Middle school friendships can be tough, especially for girls. Sometimes your best friend on Monday won’t even speak to you on Tuesday. With so many new emotions and social changes to deal with, learning how to make and keep friends during this time takes effort and determination.
An interview with Emma K.,
9th Grade Student, USA
If you’ve had a best friend for several years but all of a sudden that changes, how can you deal with it?
You’ll have to let the person go. Sometimes holding on can be even more painful than letting go. If the person is really worth it, then they can come back to you at some point, but if they’re not, then this was for the best. Just don’t force it.
Say that you moved to another school and are feeling like an outsider. How do you try to get more friends?
Be open-minded, take your time, look for many options to get involved with many different groups, and see what works for you. If a particular friend group is not working for you, join another one. Also, joining after school activities can bring you closer to people. Basically, don’t put all your eggs in one basket and don’t be desperate.
How do you deal with friends who have different beliefs or views and are not that tolerant or open-minded?
Don’t try to confront people. There must be many other interesting topics to talk about. Concentrate on what you have in common first. If the controversial topic is all you focus on, it’ll become annoying for everybody. Unless you are getting made fun of or you have a real problem, just try to let it go. If you see someone with zero tolerance and understanding then move on fast! If you find a friend/friends that are interested in different points of view, be kind and honest.
What do you do when someone you trust teases you or hurts your feelings with comments about the way you look or your body?
If somebody’s making fun of you, the way you look, or your body, you have to tell him/her that it bothers you. Communication is key because if you’re just trying to let on little hints and hoping that they get the message, it becomes confusing for everyone. Just tell them directly.
How would you deal with your friends having more money and feeling a little bit jealous (or if they are intentionally making you feel bad)?
If you feel a little bit jealous of people because they have bigger houses, more expensive cars, etc., then tell them to stop making you feel bad if they’re doing it intentionally. However, if you just feel jealous because you don’t have the same thing, see it as something you aspire to achieve. Say if you look at your friend’s house and see that it has seven different bedrooms, instead of saying, “Why don’t I have that” say, “What can I do to achieve something like that?”
Tips and tricks:
- Sometimes holding on can be more painful than letting go
- Don’t be desperate and don’t put all your eggs in one basket
- Be open-minded
- Concentrate first on what you have in common, rather than focusing on each other’s beliefs, as it is obviously a sensitive topic. If someone is incredibly intolerant, don’t waste your time
- Be honest – your real friends will understand
- Turn jealousy into ambition and goals for yourself to achieve