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:

Emotions:
“What's going on with me!?”

Hey Terra,

I'm halfway through the 6th grade year, 11 year old, almost 12. I need some advice. The thing is I'm getting new feelings and sometimes not feeling anything at all could you please help me. There was one other thing I keep comparing my self to the other more prettier girls and I wanted to know why and is this the real me. I think I've changed on the inside. I mean I cuss sometimes I don't know if I'm doing it to look cool or not. My best friends mom just got remarried and I don't like him at all. I don't know why I just don't like him. My mom asks me why I don't like him and I tell her I just have a feeling I don't like him. I'm just really dazed and confused. Could you please help me?!?

Just don't like him

Dear Just don't like him,

Thanks for writing. The "new" feelings you are experiencing (including those times when you are "not feeling anything at all") are a totally normal part of being almost 12.

These feelings come from the fact that your body is going through major changes right now (and will continue to for the next 3-4 years). Part of what may be going on is changes in your hormone levels. This isn't to say that the feelings that come up are not valid, they certainly are! But part of the explanation is that your body is moving from childhood to adulthood and right now, you're in transition. Until you have gotten to the other side, physically, there are likely to be lots of emotional ups and downs. What can you do about them? Recognize the emotions when they come up. Breathe. Relax as best as you can. And try to use your thinking brain to help you make decisions. (When people are all stressed and emotional it's impossibly to think!)

As for comparing yourself to other girls. That's not unusual (boys compare themselves to other boys too). But to get too obsessed in those kinds of comparisons is a trap of sorts. You have the body, face, hair, skin that you were born to have. There's not a lot of good that comes from endlessly wishing you looked like someone else. Instead, embrace those things that are uniquely yours and you will begin to realize (inside and out) that you have wonderful gifts and talents with the power to make yourself and others happy. The more you cultivate these gifts and talents and take advantage of opportunities to let your light shine, the less you will compare yourself to others.

Finally, your feelings about your friend's new step-dad. Your inner voice is telling you something about this man. You may not have a specific answer for your mom when she asks you "why" you don't like him, but a specific answer is not always necessary. Try your best to keep an open mind and an open heart toward him but if it doesn't feel comfortable for you to be around him, then honor that feeling and keep your distance. By the way, I would not make a big deal about telling your friend how you feel about her step-dad. She's probably going through enough of a transition herself with her mom's remarriage. It wouldn't be helpful for her to have to take on your feelings about her step-dad and deal with that problem too.

Continue to be the best friend you know how to be and, the best Jordan, that you know how to be.

I hope this helps. Write back any time.

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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