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Teenage Problems/Losing My (Best) Friend

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Question
Hi Jonathan,

I've gone through many, many best friends throughout my school life. My most recent best friend, I'll call her Karen, has been an on-off best friend with me for the past 2 years. Generally we would be super close for a few months (like always hang out with each other, share secrets, hug each other, share food, etc...) and then she would abruptly ignore me on a random (?) day. Karen isn't the type of person who freely communicates her feelings, so I have not really been able to ask her why. Sometimes I assume that she ignores me because of something I have done, but sometimes I assume that she is having other problems and pushed me away as a result of that.

During these times of silence she would either hang out with other friends or spend lunchtimes by herself. I would be left to find other friends. I suppose she takes the role of the "leader" in our friendship, in that she dictates what and when things will happen. We are both however quite headstrong people, so when she decides to push me away, I always have mixed feelings of anger, sadness, jealousy and revenge.

She would usually come back to me after a few weeks. But this time it has been going on for 3 months. That's a really long time, and I am beginning to accept that our friendship has ended. This really upsets me as it appears that she has moved on, and I am pretending that I have moved on. But now, because of this, I don't even know what friendship group I belong in, who are my true friends, etc... Now when I sit next to her in a class (due to a seating plan) we don't even say a word to each other.

I don't have a specific question, but I would just like to get some advice on what I should do. I would prefer to avoid confronting her as she is seriously the most difficult person to talk to sometimes- although that's just in her character. Also, would you consider her a true friend to me? Or is she just toxic?

Thank you for your time.

Answer
Dear Annie, I will make some comments in capital letters so you will easily see them. I'm not shouting.

Losing My (Best) Friend

Question:
Hi Jonathan,

I've gone through many, many best friends throughout my school life. My most recent best friend, I'll call her Karen, has been an on-off best friend with me for the past 2 years. A LOT OF PEOPLE WE THINK OF AS BEST FRIENDS HAVE OTHER FRIENDS AND IT MAY SEEM HARD TO THINK THAT THEY HAVE OTHER FRIENDS AS WELL. THEY MAY SHARE CLASSES WITH THEM OR SPORTS ACTIVITIES AND WE FEEL LEFT OUT IF THEY DO NOT GIVE US THEIR UNDIVIDED ATTENTION.

Generally we would be super close for a few months (like always hang out with each other, share secrets, hug each other, share food, etc...) and then she would abruptly ignore me on a random (?) day.IT IS POSSIBLE SHE FELT SHE TOLD YOU TOO MUCH OR THAT YOU WERE GETTING TOO CLOSE TO HER

Karen isn't the type of person who freely communicates her feelings, so I have not really been able to ask her why. Sometimes I assume that she ignores me because of something I have done, but sometimes I assume that she is having other problems and pushed me away as a result of that. ITS ALWAYS BEST TO ASK IF THERE IS SOMETHING YOU HAVE DONE OR SAID THAT MAKES HER WANT TO DISTANCE HERSELF FROM YOU. WE ALL GET A "D" OR "F" IN COMMUNICATING WITH EACH OTHER.  WHEN WE DO NOT KNOW WHY PEOPLE IGNORE US WE TEND TO THINK UP REASONS WHY, WE FEEL WE ARE TO BLAME BECAUSE WE REALLY DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON IN SOMEONES HEAD. SO ALWAYS MAKE THE EFFORT TO COMMUNICATE. IF YOU WANT HER TO BE YOUR FRIEND ONCE MORE THEN TELL HER THAT "IF THERE IS ANYTHING I HAVE DONE TO HURT YOU OR IF I HAVE BEEN UNKIND OR INTRUSIVE THEN I APOLOGIZE"  THEN SEE WHAT KINF OD A RESPONSE YOU RECEIVE.\

During these times of silence she would either hang out with other friends or spend lunchtimes by herself. I would be left to find other friends. I suppose she takes the role of the "leader" in our friendship, in that she dictates what and when things will happen. We are both however quite headstrong people, so when she decides to push me away, I always have mixed feelings of anger, sadness, jealousy and revenge. THIS IS BEGINNING TO SOUND LIKE A POWER STRUGGLE. PERHAPS SHE SEES YOU TRYING TO BE A DOMINANT PERSON.          She would usually come back to me after a few weeks. But this time it has been going on for 3 months. That's a really long time, and I am beginning to accept that our friendship has ended. This really upsets me as it appears that she has moved on, and I am pretending WELL THEN DO AS I SUGGESTED.  TRY TO OPEN A DIALOGUE WITH HER AND PERHAPS INVITE HER TO SOME SPORTING EVENT OR TO ANYTHING YOU TWO HAVE DONE IN THE PAST,LIKE GET SOMETHING TO EAT.

that I have moved on. But now, because of this, I don't even know what friendship group I belong in, who are my true friends, etc... Now when I sit next to her in a class (due to a seating plan) we don't even say a word to each other. TRY GIVING HER A SMILE AND SAY HI TO HER.

I don't have a specific question, but I would just like to get some advice on what I should do. I would prefer to avoid confronting her as she is seriously the most difficult person to talk to sometimes- although that's just in her character. Also, would you consider her a true friend to me? I AM NOT SURE ON THIS QUESTION.

Or is she just toxic? ANYONE CAN BE A "TOXIC" PERSON, ESPECIALLY A PARENT OR PARENTS. A BROTHER OR SISTER WHO IS CONSTANTLY "INSULTING" YOU, LIKE I HAD TO LIVE IN A HOUSE WITH TWO TOXIC BROTHERS AND I WAS THE YOUNGEST. I ALSO HAD A TOXIC FATHER. THEIR CONSTANT INSULTS WORKED ON ME DAILY. IF THIS GIRL IS CONSTANTLY INSULTING YOU OR BERATING YOU OR OTHERWISE FINDING FAULT WITH YOU THEN SHE IS NO "FRIEND" TO YOU. IF THAT IS THE SITUATION THEN YOU AVOID ALL SUCH PEOPLE FOR THE RRST OF YOUR LIFE. THEN WEAR YOU DOWN AND THEY ARE THE CHIEF CAUSE OF PEOPLE WITH LOW SELF ESTEEM. THE WORLD AND LIFE IS "TOUGH" ENOUGH TO TRY TO GET THROUGH WITHOUT PUTTING UP WITH DANGEROUS PEOPLE. YOU NEED TO BE AROUND PEOPLE WHO ARE TRUE FRIENDS, THAT ARE "THERE FOR YOU" WHEN YOU NEED THEM, THAT WILLINGLY HELP YOU AND WILLINGLY LISTEN TO YOU. YOU DID NOT SAY WHERE YOU ARE FROM AND I DO NOT KNOW WHAT RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND YOU HAVE IF ANY.  IF YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN OR A CHURCH GOER THEN YOU NEED TO BECOME ONE. IF YOU CAN JOIN A YOUTH CHRUCH GROUP OR YOUTH FELLOWSHIP. BECOME CLOSE TO GOD AND ALLOW HIM TO LEAD YOU TO HIM. IF YOU LISTEN TO RADIO YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIND SOME CHRISTIAN RADIO STATIONS WHERE YOU WILL HEAR A LOT OF DIFFERENT PEOPLE TEACHING FROM THE BIBLE. THIS BUILDS YOU UP WHILE THE WORLD AND ITS WICKEDNESS TENDS TO TEAR US DOWN. YOU CAN FIND CHRISTIAN RADIO STATIONS BY DOING A SEARCH ONLINE OR JUST BY TURNING THE RADIO FREQUENCY. MOST GOOD ONES ARE ON THE FM BAND. I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT CHRISTIAN MUSIC STATIONS AS THERE IS NOT MUCH TO LEARN THERE BUT STATIONS THAT HAVE ONE PREACHER AFTER ANOTHER. ERE ARE A FEW NAMES TO LISTEN FOR- DAVID JEREMIAH, DON GOSSET,CHARLEE STANLEY, ADRIAN RODGERS,JOYCE MYER,ETC.  ALL OF THESE PEOPLE ARE WELL GROUNDED IN THE BIBLE AND ITS TRUTHS. IT IS THE ONE BOOK WITH ALL THE ANSWERS. IF YOU NEED TO ASK A FOLLOWUP QUESTION FEEL FREE TO DO SO.

Thank you for your time.  

Teenage Problems

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Jonathan

Expertise

I have dealt with many young people in a teaching environment as well as in teaching young people at tennis clinics. Since younger people have seen so little of the world their view of the world should not be shaped by the confines of what happens within their family unit. Its natural to be shy about developing relationships outside the home but young people need to know the other person is also probably just as shy as they are. If you havea problem then remember you are in good company. There are no new problems. Someone else has also had the same problem. If you need ideas on how to handle them or some choices to consider feel free to ask. I will answer questions about moral issues and how to handle such issues when they come up in your life. Continue reading about the issue of bullies which can be physical, emotional or sexual as well as bullies who use the internet to spread stories about you. You do not have to be teenager to ask a question here on how to handle this. If you are a pre-teen or tween you may also ask a question here.

Experience

I have taught children from 7th through 12th grade. It is all too common for young people to be shy or hesistate because they fear rejection from someone of the opposite sex. You do not have to be a teenager to ask a question here. If you are a pre-teen or "tween" as is commonly used now and are being "bullied" by someone and bullies can be other kids who hit you or as is becoming more common sexual bullying by name calling or spreading stories about you feel free to ask a question about what to do about it. There is also cyber bullying by people who may know you and there can be people who are pretending to be someone they are not who may insult you and try to destroy your self esteem. When you run into people who insult you its best to just block them and delete them or at the very least close down the messenger you are using. If anyone taunts you by calling you names or racial slurs or any slur that involves a persons sexual orientation you need to understand that the person doing that is trying to project their own questions about their own sexual orientation that they are questioning. This may sound complicated and it is. The people who are the most hateful in reality hate themselves and hate what they are desperately trying to convince themselves they are not (for example being gay or lesbian).

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