Tuesday, August 14 , 2018, 9:36 am | Mostly Cloudy 70º

 
 
 
 
Advice

Louise Palanker: ‘Girlfriend’ Calls Me ‘Cold,’ Dealing with Friend’s Depression, Mom’s Rudeness

Question from Cooper

I am really confused right now. My girlfriend said whenever she wants to talk about feelings I am very cold.

For example, she asked me what I will do when we meet on our first date? I said “I would hug you and maybe we could end up kissing.” More questions came from her about why I wouldn’t immediately kiss her, etc. etc. ... I was like, “Yeah I would if we feel that much attracted to each other,” and then she said “Whenever I am trying to talk about feelings, you end up this way. You are a cold, man.”

I don’t know what she meant. I told her what I was feeling. What’s wrong, Weezy? What is going through her mind? What does she expect me to say?

Please help. This thing is eating my brain.

Weezy

It is really ill advised for you two to be calling yourselves boyfriend and girlfriend when you have never met.

Dating is already confusing enough for young people. Figuring out how to be around somebody you like, how to talk to the person, how to express your hopes and your fears, how to allow her to express hers ... it’s just a lot. And to try and do that through typing? I just highly recommend against it.

I don’t know what she means any more than you do. In fact, I don’t know that she is actually a girl your age. Do you know people who know her? Do your parents know that you are talking to somebody online about kissing? It’s just all so sketchy and unsafe.

And aside from your safety, my next biggest concern is that this is messing with your sense of yourself. You have not done anything wrong. You are in no way cold. You are simply trying to navigate impossible waters.

I strongly advise that you re-classify this as a friendship and that IF you meet her, you both have parents present. When you talk to her say, “I think you are fantastic but let’s play this by ear when we meet.”

If all of this is being arranged safely, then suggest to this girl that each of you always think about the other person’s feelings and accept that this is extremely scary for both of you. Agree to be kind and supportive and patient and to slowly see where this is meant to go.

The ladies from AwesomenessTV discus the dangers of online dating:

(AwesomenessTV video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Zach

So there’s this person. And we were talking about this sport, and she was saying that she wants to quit but that her dad will be really disappointed in her.

She wouldn’t tell me any more than that but then she got really depressed. This made me realize that she was always kinda depressed.

I guess my question is how would I go about helping her? I have seen friends of mine in the past go from happy to depressed and suicidal, and it’s really sad to watch that happen. I don’t want to know why she’s depressed, I just want to help her. Should I even try?

Weezy

Yes, of course you should try. The quality of our actions is rooted in our intentions. If you mean well, then you are likely to do well. 

If she expresses any thought of suicide you must immediately tell an adult. But continue talking with her. Don’t ask a lot of prying questions. Say things like, “That sounds really difficult” and “I’m so sorry that happened.” Tell a similar story. Bond.

You can add, “I can’t say I know how you feel, because I don’t. But I do care about how you feel.” Once she believes that you are a safe person to trust, she may tell you more so that you can better understand.

Caring and friendship are wonderful therapy. Offer that.

Here is therapist Julia Kristina with more advice on talking to a loved one who is depressed:

(Julia Kristina Counselling video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Angela

Hey, Weezy. My mom is so rude to me and she treats me with so much disrespect. How should I make her stop thinking that I am a small person that no one cares about?

Weezy

You can’t make anyone do anything. It’s entirely unfortunate that your mother is so cruel to you, but it’s very probable that she has had a difficult life and that she does not possess the tools to be a kind and supportive mother.

Another dynamic that is often in place for a mother who is insecure is that when her young daughter emerges into a beautiful swan with limitless potential, the mother may feel threatened and jealous, and her intent may be to pull you down.

Life is not a competition. It’s a collaboration and a parent’s role is to empower you. It does not appear that your mother is capable of doing that.

Have you heard the saying, “Consider the source?” What goes along with this thinking is “Accept the source.”

Your mother is not going to change. Her words will hold less power over you as you begin to understand that it would take a broken spirit for a mother to be consistently cruel to a child.

Since you have directly witnessed and experienced this behavior, why would you trust the opinion of somebody capable of exhibiting it? She’s flawed.

I understand that this is terribly difficult when it’s your own mother, but know that loads of people do care about you and will care about you. Your relationships with these people will be balanced and healthy and loving. Seek them and look to them for support and guidance.

Your mother is who she is. That well is bone dry. The rest of the world is 71 percent water. Go find it.

                                                                 •        •        •

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 has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Journals, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. She also 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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