Homeschooling Teen

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Good Friends, Bad Friends, and “Frenemies”

Olyvea Pancerella and Ethan Faulkes answer questions on homeschooling, dating, and life in general. Olyvea says, “One of the most unique things we can contribute is male and female perspectives on questions and ideas.” Send them your questions at polyvea@gmail.com.

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Hi,

I’m having a problem and I was hoping maybe you can help. I’m having friend troubles. This girl and I have been friends for years. Well, recently she’s been talking to a new guy and she’s completely blowing me off. She’s always picked any guy she’s talking to over me, but it’s worse this time. She only calls me when he’s busy, we only hang out when he’s not around. I could handle all that, but then when we do get together he’s all she wants to talk about. I don’t know what to do. I’m starting to think she is just a bad friend. I’m not sure I want to give up on our friendship, but I don’t want to always be second best.

I hope you guys can help,

Emma

Olyvea,

Hey Emma, I’ve been through what you’re going through right now. I know it’s not easy when a friend seems to like every guy more than you. What she’s doing, in my opinion, is mean and disloyal. I think without giving up on the friendship you have a couple options here. You can talk to her and tell her how you’ve been feeling, or you can wait and see if her infatuation with this boy wears out. Which one you pick is entirely up to you. Just remember if you talk to her be as nice as possible. Make sure you say that you don’t expect her to stop hanging out with guys, but you would like some guy-free girl time. If you choose to wait it out remember that even if her crush on this guy fades, if she has a history of doing this, there will probably be another guy before long.

Ethan,

I agree that girl is being a jerk, but I would like to say one thing. People moving on isn’t always disloyal or mean. It’s part of life. People move in different directions and sometimes that’s OK. For example, if somebody goes to college they usually leave their high school friends behind and I think that’s OK. Also, don’t forget that even the most loyal girls will eventually get into a serious relationship and that will come before friendships. I realize that is different than what that girl is doing to you. Because she’s ditched you for every guy, I just wanted to point out for future reference that sometimes you have to look objectively on the situation and honestly think “What would I do in their shoes?” With that out of the way I think in this case you should just find other friends to hang out with. That’s not to say you can never hang out with her, but while she is in her “boy-crazy phase” have other people to talk to so you’re not left waiting. “Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.” -Mark Twain

Now, we’ve all had friends. Good friends, bad friends, the dreaded “frenemy.” I want to talk about all those friends and the complications that come along with them.

How to recognize a bad friend.

Olyvea,

Well, I personally think the easiest way to discern whether a friend is good or bad is to examine their actions. Are they always ditching you? Are they honestly happy when something good happens for you? Do they tell everyone your secrets? Do they try to change you? I think these are all questions you need to ask yourself when you’re trying to decide if someone is a bad friend.

Ethan,

I agree with those points, but I think that one of the most telling signs someone is a bad friend is if you think they are a bad friend. In general, most people know whether they’re treated badly by their friends. If your wondering if your friend is being a bad friend they probably are.

Should you always cut off bad friends?

Olyvea,

I’d love to say you should never put up with bad friends, but I’d be a hypocrite if I did. I once had a friend who treated me with cruel disregard. I put up with it because even though she showed all the signs of being a bad friend I had fun with her. I put up with her for a long time and being friends with her cost me other friendships. Until, finally, I realized I couldn’t do this anymore and I just stopped being there. I didn’t answer her calls or texts. I just stopped. Don’t get me wrong I was still cordial when I saw her and every now and then I’d answer her text if she had a question, but all-in-all our friendship is over. I’m much better for it.

Ethan,

In a perfect world of course you should only be friends with the best people who lift you up and bring out the best in you. Sometimes it’s not that simple. We’ve all been in the situation where we knew our friend wasn’t good to us, but we didn’t say anything and just stayed friends with them. Why? Multiple reasons. Maybe you were friends for a long time and you didn’t want things to change. Maybe your parents were friends and you didn’t want to make things weird. Maybe you shared the same group of friends and you didn’t want to cause tension. Whatever the reason we’ve all done it. So, we come back to the question should we get rid of them? Well, if the problem can’t be fixed, yes. Don’t cause drama, don’t make a scene, just distance yourself from them. If I need someone out of my life I usually simply say I’m busy, a lot. Usually, if you just keep saying your busy when they want to hang out the friendship will just fade away.

“Frenemies”

Olyvea,

We’ve all had “frenemies” (meaning friend-enemies) those girls who you’re nice to, but they don’t like you and you don’t like them. That kind of relationship sucks. My only suggestion for these types of friends is keep being nice, but don’t get too close to them. Sometimes you can turn that relationship into something good, but not normally.

Ethan,

I’m just going to go with what you said. I don’t think I’ve ever had a “frenemy”. Guys, from my experience, don’t really hate each other in secret.

Good friends.

Olyvea,

Good friends are, obviously, the best kind of friend to have. But why are they so hard to find? I think the most important part about getting a good friend is being a good friend. Too often people want 100% loyalty from someone, but they only give 10%. It’s cliché, but be the kind of friend you want to have. Nobody will be a good friend to you if you aren’t a good friend to them.

Ethan,

I completely agree. If you want good friends then be a good friend. I’m not going to lie just because you’re good to somebody doesn’t guarantee they’ll be a good friend back, but at least you know you showed them what a good friend is. If you try to be a good friend then you’ll find someone who is just as good to you. Also, one last thing, don’t forget sometimes keeping bad friends can stop you from getting good friends. Just one more reason to try to only surround yourself with good people.

If you take nothing else out of this remember this: If you are a loyal, trustworthy friend you will find someone who is too. I always think of this quote when I think of good friends:

“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” -Epictetus

I always think of this verse too:

Proverbs 22:24-25 (New International Version)

Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.

Until next time,

Olyvea and Ethan

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Olyvea Pancerella and Ethan Faulkes are both 16 and both going into 11th grade. Olyvea has been homeschooled since first grade and Ethan has been homeschooled since third grade. Email any questions to: polyvea@gmail.com

2 Comments

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  1. do you guys answer to every email

  2. Hi, Lily. Yes, we answer every one as long as they are appropriate.

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