Ask Sally Senior: Friend Advice
by Sally Senior
Dear Sally Senior,
What’s your advice on friends that can be caring when they want to, but most of the time are sort of rude and make you feel like you’re alone? And what if she lies to you on purpose about things she knows will make you upset? I’m not really sure if she’s even my friend anymore because she’s constantly telling me I can’t do stuff, and how my crush will never like me, and now that I think about it, is the main reason why I have so much anxiety in my social life.
First of all, you deserve friends that make you feel happy; these people are supposed to be your confidants and support system. If your “friends” are not supporting you and caring for you, they are not true friends. It is important to remember that friends should always lift you up.
I think that part of the problem is that you don’t realize how valuable you are as a person, and your friend is taking advantage of that. Above all, it is important for you to not feel alone and upset when you’re with friends; if your friend doesn’t realize that, it’s really her loss.
I think that you should talk to your friend so that she is aware of her actions. No one should be deliberately trying to hurt your feelings. It can be scary to try and find new friends, especially after the school year is well under way, but it is essential to realize that there are so many people in this world for you to talk to, both in school and out of school. You don’t have to completely cut off all contact with this person, but consider branching out and finding new people to hang out with (that person that you sit next to in class, for example).
Realize that high school is a growing period, and with growth comes new friendships. The group of friends that I hang out with now looks very different from my friends three years ago. Just because you have been friends with this person for a while doesn’t mean they have to be permanent. I know that there are people out there who will treat you with all of the respect you deserve; you just have to find them. It takes time, but I know that once you discover your friends, you will be so much happier.
It is totally understandable that you want to keep talking to this person, especially if they have been your friend for a long time. I went through this in middle school and a bit in high school, and it’s hard to find new people to talk to. I didn’t know a single person when I came to HB in ninth grade, so most of my friends were just the people I saw in my mentor group or classes. But as you get more involved with other activities and become more comfortable in the HB community, you will find people to talk to. One of my best friends is someone who I have only had one class with in my entire high school career, but we met through some of our other friends and SREP. I promise that you will find real friends, HB is an amazing place with a lot of great people.