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:

Communication Problems:
“My friend always wants all the attention.”

Hey Terra,

My friend is a major show off. She's always flirting and dancing in front of guys. I'm over in the corner just trying to have a good time, but my friend steals all of the attention. Last time I brought it up she took it the wrong way and got all mad at me. I need some major help!

From,

Wall Flower

Dear Wall Flower,

I'm sure it's annoying and irritating to have your friend showing off and pulling people's attention away from you. I'm wondering if she's even aware that she's doing it. Lots of people have trouble seeing themselves the way other people see them. The truth is, we've all, at one time or another, tried to be the center of attention. But since it bothers you and is damaging the friendship, you owe it to her to tell her the truth.

You say that your friend "took it the wrong way." Which way did she take it? Which way did you want her to take it? What, exactly, did you say to her when you brought it up? If the situation was reversed and YOU had been the one flirting and dancing, what words could your friend say to you that would help you take it the "right" way? Think about what words make you defensive and what words make you more willing to listen to what someone else has to say.

If you care about the friendship I suggest you try again. But this time, instead of saying "You always show off in front of guys...", you might try a statement that starts with "I feel..." You might say something like this: "I really care about our friendship so I want you to know that something's bothering me. I feel angry and jealous when you flirt with guys because it's like you're trying to compete with me. I don't like when you do that."

OK?

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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