Tuesday, October 16 , 2018, 6:39 am | Fair 48º

 
 
 
 
Teenagers

Louise Palanker: Am I Worth It? Abusive Friendship, Fifth-Grader Maturity

Question from Teddy

Hi. I really need someone today, I’m very sad ... Am I worth it?

Weezy

Of course you are! There are no mistakes in nature. Well, maybe gnats. (Convince me we need them.)

But come on, look around you. Do you see anything in nature that is not beautiful and perfect? Notice the way it’s all so interwoven. Look at a sunset ... or the ocean ... or a leaf!

Everything is spectacular. What makes you think that you would be the one exception?

That is not possible.

The problem is that we humans are wired differently than plants and other animals. We do not just react. We think and deliberate and contemplate, and with these capabilities we can create and invent and solve and reason and dream and reflect and inspire. The flip side, I’m afraid, is that we can agonize.

This is our burden. We must find ways of coping with all of our thoughts. We must each learn to constructively protect our delicate emotional center.

You are supposed to be here. What is your purpose? It’s your job to find that and to cultivate it and to more deeply embed yourself into the fabric of humanity.

If you need help, ask for help. Click here for Teen Line Health Management, or call all 310.855.4673 or 800.852.8336 (toll-free in California) from 6 to 10 p.m. Pacific time daily to speak to one of their teens. Or Text “TEEN” to 839863 between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m. Pacific time.

(TEEN LINE video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Dana

My best friend is always snapping at me. I finally gathered enough courage to inquire why and she said that I talk back to her. This is only because, when it’s my turn to say something, she interrupts and does not listen.

She is hostile and she calls me names. I try very hard to see things from her perspective. I apologize repeatedly but the cycle continues.

I hate that I’m saying this but it may be nearing the end our friendship. It looks like nothing is going to change and it’s hurting me. I felt like we would be friends forever and we would always work out our problems, but this is beginning to become an every-week thing.

I love her so much and its paining me to even be writing this to you, Weezy, but I’ve lost all faith at this point and I need help. I just really feel like I try so hard to be the best friend that I can be, but when it comes to me she appears to have just given up.

Please tell me what I should do, Weezy. I’m lost. Thank you.

Weezy

Let me start by saying that you are a gifted writer. Just a little something for you to know about yourself. Not many people write this well at your age.

On to your problem. When we are young, we blindly accept the friends who present themselves. We are not yet aware of the options we will soon have regarding the personalities with whom we will choose to surround ourselves. Since you are an introspective person you have continued to search for ways in which you can heal this relationship. The one that is standing in front of you. Know that you do have the option to walk away.

You are someone who does not give up easily. That is an excellent quality. But the time and energy you are exhausting on this person could be better spent finding a new friend.

This relationship is lopsided. She is taking and not giving. A true friendship goes in both directions. The only place you are at fault here is in your willingness to be used in exchange for holding the title of “Friend.” In this situation that title may be in name only. A true friend does not use. She shares.

From what I am reading, the relationship sounds abusive. She appears to be bullying you. When we become addicted to a relationship that is called co-dependency. It is unhealthy. Don’t allow yourself to get too rutted in these patterns. You get to end a relationship that does not work for you.

Your first friend is yourself. Be loyal to her. Surround her with people who deserve her.

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Sabrina

Hi, Weezy, So there’s this guy, Charlie, and I have liked him all year. I just found out that he likes me, too. He used to lie and say that he didn’t like me, but now he admits that he does. I told him that I like him, but I asked him not to tell anybody. Well, the problem is that he lies and pranks people, and he thinks that it’s all so funny.

I just had a big fight with him about how he threatened to tell his friend, Jason, who I like if I don’t tell him myself. He swears he didn’t but I know he did because Jason said so. I really want to date him without all these problems because the whole fifth grade thinks that we are “perfect” for each other. (Don’t worry. I’m very mature for my age.) What can I say to him to get him to be less childish?

Weezy

Not a lot. He is, after all, a child. There is nothing you can say or do that will change the fact that he is a fifth-grader. This is how fifth-graders act. Time will heal the situation.

You may be mature for your age but most 10 year olds are really just 10 years old. Even if they are very intelligent, they are still emotionally 10.

All of this dating stuff is VERY new. Most people your age have not even entered puberty yet. Hang on. It’s about to get much worse. You may want to just continue being this guy’s good friend with a mutual crush until both of you are older.

Remember that you are growing up together. A lot will change. Enjoy each other. Ignore people who are whispering or gossiping or attempting to embarrass you. Don’t give them that kind of power. They have feelings, too. They don’t get to make fun of yours.

Be patient with this boy. When he knows better he will do better. You may want to wait until that happens before you agree to date him.

Here is a window into what boys are thinking when it comes to dating in fifth grade. In fact, this kid offers advice that works at any age:

(RadioActive Creeper 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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