1. People & Relationships
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Friends Forever?
By Terry Miller Shannon of teenwire.com
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Your best friend is possibly THE most important person in your life. What would you do without that someone you can tell ALL to?... who always understands?... who can be fun or serious, depending on what you need?

But sometimes friendship's road is a little bumpy. Or nauseatingly twisty. Or it's a complete and total dead end. What do you do when the relationship between you and your best buddy changes?

Scenario #1: Drifting Apart

You've always been tighter than new Doc Martens®. But now things have changed. She no longer wants to jog with you. She'd rather hit the chat rooms. Or she's become crazed about hanging with her new love interest. Your CD-burning sessions are just a memory.

It's a bummer when old buddies start having less in common. But sometimes these out-of-syncs don't last. It might be worth trying to get into your friend's new interest (not counting your best bud's new love, of course!). Or you might try something new on your own. Or meet some new folks who like doing the things you enjoy. Another thing to try is (gasp!) talking to your friend about it - in a non-in-your-face, -this-is-your-fault way. If you feel too emotional, try writing a thoughtful letter. Let it sit a couple of days, and read it again. The goal is telling how you feel, not "winning."

Scenario #2: Fights

"Yes, he is." "No, he isn't." The argument could continue for eternity.

No matter how sure you are that you're right, friendship is based on (sing it, Aretha!) R-E-S-P-E-C-T:

  • Since you and your bud aren't clones, you will disagree sometimes!
  • Is it really worth fighting over? If it's trivial, or you're not going to agree no matter what, why not give it up? Agree to disagree and get on with life.
  • Friends have differences of opinion without putting each other down.
  • Even if you'll never agree - try to see the other person's viewpoint. At least honor his right to have his own opinions.
  • Never get physical. Violence can make a small problem into a life-altering disaster.

Scenario #3: End of the Road

Is the friendship over? If you're not the one ending it, it feels like an elephant stomped your heart into a billion bleeding pieces. You may know why it's all over - or you will never know the reason. You might want to try telling your ex-BFF how you feel. At least you won't spend the rest of your life wondering if you should have.

But the thing is, you can't force someone to be your friend - and you wouldn't want to. Once you accept the fact that you've lost a best friend, expect to mourn. You've lost someone you love. Talk to someone you trust about it. Give yourself time. But don't freeze in a looking-back, holding pattern. Be open to new friendships. You never know when the "next BFF" is going to come along.

Copyright © 1999 - 2001 Planned Parenthood ® Federation of America. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from www.teenwire.com

 

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