Isn't that what you wanted in the first place? Isn't that why you spoke up and told her how you felt?

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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