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Teen struggling to find friends

November 26, 2016 | By | 3 Replies Continue Reading
A teen with a history of bullying is struggling to find friends. She thinks the ones she has are using her to be close to her attractive brother.

QUESTION

Hi,

I’m a 14-year-old girl with a couple of personal questions about my relationships with people. I was bullied on and off by a so-called friend throughout years 5 and 6. Since then, I’ve had trouble maintaining healthy relationships.

I currently have two friend groups: the first, containing two girls in my year who are quite popular yet still somehow strongly disliked by many people at my school. The second contains my male cousin and another girl (they are both a year older than me).

I rarely get invited to hang out with the two in my year, and when I do, I feel as though they use me to see my older brother whom they both find really attractive and to use my pool.

I would revert to always hanging out with the second group but next year, they’ll be at the senior campus and my mum doesn’t like them very much. I am really quite a widely liked girl at my school but struggle to find friends. What do I do?? Why am i like this??

Signed, Carmen

ANSWER

Hi Carmen,

I’m glad you wrote. Nothing you’ve said leads me to believe anything is “wrong” with you or that you’re doing anything wrong.

Often with groups of friends, you’ll find yourself closer to some members then others. You may socialize more frequently with one or two of them.

Your two closest friends in your year rarely ask you to go out. Do you ask them to do things, and if so, how do they respond? Have you ever told them you’d like to socialize with them more often? I’m not sure whether your concerns about their friendliness because of your brother come is based on a realistic assessment of the situation, insecurity or both. Asking your friends is a risk and you may not believe their response.

Finding more friends usually starts with finding more friendly acquaintances. Since you’re in school, you have a set pool of potential friends you may have never considered. I can guarantee you’re not the only girl in your class wishing for more friends.

  • Start by talking to more people.
  • Smile and make eye contact.
  • Make small talk about classes, teachers or mutual interests.
  • Ask questions about how they spent their weekends (this will tell you who might be open to socializing).
  • Extend invitations if you find a potential friend. Like you, other people like to be asked.

I know my suggestions take some bravery and come with risk of rejection. If someone doesn’t respond, chances are it’s not personal. Not every potential friend will turn out to be compatible with you.

Finding friends can take time. Be patient with and kind to yourself.

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: How to make friends, MAKING FRIENDS, Teen friendships

Comments (3)

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  1. Nicholas says:

    Dear Carmen if you feel that you are being used their are many ways to handle this problem. One way you can handle a problem like that you can pull all your friends to the side and have a conversation with them and speak on how you feel or sometimes its best to separate yourself from a lot of peoples. You have to work on your attitude to make good friends. Sometimes you have to have good potential to meet good friends and for them to care.

  2. Diamond says:

    Hi Carmen my name is Diamond i was happy to read your blog. i’m be the one to tell you high school would bring a lot of problems and friends you thought would be there would leave. So don’t let that change who you are. Remain Carmen, and focus on school. It would be more friends along the way. never allow yourself to be used, or taken advantages of. Just separate yourself from others that you don’t feel is right for you. I know how the game goes. So just prepared for the worst and the better.

    [Last name removed by moderator. To protect yourself against possible spammers, please do not use last names on this blog. Thanks!]

  3. John says:

    Dear Carmen I’m a 16 year old in high school so I know how important it is to have a group of friends. Sometimes its ok though to do things on your own like do you have any personal hobbies you enjoy? Do you know anybody who might enjoy the same hobbies as you and maybe you can connect with them that way. But as for your current friends if you feel like your being used have you talked to them about it. Do you ask them to go places that does not involve your brother or your pool and see what they say. Also try talking to your mom about the second group has a positive impact on you so maybe she will let you hang with them next school year.

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