Friday, June 22 , 2018, 8:47 pm | Fair 61º

 
 
 
 
Teenagers

Louise Palanker: Competing with an Ex, Excising Negativity, Addicted to Love

Question from Annabelle

I’ve currently been dating this guy for three months, and he seemed to have a very “beautiful “ ex. I don’t know what she looks like, but my friends sometimes mention how she looked like a model and how good looking she is. It’s starting to really bother me and making me depressed, and I don’t know what to do.

Weezy

You need to unstick your brain. The guy you are dating is not with her. He’s with you. Who we love romantically is not based on an objectively quantifiable measurement of attractiveness.

There are so many other factors that overlap and are interwoven into the fabric of the person we love. The smile in your eyes when you look at him. The sound of your laugh. The way your eyebrows dance when you learn something new. Your passion for animals. Your endless curiosity. Your kindness and integrity.

All those little things:

(One Direction video)

He is with you. Relax into it.

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Charlene

How do I stop associating myself with someone negative? I have this friend and she is so negative. When we hang out, all she does is complain and talk about people. She’s very clingy to me as well. She texts me too much and I just can’t anymore.

We go to the same school and we have the same break in between classes, which is typically four hours on Tuesday. What do I do? I can always go home during my break.

She claims to be my best friend as well. She’s just very annoying and she talks too much drama, and I don’t like the vibe I get from her. How do I go about this situation ?

Weezy

As you grow up, your view of the world expands. Small children make what I call friends of convenience. These are kids who are at your school, in your neighborhood or the children of your parents’ friends. They are geographically available and so you play with them.

As you get older, your circle widens. You achieve more independence and acquire a greater ability to see outside of your immediate vicinity while taking a closer look inside and examining what you seek in a friend, and perhaps concluding that your “best friend” may not be the best possible friend for you.

I could advise you to steer this person away from speaking negatively about others and to endeavor to help her understand that you would rather have more positive interactions with her but, honestly, I don’t think she is going to change very much very soon.

It sounds like you are ready to move on. I advise that you practice what I call the slow fade. This is where you join new clubs and take part in activities that do not include her. You stop answering every text. Answer every other text. Don’t answer right away. Make it a one or two word, polite response. Never engage in any of her negative comments. Change the subject.

Don’t let yourself get caught saying something you don’t even believe. It will get back to the person who is being dissed. Sit with other people. Get involved in other conversations. You can introduce this friend to new people, too. You don’t have to exclude her while including others.

This will seem very strained and awkward at first, but soon you two will drift apart. That just happens sometimes. As long as you are kind and respectful you get to seek out the friends who better suit your personality.

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Stephanie

I think I’m addicted to love. How do I know?

Weezy

We are all addicted to love. We are all programmed to seek love. Even when we are not “in love,” we are in love with the idea of being in love. Most of us are usually either in search, or in crush, or, at the very least, in celebrity crush! Hey, we’re human. Humans are programmed to love.

But a good life is in good balance. If you are always ONLY ever thinking about love or about crushing or about any cute dude who looks at you in any cute way, and you are so distracted by thoughts of love that you are not attending to friends, family, school, work, hobbies, learning, books, music, science, culture, etc., then here is something you do need to think about:

You may falsely believe that you can only fully see yourself as a reflection in somebody else’s eyes. In other words, your fear is that if you are not loved you do not exist. That just is not true. If you are looking for love in an effort to find yourself, then you will find yourself quickly lost.

Who are you? What do you enjoy? What makes you lose yourself in the process of doing it? What lights you up? That’s what you should pursue. Become a whole person with interests and talents and passions. First find your true self. Then find love. That’s balance.

                                                                 •        •        •

Got a question for Weezy? Email her at [email protected] and it may be answered in a subsequent column.

Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She also hosts a weekly video podcast called Things I Found Online, and teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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