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Teen daughter with not one close friend

January 4, 2011 | By | 9 Replies Continue Reading

QUESTION

Dear Irene,

I read another post on your blog regarding a daughter who felt like an outcast. My own daughter was in tears last night because she does not have any close friends. She is the one to seek out the girls; they do not call her or ask her to hang out.

 

My daughter is beautiful and very intelligent. She is also very outspoken and I think that is what is costing her the friendships. She will call it like it is and holds her friends to high standards. She is not afraid to confront someone and tell them if she knows the person is lying or being too dramatic or whatever. I overheard her talking to one of her friends and she was talking about how "Jen" was giving another kid a hard time. Jen was dissing the kid and my daughter stepped in and said, "Jen, it appears to me that you are the only one who has a problem with him. Why don’t you just let it go?" Jen is pretty much a diva and it took some guts to say something like that to her.

 

My daughter has told me about other times when she’s confronted her friends when she feels they are not being true to themselves. I am afraid her friends might think she’s a bitch because she’s very direct. My daughter holds herself to some pretty high standards and expects others to do the same.

 

How do I help my daughter without having her compromise who she is and what she believes in?

Signed,
Mom of Lonely Daughter

 

ANSWER

Dear Mom of Lonely Daughter,

Being outspoken can have its benefits and drawbacks. Just because your daughter has strong opinions, which may in fact be correct, doesn’t mean that she needs to express them in ways that come off as hurtful or off-putting.

 

When she cries about having no close friends, use it as a teachable moment. Try to listen to your daughter and give her some honest feedback. You can praise how pleased you are at her high standards but help her see that not everyone will always meet them. You can also suggest some practical ways she can soften her style.

 

If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself (or vice versa), perhaps you could see if should like to have a few visits with a counselor or mental health professional. This is a great time to learn friendship lessons that can last a lifetime.

Hope this helps.

Warm regards,
Irene

 

Some recent posts on The Friendship Blog about teen friendships:

My daughter feels like an outcast

Talking to a teenage daughter about friendships

Painful teen friendship: what’s a mom to do?

 

Don’t miss new posts. Follow The Friendship Doctor on Twitter.

 

 

 

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Comments (9)

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  1. Holly says:

    I have a 14 year old daughter who is really struggling with making and keeping friends. As a parent, this is heart breaking. I know HS can be brutal. I’m trying my best to try and keep her upbeat and happy, but lately it feels like she is sinking more and more into a deep depression. I’m starting to really worry about her. I’ve tried to plug her into social events, try and get her to invite friends over, and nothing. I’m wondering if she was picked on in middle school. She’s never mentioned anything too me. But I can’t think of any other reason why someone so loving and amazing can have such little self confidence. I don’t know what to do at this point. I’ve tried to talk to her, tried to get her to open up but it’s like talking to a rock. She’s stone cold and won’t even respond half the time. Any helpful advice is much appreciated.

  2. Lauelle says:

    Hi I’ve just found these posts on a Google search. I’m tryin to help my 13year old daughter, she is really struggling with her friendships. At the moment she is on her summer holidays, it’s the 4th week in & she’s met only twice with friends :( she’s a keen social media fan and will chat well online to them, but meeting up and having friends over never really seems to happen. She will offer to
    Meet them & invite them, but they are always too busy, or so they say… Often seeing each other and leaving my daughter out.
    She did go though bullying last year, y7 was fine, she was so happy at school was making
    Lots of friends etc doing very well in lessons, but y8 all that changed. My daughter can be very sensitive, but she’s fair, kind and huge animal
    Lover even raising money to help them, she has such a kind heart… All I can put it down to with the friendship is jealousy? My daughter is very beautiful, striking even, we have comments all the time
    From strangers.. She did a little Modelling, but is not in the slightest boastful about it, in fact more
    Likely the opposite, shy & self conscious…. I’ve put it down to the girls In her year… Since being at scho
    Here her confidence has been shattered and she is becoming more & more isolated.
    Can anyone offer any advice? I’m
    Trying my best to support her in anyway possible.
    She doesn’t have the confidence to join outside clubs alone. :( please help.

    • Amy F says:

      Hi Lauelle,
      I’m sorry your daughter is struggling. It must break your heart.
      In my opinion, blaming other kids isn’t a helpful strategy and is disempowering, because your daughter can’t change other people, she can only change herself and her reaction to them.

      She isn’t connecting with her current school friends this summer, so seeking out other sources if social stimulation seems like the best solution to find interaction.

      Are their kids in her neighborhood, even if they are older or younger, who she can spend time with?

      Can she babysit or be a mother’s helper? Kids are great ego boosters.

      Can she volunteer at a local animal shelter, walking dogs or giving the animals one in one attention?

      Would she consider day camp?

      Do you have friends with kids her age for a mom/kid outing?

      During school she can focus on making some different friends who are more interested in spending time socially.

  3. Dyla says:

    Hi everyone.I have read all the post that you all have written.I am so happy that moms nowadays would stood up for their children.I guessed time have changed a lot.Actually I am a 16 year old reader and a blogger too.In my situation,i did not get bullied in verbally or physically.It is always the same situation where there will be a group of teen girls ruling the whole school.Yeah so they will always chose those whom they like only.To be honest they cannot stand other girls who are prettier,smarter and more talented than them.Although i am quiet and shy girl,i do still have feelings.They always outcast girls like me who are ugly,fat and more.But reading all the posts and comments that you have written have shown me how to be a better person.The tips that you all have shared made me into a positive person.Well i just have to ignored people comments and go on with life.Last but not least Changed for the better not for the sake of people.
    Feel free to post more.I love reading it! Thanks a lot! :)

    P/s:Click my name,its my blog page.feel free to read.The topics are at the right side. 😉

  4. Anonymous says:

    My daughter is intelligent, sensitive and direct. She is naturally happy and can be great fun and get on with others. She’s 15 and for the last two years has being hanging out with a group of girls from school. The ringleader of the group has decided that she is to be dropped from the group and using very subtle ways has influenced the others to go along with this, This other girl is very spoilt and always gets her own way. There are no limits on what her parents buy for her. She has never being refused a request in her life. All the others give in to her. My daughter did stand up to her over her treatment of another girl. She is the first to do this and because of this the ringleader girl wants her gone. The girl she defended was supportive for awhile but has since merged back into the group. My daughter is distraught and unable to focus on her studies. She has tried to talk to the girl but to no avail. I also contacted her parents because of texts she had sent, but it seemed to make matters worse. What can I do now?

  5. lovette says:

    Your Daughter Seems To Be Smart and is Very “WISE”. It’s Good That She Will Stand Up For Herself ‘N For Others As Well. Being Truthful, ‘N Honest May Not Always Work in Your Favor. Since Everything U Think U Cannot Speak It, Maybe Somethings Is Better Left UnSaid, your peers See’s U As just Another Kid Like Them. When U Have Something To Say That Might Embarrass Some One U Might Want To Speak With Them in Privacy. Always Be Careful at How U Deliver Your Message If U Want To Be RESPECTED ‘N To Be Liked. Messagers, Savers, ‘N Helpers Are Always Hated Upon. Never Ever Comprimose Who U Are, Just Try To Find A Common Ground So U Can Be A Friend. Don’t Worry U Will Find Your Way With This Whole Friendship Thang, “BEYONCE” Did, She Rose To The Top.

  6. Katrina says:

    I see. At first before i finished the first statement, i thought this daughter is too quiet and awkward, but seems it is the opposite! Yes I’ve also been angry with some insensitive girls like that, but nobody expresses they dislike them.

    It’s ok not to be called or abandoned. Many of us face this issue at some time or other. I have felt like this too. Normal!
    Perhaps she could attend some kind of personality workshop like Disc profiles, could learn about how to deal with people.
    Accept that some things cannot be changed.

    And I used to hold people to high standards too, hence it’s always best to lower the expectations. I’m much happier now without expecting my friends to be perfect. They are also not always available for me.

  7. Sophie says:

    Is it possible daughter learned the communication style from mom? In that case, perhaps it can be a shared effort to recognize and soften their styles together. (And I say this as someone who has a similar problem. I’m a blurter.)

  8. chimera says:

    Sometimes the best policy is to keep quiet. When I hear something negative about another person, I always first think to myself what caused the person to say this or that, and then start forgiving them for saying it.

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