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Problems with Friends/friend manipulative or just busy?

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Question
I'm in high school, and I have an issue with a girl who was a good friend of mine in middle school (we went to different elementary schools). We didn't get to see each other as often in middle school as we do now, but she used to be a really nice person. Whenever she teased me, nobody, and myself included, thought she really meant to do anything. However, things became a little complicated when we got to high school. It was more stressful and competitive, and she was in every class with me. As the school year went on, the teasing became pretty annoying, and I made efforts to show her that it wasn't that funny anymore. I think she might have though I didn't want to be friends with her or something because now she says stuff like "I really care about you, IF your my friend." I always assure her that I still am, although I'm seriously starting to get a little pissed at her teasing and relying on me to do work. She's always asking me for the homework and notes because she always does other homework in class. Once I gave her the wrong homework (by accident), and she acted like I was sabotaging her. Whenever we both have the same clubs on the same day, we split up for clubs and tell each other what went on in each club later. I'm pretty sure she's starting to leave out important information whenever we talk to each other. I'm in so many activities with her that I started to get used to her weird attitude, but this year I don't know if I can put up with it anymore. We have this really really important extracurricular project that'll be due soon and several hard tests coming up. I'm working together with her for the projects, and she's got a couple more tests than I do. She's doing absolutely no work (although she pretends to and expects me, who's known her for 4 years, to not notice) and refusing to share the work she has done with me. She probably expects me to pull the weight because she knows I don't like BSing work. I don't know if I should BS the extracurricular project and focus on my tests (because that's what she's doing). Even though she can be a great person at times, I really can't bear me doing all the work again and her getting most of the credit. I talked to my parents, and they tell me to BS it (but they don't like her). I'd like to hear an unbiased opinion.

Answer
Hi Alicia,

When people transition from middle school to high school, things can change very easily. High school is a completely new environment, and it sometimes takes a while to adjust to the changes that come with it. It looks like this has been a tough transition for both you and your friend, and that is perfectly ok.

I think your friend is trying to "find herself," so to say, in this new environment. She is acting differently because although you two are used to being friends and coming from the same place, she is trying to find other places and people she fits into as well. That might be why she's been treating you this way.

Like you said, what happened with the homework situation was definitely an accident. If you apologized and explained yourself, great, and if you haven't, I would definitely recommend it. But don't continue to spend time pushing your case...after you apologize, the ball is in her court. She might believe you, she might not, but either way, you did all that you could do to state your case and clarify the situation.

With the project you have going on, try to nicely talk to her about it. Emphasize that the project is a lot of work for everyone and that it will be easier to get done when everybody contributes. I myself have been stuck in plenty of situations where, like you, I pulled the work for others. It's a very commendable thing to do, but it shouldn't happen all the time.

Overall, I would try to sit and talk with her about everything all in one. Let her know how you've been feeling lately and try to bring up a few things she has said or done that you can use as a reference point. Be careful not to "reprimand" her...just be calm and explain the situation and how you're feeling. Then, like I said, the ball is in her court to respond to you.

Best of luck!
BriElle

Problems with Friends

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BriElle

Expertise

Hey there, I'm BriElle! I'm 19, and I'm great at giving advice to other teens! I want to use my experiences with friendships to help YOU with yours! I'm open to all questions about all types of friendship problems, from being left out, to feeling jealous, to trust issues, to peer pressure, and even to building your friendship with your boyfriend/girlfriend! So talk to me and help me to help you! :)

Experience

I've experienced feelings of loneliness, jealousy, anger, and pressure with my friends. I've lost friends in the past, and I understand the troubles of maintaining a friendship. However, I know how to be confident and how to distinguish who my real friends are. I love giving advice to my friends about all of there problems!

Education/Credentials
I'm currently a sophomore in college. I led several retreats in high school, so I understand how to cope with emotions. I also studied psychology for one year.

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