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Common Questions: Friends

Common Questions: Friends

My friends don’t support my relationship. What should I do about it?

Sophia: Firstly, if your friends express dislike for your partner or your relationship, it’s important to hear them out, and try to understand where they are coming from. If their dislike comes from a place of love and genuine care, reevaluate the situation from an outsider perspective. Maybe they see toxic behavior and you don’t, and listening to their perspective can help you decide whether this is a relationship you want to pursue. On the flip side, your friends could be feeling insecure about their standing in your life with a new relationship disrupting your dynamic, and could be feeling scared in the face of this huge change. In this case, it’s important to make sure your friends know that they are just as important as ever, and maybe you could spend some extra time reconnecting with them. All in all, stay calm and understanding, and give it some time for the situation to play out before deciding what the best course of action is to take.

Kate: Sometimes when we love or care for someone, it can become easy for us to overlook some harmful and even toxic behaviors. If your friends are concerned about your relationship, they might be seeing things you’re not. If so, it’s important to hear them out and listen to what they’re saying. It might be hard to hear that they don’t approve of your relationship, but try to remember it’s not a personal attack. Most times, your friends only want what’s best for you, and don’t want to see you in an unhappy relationship. Try to remember that so you can have an open, honest conversation with them and make sure you’re not putting yourself in a bad situation.

I love my friends but sometimes they’re mean to a couple kids in one of our classes. How can I tell my friends that sometimes they act like bullies?

Kate: If you see your friends picking on someone, a good way to end it is to say something right away. There’s no need to make a big scene, just letting them know that what they’re doing isn’t okay is fine. Just saying something like “that’s kinda mean” or “that’s not cool” can be a good way to put a stop to the behavior. If your friend values your opinion, they’ll listen. If they don’t listen and keep being mean to your classmates, it might be time to ask yourself if this person in really the right friend for you. You deserve to be around people who lift you up and make you feel happy, and it’s okay to walk away from toxic friends.

Sophia: We always want to protect our friends from anything negative or critical that is said about them, but sometimes it can be important to point out their bad behavior. What your friends are doing is wrong, but it doesn’t make them bad people, and they need you to point that out. Whether they were unaware of their effect on others, or they need a reality check from someone who cares, it falls on you as their friend to correct their behavior. Start the conversation gently, but firmly. Try not to be aggressive or confrontational in your tone, and make sure they know that you are saying it out of love. They may react poorly at first, but they may also be grateful that you said something. If they are truly good friends they will come to see your point of view, and be thankful that you had the courage to tell them how their actions were perceived.

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