Wednesday, July 18 , 2018, 5:45 pm | Mostly Cloudy 71º

 
 
 
 

Louise Palanker: I Have No Friends, Victim of Bullying, Pressured to Send Naked Pictures

Question from Cassandra D.

I have no friends. I used to be close to my family but they choose not to spend time with me now. I only hang out with my so called “boyfriend.” But when his college friends are in town he's always with them, so I sit at home doing nothing and feeling depressed.

Sometimes I think I’d be better off not here anymore. I feel like no one bothers to talk to me or see how I’m doing. I don’t know what to do. I just want at least one good friend I can hang out with and talk to. I want my “boyfriend” to show me that he loves me and that I’m important. Crying doesn’t help anymore.

Weezy

It sounds like you have placed all of your emotional eggs into one unsteady basket. In other words, you say you want friends, but what you really want is for this one particular guy to treat you in one particular way. Therefore, you are passing up other opportunities. You may also be in a really bad mood and therefore dismissive of people who would otherwise be interested in talking with you.

Picture yourself standing on top of a globe. Then think about all of the people who are crisscrossing past you as they go about their lives.

You are in your one spot, very still, with a scowl on your face, waiting for one guy, as hundreds of interesting, thoughtful, kind, engaging and lovely people pass by, and you look right through them because they are not him.

I think this is what’s happening to you and I don’t believe that this one guy is ever going to give you what you want. You need to look elsewhere for love and friendship, and you need to start putting positive energy out into the world — if that is what you would like to receive in return.

Why don’t you visit teenlineonline.org for help, or call 1.800.852.8336 (from California) or 1.310.855.4673 (outside California) to speak to somebody who wants to listen?

(TeenLineVideos video)

There are people waiting to know you. But before they will approach, they need for you to really see them.

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Rosie F.

For no reason a lot of my classmates decided to start bullying me. We were in an online chat and they were saying, “Rosie you are such a b***h” and someone said “go jump out a window.” Then this one girl said, “When I dropped you as a friend it was the happiest day of my life,” to which I replied “At least I don’t backstab my ‘friends’ and lie to them!”

Why did everyone choose to gang up on me? Why didn’t my “friends” stand up for me? Why did I get people telling me to commit suicide??? I feel depressed and sick. I just don’t know what to do anymore. 

Weezy

That kind of online bullying is very upsetting. Sometimes children — and even adults — can behave like a pack of wild animals.

I say this because I love animals, but I am hopeful that we humans have evolved beyond basic survival instincts. I would love to believe that we have reached a higher level of thoughtful, kind, empathetic and introspective behavior.

My home sits above a field and sometimes late at night, coyotes gather below and an angry cacophony of howling and screaming rises up from the clearing. It sounds like they are having a heated meeting in which one sorrowful coyote has been singled out to be ostracized as the others circle and unleash holy terror.

That’s what I was picturing as I read your post. First I am going to advise that any individual who finds him or herself in a group chat that turns ugly should simply type the word, “Goodbye” and leave the chat.

You can then call the friend who is on the receiving end and have a conversation. Urge that person to also leave the chat immediately. Talk about what is happening in your circle of friends that may have led to the berating. Be kind and sympathetic. Then call your other friends and say, “You need to stop. We can handle this very differently.”

Is it possible that you have been short and dismissive with people? Maybe you got into that habit and it felt like it was working for you? Everyone was accepting of it? You did not realize how hurtful your tone had become? If that may be the case, then here is how things sometimes progress ...

One day, one person decides to take you on. This gives others courage to do the same. All of a sudden, it feels like “for no reason,” they are all attacking you.

This tide shift can happen among friends. The bullied become the bullies. I don’t know if this is what transpired in your case. But I do want you to think long and hard about the way you have been treating your friends. Certainly there is no excuse for what these kids said to you in that chat. It really got out of hand.

But if you owe anybody an apology, make that apology — one on one and in person.

I am really sorry that you had this experience. You did not deserve it.

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Victoria R.

Hi, Weezy! I used to have a huge crush on this one guy, but then I realized that he only seemed to like me because he wanted to see me naked. I mean, he practically force-begged me into sending him pictures. He was aggressive and disrespectful.

Stuff like this leads me and many other girls to think that guys only want girls for their bodies. I’m someone who strongly values the mind and spirit, and I don’t understand what exactly this boy was trying to do and why he thought I would go with it. I can’t tell if he ever even liked me at all, or if he was just looking for another victim.

This is important to me because this boy goes to my church. Church is a sacred place and I just want to see him as a friend and forgive him.

Weezy

You can forgive him if you wish to do that, but he has shown you who he is. If you refused to send him naked pictures, then you have shown him who you are. Once that is established, you can both move on to the next subject.

In allowing someone to see the true you, it is important that you are very clear. If you give him a “maybe” or a shy laugh, he will keep asking for what he wants. If you give him a look, an attitude and a statement that says, “You will need to respect me,” then he will get it.

However, he will continue asking for nudes from other girls. That’s who he is right now. He is more interested in what he can get from girls than he is in figuring out how they think and what they feel. That is too bad for him. He’ll be missing out on the best stuff in life.

But you can’t change him; you can only accept that this is him. At least, right now, at this age. He may mature. He may not.

Yes, boys are very interested in sex. But the greatest guys ... the ones with the most self esteem and integrity, are interested in getting to know a girl and having a real relationship. They are willing to wait for sex. They understand how risky sexual activity is, and they grasp that the consequences of irresponsible behavior — whether it be sending nudes or sexual intimacy — are generally more dramatic and potentially harmful for the girl.

Therefore, a guy knows that as a gentleman, job one is keeping a girl safe, and feeling loved and protected. A gentleman loves a woman for her mind and her soul. Not just her body.

If that is what you expect from a guy, then that is what you will find and who you will ultimately attract.

                                                                 •        •        •

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 (Family Band: The Cowsills Story is currently airing on Showtime Networks), a teacher and a mentor. She has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Our Place, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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