May 1, 2017 at 9:09 pm #147663
Glad you posted and that you and Andrew are getting along so well. Will answer your questions tomorrow morning.
anitaMay 2, 2017 at 7:45 am #147687
1. If some of your friends are doing the wrong thing, how do you talk them out of it? And if you can’t, how do you refuse while still maintaining friendships?
– ask the friend to calm down (if they are distressed), offer to go elsewhere, take a walk, have tea, engage in a different activity at a different setting, so to relieve the current distress and talk about his/ her plan. Let the person talk, listen to their reasoning, ask clarifying questions, attend to the logic of their plan, point to inconsistency, and hopefully, he/ she, being calm, and talking to someone calm (you), he/she will realize their plan is not wise and will reconsider.
If you can’t influence the friend to reconsider, and his/ her plan is not disastrous, just unwise, to maintain the friendship while not getting involved in their plan- state pleasantly and respectfully that you will not get involved in said activity but you would like to … have tea with them later (just an example of something to do later that you do agree with).
2. How do you talk to a friend who doesn’t seem to be hearing you out? Lately, two of my friends I made haven’t been listening much when I talk about my feelings to them.
– Talk less about your feelings to a friend who showed impatience when you shared before. And/ or talk to him/ her about your feelings at a different time, a different setting. Once you share for a minute, pause and observe his/ her reaction. If the friend is engaged, continue; if not, stop.
3. How do you tell your friends that you want to be yourself when they pressure you to change? I have friends who think I need to change my appearance more, but I don’t think I need to, but they keep thinking of ways I could be better and when I argue with them, they don’t really hear my opinions.
– Consider thinking of friends who argue with you and don’t respect your positions as not friends, but rather, acquaintances. And then, don’t engage in conversations (and arguments) with them.
4. How do you isolate yourself from a situation that your friends are involved in, but you don’t want to get involved in without becoming the scapegoat or ‘turning you back’ on your friends?
– When you remove yourself from a situation your friends are involved with, don’t turn your back to them in the sense of being upfront (there is “front” in upfront)- tell them you don’t believe what they are doing is wise, but you care for them and will … have tea with them later (or any activity you do agree with).
anitaMay 3, 2017 at 5:10 pm #147977
Thanks a lot for your advice. So I’ve noticed my friends notice when I’m stressed and they help cheer me up. If I need some advice, they are there. Although at times, they tend to do things that I don’t like such as argue with the teacher or pick fights with people; I don’t get involved with them. But if they are upset, I let them know I’m there for them by asking if they are okay. Lately, there are five more days till the AP Biology exam and tensions between classmates are high. We are still friends, but there is a lot of competition lately in the classroom. I have noticed that Andrew and I both may be right on a question, but we both will argue our point and question the other. This in a way is a good thing because it allows us to see the other’s viewpoint and also make amends to our own point of view, possibly making it stronger and more valid. However, there are times when we are quite competitive and he seems distant. At those times, I wonder if he is competing against me and it makes me stressed. I admire Andrew’s independence and I understand it because I also have a strong sense of independence as well. But sometimes I feel like it is hard to connect with him when he becomes distant and it makes me worried about him. Sometimes I think I am overbearing on him and it makes me self-doubt. So the questions I have are:
How do I assert my opinions across without being too overbearing?
How do we both compromise on an answer when we’re both right, but on different paths and neither one seems to want to back down?May 3, 2017 at 8:48 pm #148005
How to assert yourself without being overbearing? By being assertive, not aggressive. Being assertive is practicing an attitude of Win-Win. With Andrew, it will be Shirley wins AND Andrew wins.
And not if Shirley wins, then Andrew loses. Or if Andrew wins then Shirley must lose. No: both must win.
Regarding your second question, no one has to back down (lose)- the two of you need to care about the other not losing, or not getting hurt from the interaction. Best practice assertiveness as part of EAR: Empathy, Assertiveness, Respect. Always respect (even when feeling angry at the other).
anitaNovember 15, 2017 at 4:42 pm #178291
It’s been awhile since I have been on, but college has so much to learn and experience and I’ve been having lots of fun. Andrew went away to military school, Dave and I lost touch and Steve (my lunch buddy) goes to a college in New York City. I have made lots of friends at college and also see my special friend on campus. He is great at cheering me up when I’m stressed over school work. I saw him today and I told him how much he meant to me and his face lit up like the sun and we hugged. I have found myself becoming more independent from my parents. I have some questions:
How do you tell your friends that you need time for yourself without seeming rude? I love spending time with my college friends, but sometimes I have to do homework and can’t attend all the events they want me to attend. I try to balance my time between friends and school, but lately my school schedule has been skewed toward friends and club activities.
What are good ideas to do with a person you love? I love my special friend and want to spend some more time with him and start a relationship.
How do you tell someone who disagrees with your career choice that you are truly passionate about it without confusing them and also getting impatient? I am doing a major in biochemistry which will allow me to go into medicine, genetic engineering, neuroscience and I really am passionate about genetic engineering. I want to work with stem cells and help advance cancer research, but my parents don’t think that engineering is a career choice for females. I dislike their view that females can’t be analytical and do complex calculations.
How do I prevent myself from becoming too overwhelmed with college assignments? Sometimes I’ll map out my plans ahead of time and work on 3 assignments a day to get them done, but that can be a bit exhausting. I check my work five/six times before submitting it and am an extreme perfectionist.November 16, 2017 at 6:21 am #178333
Welcome back to your thread, more than six months after your last post. Good to read from you, that you are doing well.
Thank you for the update about the different people in high school life. Your special friend has been the one constant of all your friends ever since middle school. What is he studying, by the way and is he still in the relationship with his high school girlfriend?
Regarding your questions:
1. “How do you tell your friends that you need time for yourself without seeming rude?”- you say to them what you shared here, that you love spending time with them but you have homework to do. You can add, if you’d like, that you work on three assignments a day and check your work repeatedly before submitting.
2. “What are good ideas to do with a person you love? I love my special friend and want to spend some more time with him and start a relationship”- you already met him many times before, for a run, with the wind in your hair, as you shared before. You can do that again, go for hikes in nature, as you have done. And talk, ask him questions, listen to him, share your thoughts and feelings.
3. “How do you tell someone who disagrees with your career choice that you are truly passionate about it without confusing them and also getting impatient?…my parents don’t think that engineering is a career choice for females. I dislike their view that females can’t be analytical and do complex calculations”- you don’t. You have been seeking your parents’ approval for too long and failed to receive it. I don’t think it is possible for you to succeed in this ongoing attempt. And so, my answer: abort future attempts.
4. “How do I prevent myself from becoming too overwhelmed with college assignments”- because you are in the habit of checking your homework “five/six times before submitting”, limit the checking to two times before submitting and adhere to it. After the second time, no matter how strong the urge to check a third time, resist the urge and submit. This will be a beginning.
November 16, 2017 at 9:50 am #178363
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by anita.
<p style=”text-align: center;”>Thank you for your advice. My special friend broke up with his girlfriend in October and we have been hanging out. He is studying health and wellness as well as environmental science. He is fascinated with how the environment affects human health and has been going on class trips to study ecosystems of the Pine Barrens. I wish I could go to see all the wildlife of Pine Barrens with him, but the class trips are expensive if you are not taking the class. I started with biology and chemistry as my sciences and he started with environmental. We both love nature and I may take an environmental class as well, it would be a fun elective. I am working on becoming more confident about expressing myself without seeking approval from others for my happiness. Sometimes I feel like I am putting too much strain on myself to be there for the people I care about. For example, if a friend needs help with a homework assignment, I’ll take time out of my schedule to help them. But lately it seems like some of my friends are taking advantage of my help and trying to get me to help them with every assignment they have in a subject and it’s exhausting. I feel like I am being selfish telling them I need time to plan things for myself, but I’m also tired of being the crutch that they lean on. So the question is: How do I help them develop an independent understanding of the lessons by being a guide and not a person who just does the work for them?</p>
Another question: Since my special friend and I are both quite shy, could we write our feelings down on paper and give it to each other? I do wish we could talk more face-to-face because there seems so much to say. Yet, spending time together and just enjoying the moment has always helped show our appreciation towards each other even if we can’t find the words to say. I want to take my special friend on a nature hike over Thanksgiving break and am quite nervous. How should I act? What should we talk about? Should I ask him ask friends or as a relationship?
November 16, 2017 at 10:41 am #178371
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by Shirley.
You asked: “<span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; font-family: Arial,’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 14.53px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: 0px; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”>How do I help them develop an independent understanding of the lessons by being a guide and not a person who just does the work for them?</span>”- by not doing the work for them, by being assertive with them. It is not selfish to be assertive and to place your self interest first. You need to do your work first, and then, you need to find time to relax, and be entertained some, then, if you have time and energy, you can help a little bit, here and there.
When a person asks for your help, and you have five minutes to help, you can say: “I only have five minutes. How can help you in these five minutes?” and then look at the time and see to it that indeed you spend only five minutes helping.
Regarding your question: “How should I act?” with your special friend, since you and him are shy (that is somewhat afraid)- ask him just one question next time you see him for long enough. Just one question. When you are afraid, you need courage. Planning on doing too much of what you are afraid of doing is overwhelming. So my answer is: plan on just one little thing, one question.
anitaNovember 16, 2017 at 10:42 am #178373
* didn’t get submitted correctly…January 12, 2018 at 3:19 pm #186421
I have been able to set up a schedule where I allocate time for myself as well as others. I realize that some people will get angry if I say no to helping them, but it is important to focus on myself first. My special friend is always there in my life for me. I told him that I was struggling with finding who I was and he said that it doesn’t matter because he’ll care for me no matter what happens. My relationship with my parents has not been good lately and since I live under their roof I rarely talk about my emotions with them because they’ve never really been receptive of them anyway. Some questions I have are:
How do I avoid picking up the bad habits of my parents since I’m always around them? I want to continue being open-minded to all people and be empathetic without closing myself off. Lately it feels like I’m closing myself off emotionally to avoid their criticisms and I don’t want to become so withdrawn that I lose myself.
HHow do I be strong without putting on a false self? Lately, I’ve been feeling detached from myself and identifying as more masculine to give me strength and it feels like that part of me has taken over and I’m unsure of who my real self is anymore.
How do I explain to my parents that I want to express myself the way I want even with their criticisms? Lately, they’ve been criticizing me for being adopting a wiccan religion and joining the LGBT community at my college. How do I explain that the choices I make are the ones that make me happy and I know will lead to good things in the end even though it doesn’t seem like it now? For example, the LGBT community is helping me be more confident with who I am and being a wiccan helps me live my life more mindfully in accordance to nature.January 13, 2018 at 7:34 am #186467
Welcome back to your thread!
You wrote that you want to be open minded and empathetic to all people, including your parents who you live with and who “never really been receptive of (your feelings)”.
I don’t think it is a good idea for you to open up more and be rejected more. It is not good for your emotional well being to invite more rejection to your life, more dismissal of your feelings. So I would remain closed off to them, if I was you.
As soon as it is possible for you, move out and limit or eliminate your contact with them, as you choose and as you are able.
You wrote that you want to be empathetic to all people. Not a good idea, not to people who harm you. And then, be empathetic to you, first and foremost. Be empathetic to your feminine and masculine feelings. Be okay with how you feel, not rejecting your own feelings. Every feeling you have has a valid message, none of your feelings is wrong to have.
Regarding your last paragraph: stop reaching out to your parents, stop trying to get their understanding, their acceptance and approval of you. Didn’t work so far, why try more, why try again and again… and yet again….
Give up on getting their approval. Continue to seek social support elsewhere.