Tuesday, September 25 , 2018, 10:05 pm | A Few Clouds 60º

 
 
 
 
Teenagers

Louise Palanker: Selfie Situation, Feeling Badly About False Accusation, Missed-Fortune

Question from Daniele

I’ve been told I am pretty, cute, attractive, etc. But I just don’t feel like it. So I take selfies and I just delete them cause I don’t like how I look.

I don’t have an Instagram cause I just don’t feel comfortable taking pictures of myself and expecting others to like them when I don’t even like them myself. Even if I do like a picture of myself, I’ll feel insecure as soon as I see another cute girl’s picture. And so if my picture gets a few likes I’ll take it down.

I don’t go out. I don’t have any close friends with whom I could do that. I’m picture shy.

But what’s funny is that I get hit on pretty often, or stared at by guys and girls. Girls who get to know me have told me that they thought I was mean. I guess I don’t look  approachable.

But you have no idea how much I crave going out with friends and having a good time. Being silly, posting lots of pictures in social media and getting tons of likes. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

Weezy

We all seek validation that we are OK. All teenagers are especially self-conscious.

However, you may be taking it to a level of distraction that is unhealthy, and others are perceiving your insecurities incorrectly. It is quite common for shy people to be seen as stuck-up. Especially if the shy person happens to be attractive. The world does not understand why such a pretty girl would be shy, and so they feel hurt that you won’t look at them or interact with them.

Get out of your own head. Life is not about appearances. It really isn’t. Sure, we notice how someone looks, but then we move on to the whole of the person.

It’s sort of like a store with a flashy sign. It may compel you to go inside, but if you get in there and see a bunch of lousy junk, you’ll quickly walk back out. You need to have something in your store! You need to focus on other people and work on making them feel more comfortable and welcome when they step into your shop.

Can I also say this? Enough with the selfie “like” battles. Pretty is not a competitive event. Even a beauty pageant has a talent portion of the competition. When is the last time you were truly moved by a YouTube video? Was it because the people in the video were just really attractive, or were you moved by the beauty your saw INSIDE the people?

Watch this exemplary moment of sportsmanship and humanity:

(HydRuler video)

These young men have shown us what it means to be truly alive. It is what you DO that matters most.

Stop taking selfies. Be a photojournalist. Take pictures of what you see around you. Make them intriguing. Download a photo developing app and create art with your photos. Be collaborative. Include your friends. Post your photos. Give them thoughtful or funny captions. Interact with the world.

This will make YOU a more interesting person and YOU will come to know that exactly how you look does not matter nearly as much as WHO YOU ARE.

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Darby

Something happened to me at work last minute, and it’s making me feel really bad. So I was a cashier for the last hour and I was ringing up this old lady when I noticed an umbrella that was exactly like mine. Of course I told her that it was my umbrella.

I guess my mistake was not taking her word. I didn’t make a huge deal but something told me to call my manager over. He couldn’t do anything about it so I let it go. But the old lady seemed pretty upset that I was accusing her of taking my umbrella.

Soon my shift was over and something told me to keep looking for my umbrella. Sadly, I found it hiding behind a rain jacket. I felt so embarrassed and went straight to my manager to apologize and he said it was OK, but that didn’t change the fact that I basically made a fool of myself in front of him. And the old lady seemed like a regular customer who was pretty upset when she left.

What should I do? I already cried about it and it didn’t help. haha

Weezy

Believe it or not, feeling bad is how we learn. If you have a heart and a conscience, which clearly you do, then this situation came into your life to teach you.

Your first instinct was to tell this woman that she had your umbrella. Why? I can understand your immediately THINKING that she had your umbrella, but why did you jump to saying words you could never take back? Words that would accuse someone of being a thief. You can get another umbrella. You can not get back those words.

What if she HAD taken your umbrella but it was an honest mistake? What if she doesn’t see well and she had reached for your umbrella rather than hers? There is so much that could have been the case, but rather than thinking of these possible explanations your first response was basically, “Stop Thief!”

What else could you have said to her? When you write to me you say, “Of course” you told her it was your umbrella. There is no “of course” here. It was after all, NOT your umbrella. So, impulse control and thinking through the consequences of your statements and your actions are two areas in which you can strive to improve.

Next, your No. 1 concern seems to be how this looked to your manager. Your first priority is not your appearances. It is the person you have wronged. This woman was accused of breaking a law and a commandment by you. SHE should be your No. 1 concern.

What will rectify this situation is an apology. Find out who knows this woman. If she is regular customer, have someone get a note from you to her. Apologize. Then just learn. Do better.

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Jannette

I am a person who believes in fortune tellers and I happen to be friends with one. She read this boy’s hand at our job. She did not know I had feelings for him, but she told me she just teased him about me and he confessed some things to her.

But he has a girlfriend, and when I see their pictures I see in his eyes that he does not love her. I’m not saying that I’m the girl he should marry, but I just care about him so  much that I would like for him to be happy.

EVERYTHING leads me back to him and I feel it in my heart and I have proof that he feels it, too. But I just don’t want to do anything because I wouldn’t like someone doing that if I were in his girlfriend’s position. That’s like breaking girl code.

But it just hurts SO much, knowing that we could be happy together. But we can’t because he’s the type of person who prefers to burn himself in order to keep others warm. What can I do?

Weezy

It feels like you are drawing the picture you wish to see, rather than seeing the picture that exists. He has a girlfriend. If he would prefer being with you, then it is up to him to make that happen. You can make excuses about his self sacrifice or read what you wish to see into his photos or cite fortune tellers, but the truth still remains the truth.

This is not the Army. It’s not the Peace Corps. It’s not even marriage. He gets to leave. People tend to let their hearts guide them.

I don’t know how well you know the guy but it’s OK to tell him that you have feelings for him. Then let him know that you respect his relationship too much to act on your feelings. This accomplishes a few things.

» It let’s him know how you feel. He can take that information and do with it as he wishes.

» It let’s YOU know that there is no more confusion. Your message has been delivered.

» You can now also tell him that because you like him as more than a friend you may not be able to be his friend. That would hurt. You get to back away with clarity.

» It sends a message that nothing romantic will be happening between the two you unless or until he is single.

» It gives you permission to stop fact finding. Let him break up and come to you should he decide to do so. It’s now his turn to make a move.

Do this and you get to respect not only him and his relationship but also yourself.

Marissa Rachel has an opinion or two on this topic:

(Marissa Rachel video)

                                                                 •        •        •

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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