Sunday, December 17 , 2017, 7:32 pm | Smoke 48º

 
 
 
 
Teenagers

Louise Palanker: How to Negate Negativity, Telling Someone Off, Emotional Unavailability

Question from Ashley

Recently, things have been coming into clear view. No one is there for me like I want them to be. Anyone I want in my life leaves. People I put my trust into, stab me in the back. My “friends” talk about me and don’t accept me. The boy I like, doesn’t talk to me anymore. My parents always act like I’m a horrible mischievous kid when I try my best. People want me to listen but don’t hear my problems.

I’m always putting on a show of being happy and joyful, but in reality I feel like breaking. I’ve realized I only have myself. No one is permanent.

Weezy

I don’t I agree that things are in clear focus for you. You have thought your way into a “woe is me” spiral. We humans are very capable of fully seeing a gloomy scenario while looking right through the ways in which we have participated in the creation of this view. But, whatever the cause of your current outlook, your unhappiness is a sign that something needs to change. And, the ONLY thing you can change or control is yourself.

So, first let me ask you a few questions: Are you being kind, considerate and consistent with your friends and family? Or are you sometimes moody and hard to read or please? Is your voice usually pleasant or do you notice yourself snapping at loved ones when you feel irritated or grumpy? Are your friends the best fit for you or are you trying to make something work that never actually will work?

Think about your answers to these questions. What can you do to be a part of a solution for yourself? Could you be warmer and friendlier? Do you need to join clubs or activities that would introduce you to newer, nicer people?

I know that when a crush doesn’t like you back that devastation can leave you feeling so dark and depleted that everything else starts to take on a drab and dreary tone as well. And sometimes, feeling lousy is addictive. It’s almost like we don’t want to catch ourselves being wrong about how horribly we are being mistreated. We just want to blast weepy music and crawl under something fluffy. This compels us to seek evidence that we are right about the world being anti-us (Fake News!) which only serves to make us nasty and unapproachable.

You can put a stop to this downward decent by simply refusing to take part in it. Try on this positive spin: A crush who does not like you back can also serve to change your direction and point you toward that future crush who will like you back. Negative friends can inspire you to find more positive bonds with other people. Those who have not earned your trust should not receive it.

There is a lesson inside every pain and disappointment. Find yours. The world is full of wonderful people just like you.

(TEDx Talks video)

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Question from Ariel

My ex-friend/crush likes me back. But a week after he told me he liked me, he started ignoring me and wouldn’t tell me why. He decided he didn’t want to be my friend or anything else, and that was that.

Until he started staring at me in class today. I told him off and told him it was his design to ignore me and told him to stop caring about me and to like this other girl. I really like him but I can’t play his games anymore. Did I make the right choice?

Weezy

So, who exactly is playing games? No, I don’t think you made the right choice. There is nothing to be gained from telling him off, embarrassing him, humiliating him or making a scene. Nothing at all. Whether you wish to date him again or move on, you should stay calm and take the high road. If there is something you need to get off your chest, then speak to him privately about it.

OK, you don’t want him playing games. But telling him to stop caring about you and to like another girl when that is not what you really want is YOU playing games. It’s not your truth and it is designed to get a rise out of him. It is your turn at this game and it’s counter productive.

So, decide what you want, and be clear and calm about it. You can either be done with him and walk away, or you can let him know that you feel confused and hurt but that you still really like him. Whatever your choice, behave in a way that makes you feel proud.

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Question from Sarah

My boyfriend doesn’t love me anymore but we both promised 10 toes down and for better or for worse. I love him so much and I’m not gonna leave him even if he doesn’t love me. I don’t know if this is one of his tests (he says he’s been hurt a lot.) He’s kind of a jerk to me, like, all the time, and he takes his anger out on me — never physically but emotionally — and can be rude.

I don’t know what to do because it’s hard when I don’t know if it’s one of his tests or if he actually means it. I don’t know what to do. Any advice? And please don’t tell me to break up with him or leave him because I’m not going to, so don’t even suggest or mention that. Thank you.

Weezy

Please don’t tell me how to answer a question. smiley face. Of course you are free to do whatever you choose, and if you don’t wish to see the advice that you probably know you need then you should stop reading right about now.

You need to break up with this guy. You are describing an unhealthy relationship. It is time for you to learn how to better respect yourself, your boyfriend and any partnership. You can best do this by being alone for a bit.

No matter what you promised, there is no reason to stay in a relationship that is dysfunctional. It really sounds like you are holding on because you are still in love with him. OK, but ... he says he doesn’t love you and you are both treating each other badly.

Within this pattern you are setting some really bad habits. You are teaching yourself that being unloved and disrespected is acceptable. It’s not. Break free. This is not how real love looks.

Your best and only 10-toe promise should be to yourself. Promise that you will always expect kindness, love, respect and truth, and that when it is deserved and earned, you will deliver all of the above in return.
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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 Network, 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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