I'm completely aware that most of my readers are still in school and a wide range of y'all are either in high school or college. I love the fact that so many of you will turn to me for advice on high school and for all of the dilemmas we might face when we go through school. Although it is extremely flattering, I feel like I haven't been serving my high school audience as well as I should be. High school is such an important and pivotal time in life and as many lessons you learn in the class, you double that amount in life lessons you learn when in high school.
On my weekly live streams I have been getting questions about friendships in high school. Trust me, I have had my fair share if friend drama and I have come out of those arguments stronger and wiser when it comes to relationships with my peers. Here are a few tips that I have adopted when it comes to friendships.
1. Social Media Makes Everything Worse: Social media truly makes everything worse when it comes to arguments between friends. If you and your bestie are in a fight, step away from Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. It's so easy to send out a 140 character tweet full of emotion and fury. Nobody needs to see the drama unfolding between you and your friends...it's really now worth it and it makes you look bad at the end of the day.
2. True vs. Fake Friends: Sooner or later, you'll weed out the bad ones...and yes we have all been there. It's not that they were even a bad person but your relationship just wasn't right. If you are having issues deciding if someone is a bad friend of if something is truly wrong, try to take a step back and see where and why things are going wrong. If it's a constant pattern from your friend, it might be time for a talk. True friends are the people who will always be there for you. For example, my car was locked in a parking garage downtown and Kirsten got in her car at midnight and drove 30 minutes to the city to pick me up and take me home. She didn't get home until almost 2am, but hey, true friend material right there.
3. Know when it's time to say goodbye: Sadly, we will run into people who take and take and take and never give anything back to the friendship. These people are usually always needing attention, constantly are emotional, and turn the conversation back on themselves. It's frustrating after a while because friendships are a two way street. There is a give and take that must happen for the relationship to work. If it's a one way street, know when it's time to walk away.
4. Don't be too quick to judge: As a freshman in high school, I was way to quick to judge my peers. If someone mentioned something I didn't like I would totally judge a book by it's cover and sum the person up in about 5 seconds. I was such a snob for doing that and it was so wrong of me to do so. As a continued throughout high school, some of my closest friends are actually those who I made judgments about four years prior. I know it's easy to look at someone and feel like we know them from once glance but we are all so much more than that. Take the time to get to know the people in your homeroom and the people sitting around you in class. Even if they seem as if they are the total opposite of you, you might surprise yourself to see how much you have in common.
5. Silence: When a friend stops talking to you randomly, take a step back from the situation and really try to give it a play by play. Think about everything you might have done to bring on this response from your friend. If you can't think of anything I would suggest reaching out to them to grab a bite to eat, or catch up. If they don't respond and continue to give you the silent treatment, ask them if they're ok, you never know what might be going on in their life. Show them that you're there for them. If there continues to be silence on the other end of the friendship, know when it's time to cut your losses and move on. Know that it's okay to step away from a friendship is something isn't working for you. Understand that you should still be kind, friendly, and courteous towards them -- nobody can ever argue that you are being "too nice".
6. Your true friends stay with you: It is your truest of friends who stay with you throughout everything in high school. They're also the ones who will be with you once you graduate as well. Recognize, appreciate, and cherish the friends who are apart of your true group of friends. Those are the people who will cheer you on, be with you when you cry, celebrate you at your wedding, and carry with you for your entire life.