• Other Friendship Advice

I’m a 13-year-old nerd having problems with friends at junior high

Published: August 29, 2014 | By | 5 Replies Continue Reading
When you are having problems with friends, it could be helpful to look at things from another perspective.



I’m 13 years old and a junior high school student. I’m shy, a science nerd, and a very serious person. I’m nice and a very trustworthy friend but I’m facing a big problem with my friends and it started when I always got the highest scores in the major subjects.

In science, my teacher gave us 5 minutes to review. I just finished reviewing, I was nervous so I just keep my mind calm and, one of my friends asked me what is the unit for positively charge. I didn’t answered because I was praying to God to guide me.

After the quiz, I got 49 out of 50 and my teacher was very amused that I was the only one got that high score. At lunch time, I called one of my friends to ask them about the next subject they just avoided me so I just said to myself “did I just do something wrong?”.

After the last subject in the afternoon class, I asked them to an overnight study they didn’t answer me so I just left our classroom and went home.

I don’t know if this is a teenager’s life, I just want friends who can study with me and have fun on weekends. It’s Friday night and I’m crying alone in my bed.

Signed, Marlee


Dear Marlee,

I’m so sorry you’re having trouble with your friends. What do your think your friends would say if they had written the letter? What would they identify as the problem?

Thinking about a conflict from the other person’s point of view can be helpful in understanding problems, looking at your role, and finding ways to fix the situation. The only person we can change is ourselves so if you’re inadvertently doing something unintentional to contribute to the problem, you can try new approaches.

Lots of times problems with friends arise due to lack of communication. One person assumes words or actions mean XYZ, when the other person actually meant ABC. Lots of feelings and tears could be saved if the first person checked with the second person about what she meant.

One possible reason for your conflict might be a miscommunication before the test. Your friend asked you a question and when you didn’t answer, she might have made assumptions. She might have thought you were mad, or that you didn’t want to help her so you could get the best grade. She might have thought, if she knew you were praying, that you could take a take a break from prayer to acknowledge her concerns.

If she felt hurt or angry rather than telling you in a polite way, she didn’t communicate her feelings. So neither of you knew what the other one was thinking. Again, this is just one of many possibilities and an example of how you might see the situation from her point of view.

Dealing with conflict isn’t actually about one person being right and the other wrong, it’s more about solving the difficulty and moving on to a better place. If you are having problems with many of your friends and/or feel sad much of the time, it could be worthwhile to speak to a counselor at school to help you work out these difficulties.

Good luck figuring everything out. I hope it works out quickly and positively.

Signed, *Amy Feld

*Amy Feld, PhD, MSW has trained and worked as a child psychologist.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this or any other post is intended to substitute for medical, psychiatric or clinical diagnosis/treatment. Rather, all posts are written as the type of advice that one friend might give to another.

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Category: Child and adolescent friendships

Comments (5)

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  1. Sara G. says:

    I agree with one of the other posters about being unclear whether or not this other kid was asking you to cheat. If that’s the case, this person is not your friend.

    Assuming it wasn’t a cheating situation, apologize and tell them what you told us in your post. That you were nervous and saying a prayer to yourself. It seems like kids in middle school are either hot or cold. Friends one day and not the next. Most of the time, these other kid’s reactions have nothing to do with you.

    Middle school kids are terrible to one another. It gets better.

  2. bronwyn says:

    If someone knows you’re praying, it’s pretty rude to interrupt. But if the friend didn’t know and you didn’t answer her, it seems you could have explained that to her following the test.

    Something that wasn’t clear to me — was the friend asking for an answer to a question on the test? Because that would be expecting you to participate in cheating. Being helpful to your friends is one thing, but assuming you’ll cheat on a test is an other.

  3. lottie says:

    I agree with some of the positive remarks Mrs Chen has made. However I do not think you were rude. If and when you get to Yale or wherever,you will meet a new class of people who will be hard working like you. Then make new friends to hang out with,if you have time. You will leave the petty friends behind. Stay working hard. As Mrs Chen says it is a cut throat world which is getting worse. See to yourself work hard and everything else will fall into place. They sound ignorant and sad. Enjoy the rest of your life.In years to come you will be glad. Take care. Lottie

  4. Mrs. Chen says:

    Hi Marlee,
    Sorry to hear of your problems with your friends. I think Amy and Elle’s point about reflecting on your on behavior is right on. One such area to reflect on, based on your description of yourself, may be how you demonstrate your “seriousness” in your studies.

    Perhaps your friends see you as cut-throat competitive? It is helpful to remind yourself that, while being competitive is good, your success does not hinge on your friends’ success or lack of it. The world has thousands of kids who take their academics as seriously as you do. THEY are your competition. Not your friends. Let’s say you get into Yale, wouldn’t it be SO nice to have one of your friends going there as well? So, you want to help your friends get there. Sounds like you are really smart, so why not be proactive and offer to help your friends? If you are generous and helpful, your friends will know that you want them to succeed too.

    On the other hand, the problem could be with your friends. Maybe they are using your one instant of rudeness as an excuse to be mean to you. If after you’ve apologized and they continue to ignore you even when you are offering to help, then perhaps you need a different group of friends. You do not want to be where you are not wanted. There are plenty of kids who can use a trustworthy and generous friend like you.

  5. Elle says:

    I agree with the advice above. Not many people can reflect and put themselves in another person’s perspective. I recently made friends with this woman…whom I thought was fun to be around, she is extroverted and enjoyed going out, we had common interests. OK, fast forward a bit. Through time spent with her–I noticed how she interacted with others…and she has repeatedly confided in me that she has had conflict with various people, some of whom I know slightly. When a person constantly has negative remarks to make about this person or that person or when you see conflict with 1 person and many others…the common denominator is that ONE person…. As it turns out, it was no surprise when I got a whiff of her abrasiveness and had to put my foot down and express to her that she needs to be careful as to how she verbally communicates with me, as she was unecessarily confrontational and abrasive. Time reveals all. People react to your reactions. Reflect a bit, it’s not always about other people. One needs to reflect at how they are coming across.

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