BFF or Bully?

BFF or Bully - Mean Girls GIF
Hi friends. I recently got a message from a fan that tugged at my heartstrings. She asked to remain anonymous and as I promise all those who send me confessions, I will happily grant her anonymity on today’s blah-g post.

But here’s the gist: Picture a clique at your school. One girl is the constant target, the one who the others relentlessly pick on. Maybe there’s an alpha girl in the group–the target’s BFF–who’s slinging all the insults and mean-spirited jokes. The target says she’s allowing it to happen because she sympathizes with the alpha girl and knows she is actually deeply insecure and these insults are a way for her to feel better about herself. But it’s gone on for too long, things have gone way too far, and the target can’t pretend she’s okay with their friendship dynamic any longer without suffering serious self esteem issues.

The target wants to make a change, but she doesn’t want to be mean or start a fight. She doesn’t want to offend the alpha by confronting her in the wrong way about this situation, but things have gotten hurtful and something has to be done. What if this girl was your friend, what would you advise her to do?

Dear Anon,

I can tell you’re a selfless person. What gave it away, you ask? You’ve been too nice to this girl. In this case, it might be that your good heart has allowed you to be taken advantage of by, as you wisely noted, a very insecure person who has chosen to take her insecurities out on you. It isn’t fair, but it’s a high school reality, and sadly the clique mentality can last throughout most people’s lives. It’s your job to stand up for yourself and demand the respect you deserve from friends–the same respect you are giving them. What’s not your job? Taking on the responsibility for your friend’s insecurities and suffering through emotional pain in order for her to feel better about herself. You have a great deal of compassion and understanding for your friend, and your intentions in allowing her to make you the target were coming from a good place, but BFFs don’t try to make each other feel badly, no matter the reason. This girl isn’t your BFF, she’s a bully.

It isn’t your fault she’s made you the target, but it’s your responsibility to show the people around you how you deserve to be treated. I hope you can find the nerve to stand up to this mean girl and know that there are ways you can do this without being mean yourself. You don’t need to play her game by throwing insults back her way, and you don’t need to stick your head in the sand hoping she’ll eventually stop and move onto bullying someone else in your group. At this point, she knows she can get away with it so you need to communicate that the behavior needs to end.

You can’t avoid having “the talk” with your friend. Keep it private, in person, and come from a calm place. Don’t yell or make underhanded remarks or else this mean girl will likely become defensive and this talk may escalate into a verbal fight. Adrenaline will be high at this point, but try to stay poised. Let your BFF know how much her comments and teasing have hurt you and that they need to stop. If you still care about saving the friendship, simply let her know that, adding you won’t be able to have the same friendship until she adjusts her behavior towards you. Do not let her make you feel like you’re making too big of a deal out of her teasing. Remember that BFFs do not make each other feel badly, no matter the reason.

If all goes well and your BFF is receptive, she will rightly apologize and make changes in how she treats you. If she doesn’t? You will have to find ways of separating yourself from her and sticking with the girls who truly have your back and care about your feelings. This can be tricky in a high school setting, but not impossible.

Anon, my heart goes out to you and I hope you decide to confront your friend about this issue. There is no reason you can’t have the friendships in your life that boost you up instead of tear you down, but it’s your responsibility to make that happen. You can do it. Good luck.

TTYW,

Lisi

Best Boy/Friend

Source: lifeteen.com

Source: lifeteen.com

 

Q: Hi Lisi! I have a question I’ve been wondering about and I feel like you would give a great answer to. How do you tell a certain guy you like him? i’ve been best friends with this guy for years and I think it might be turning into something more, but it seems like we’re both afraid to cross over that barrier and see what the other is thinking. I realize telling him and finding out he’s not interested could ruin our friendship but I’m ready to take the risk. I’m just not sure how..Any words of wisdom? Thanks! you’re the best!
- Sara

Sara, this is a great question I’m sure a lot of readers have wondered themselves. I don’t blame you for being curious about whether or not your close relationship with your best guy friend could turn into something more. But there are a few things to keep in mind before taking the leap and potentially losing the connection you now have with him.

1. READ THE SIGNS

Has your friendship changed in ways that make you think your guy friend is romantically into you? Think back to his words and actions. Does he worry about and consistently consider your feelings, act protective over you when it comes to other guys you’ve been interested in, and show you his emotional side? These might be signs he’s into you as more than a friend, but if he’s always talking about your hot friend or treats you just like one of the guys, you may want to stay in platonic territory.

2. KEEP IT LIGHT

Guys are repelled by complicated dating situations, so if you choose to start a conversation about where each of you stand do your best to keep things light and easy. You’ll need to be a little bit vulnerable to open up a dialogue about your feelings, but there are noncommittal ways of doing this so you can save as much face as possible if things go awry. At a time when you’re joking with your guy friend or having fun together, find a way to test the waters. Maybe you’re watching a funny movie together where the central characters have a situation similar to yours and end up dating and falling in love. Throw out a “Well this really is fiction because friends falling in love almost never works out. What do you think?” If he’s on the same page as you, he’ll see this as an opportunity to explain why friends turning romantic can potentially work. If he’s not thinking of you in the romantic sense, or truly believes dating a friend is a recipe for disaster resulting in the loss of a great friendship, he’ll be sure to express that too.

3. BE PREPARED FOR THE WORST

You mentioned you are at a place where you’re ready to risk possibly ruining the friendship with your guy friend in order to tell him how you feel. It’s completely possible to share your feelings with him and keep the friendship strong even if he’s not thinking of you in the same way, though it will probably shift the connection you two have for a while. You won’t necessarily lose him altogether, but you have to keep that possibility in mind. It would be easy for me to say that keeping the friendship in tact is the wisest choice in your situation, but I know it’s not always realistic. If you are certain you’ll be able to handle losing the friendship or making things awkward to the point of changing your friendship dynamic forever, then take a leap and see what happens. You already know the worst case scenario, but at present you don’t know what the best case outcome might be. Stay cool, keep things light, hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Good luck!!!

I’m loving all the crush questions that have been submitted lately but next week we’re going to shift gears a bit. Send me questions you have on writing, school or social woes. Can’t wait to read your thoughts.

TTYW,

Lisi

Guy Basics

Guys are basic. Not basic in the way you might have been reading on Tumblr and Instagram lately, but basic as in simply straight forward. However, I’m still getting a whole lot of messages in my Facebook inbox from readers questioning where they stand with their crushes. We talked last week about how guys are even SO simple they’re actually confusing, at least for the more complex female. I decided to do a little field research to set the record straight and get you on the inside track to what these guy behaviors really mean.

I took to the streets of Laguna Beach and in the least creepy way possible asked four surfer/skater dudes ranging in ages from 14-16 to reveal the meaning behind a few different actions. The results might surprise you. Read the final data below:

The Study Participants 

GUY #1 – Anthony – 16 years-old

GUY #2 – Zak – 14 years-old

GUY #3 – Garrett – 16 years-old

GUY #4 – Brian – 15 years-old 

The Guy Behavior 

1) Not returning a text (after a significant period of time)

GUY #1 – Anthony -

“If I stopped returning a girl’s texts she was either texting me too much or maybe I got distracted by something else and forgot.”

[other guys nod their heads]

Me: “But when you weren’t busy or distracted anymore, wouldn’t you remember the girl you were texting and get back to her?”

GUY #3 – Garrett-

“Not if I wasn’t fully interested in the conversation or getting to know her more. Sometimes you can tell if you’d get along with a girl just by how you text with her.”

GUY #4 – Brian -

“If I don’t really like a girl, I’ll just stop texting and she will eventually get the hint. We don’t know each other well enough to have a whole talk about why we’re not talkling anymore. She’ll just get the hint.”

[other guys nod their heads]

GUY #2 – Zak -

“Sometimes I just don’t know what to say to keep the texting interesting and I figure stop when you’re ahead so you don’t look stupid.”

2) Acting interested in a girl one week and then not the next

GUY #2 – Zak -

“This one is totally me. I get over girls so quickly. But it’s not their fault or anything, I just don’t want a girlfriend but it’s still fun to get attention from girls.”

GUY #3 – Garrett-

“Yeah, I’d say I probably was interested in the girl but then got to know her better and realized we didn’t have enough in common or didn’t have anything to talk about.”

GUY #4 – Brian -

“I think this one usually means the guy has other options and is spreading his attention over several different prospects. It’s hard to keep it straight.”

[other guys nod their heads]

GUY #1 – Anthony -

“What’s so bad about being into a girl one week and then not the next?”

3) Flirting with a girl but not ask her out

GUY #3 – Garrett -

“I like to feel out the situation with a girl and see how into me she is. I don’t want to ask her out if there’s a huge change she will reject me. Flirting is also just fun. It doesn’t have to mean anything though.”

GUY #1 – Anthony -

“Well, pride.”

Me: “Can you explain?”

GUY #1 – Anthony -

“Yeah, if I’m going to ask a girl out I would want to do it right and take her somewhere decent. I don’t make enough money to do that.”

Me: “What if the girl doesn’t care what the date looks like or how much money you have?”

GUY #1 – Anthony -

“I care. I don’t want to go on dates until I have a job and a car.”

GUY #2 – Zak -

“There’s no way I could go on dates with every girl I flirt with. I flirt with so many. Like what Garrett said, it doesn’t mean too much.”

GUY #4 – Brian -

[shrugs] “I hardly flirt with anyone. I really don’t find many girls at school hot but when I do flirt it probably means I want to ask you out.”

Me: “Ask ME out?”

[Garrett, Zak, and Anthony laugh]

GUY #4 – Brian -

[blushing] “No! ‘You’ as in the girl I’m flirting with… I don’t know. I don’t flirt much.”

4) Asking a girl to watch a movie in

GUY #1 – Anthony -

“This definitely means I want to make out with the girl. Or at least try. It’s the easiest place to try.”

[the other guys agree in unison]

5) Taking a girl you’re into on a date and then never calling her afterwards 

GUY #3 – Garrett -

“This one’s easy. He probably just wasn’t super into her after the date ended. Or maybe he was dating a bunch of girls at once and not wanting to stick around very long with any one of them.”

GUY #1 – Anthony -

“I’d say he probably was kinda into her but wasn’t 100% positive he liked her so maybe he’d call her in the future just to make sure either way.”

Me: “What if you called the girl a few weeks later and hang out again, but then you never call her after that.”

GUY #1 – Anthony -

“OK, then I just probably wasn’t all that into it after all. Got my answer.”

GUY #4 – Brian -

“Dude, that’s harsh.”

GUY #1 – Anthony -

“Well? It’s the truth. Sometimes you’re not into it.”

GUY #4 – Brian -

“Fair.”

GUY #2 – Zak -

“Yeah, I’d have to agree. If a guy is really into a girl he’s going to call or flirt or make it obvious he’s into her. You wouldn’t want her to get taken off the market by some douche before you had a chance to ask her out.”

Me: “So, you wouldn’t wait a few weeks to hang out again after going on a date with a girl you were really into?”

GUY #2 – Zak -

“I don’t really date, but I mean, no I wouldn’t make her wait a few weeks. Maybe a week so I don’t seem too eager. I wouldn’t want to lose my chance with her though.”

—-

Straight from the mouths of the more basic sex, ladies. Send all your questions, guy related or not, my way. They might show up on one of the weekly blah-g posts.

TTYW,

Lisi

 

 

BOYS—SO SIMPLE THEY’RE CONFUSING

Lisi, you always give the best advice, and I really would love some right about now. So there’s this boy, of course, and two months ago we went on a date. Super fun, we got along great, but then he never asked me out again. Then out of the blue on Wednesday last week, he messaged me and asked me if I wanted to watch a movie. So he came over on Friday and he ended up holding my hand and then we cuddled. It seemed like he really liked me! On Sunday, I texted him conversationally and he barely replied and when I replied, he never responded again. I’m confused and so hurt. Was he just using me? The thing is, one of my roommates knows him pretty well and says he’s a great guy so that makes it more confusing. Did I do something wrong? I feel dumb for liking him and thinking he liked me, because the way it seems to look now, he’s not interested.  :(Anyway, I’m pretty sad about this and I want to know how to get over him or just hear your thoughts. You really do give great advice! Thanks  :)

Kailee 

Guys are so simple they’re confusing. We are the more complex gender and because of that we find it impossible to accept the fact that they are as basic as they are. Think of boys as calculators and girls as smartphones. Only they don’t calculate, they just are. And it drives us insane. In times like these I turn to the first stanza of the Serenity Prayer. Not because I am religious, but because I am a female who is dead tired of trying to make sense of boys.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference. 

–Reinhold Niebuhr

In other words you cannot change his behavior. All you can do is change your own.

Stop putting time and mental energy into him and save that space for yourself or someone new instead. Don’t let this guy string you along with another “movie night” text a month from now when he’s feeling lonely. Keep your head up and eyes out for a boy who makes you feel confident about your time spent together. You’ll know you’ve found him when you no longer have any perplexing questions about his behavior towards you.

I’m not saying you are a light switch that can turn off your feelings. A crush is called a crush because it can be crushing. But a guy who’s off and on like that isn’t going to make you happy—are you happy? No. So stop giving him the opportunity to make you sad and frustrated. Give the wound time to heal and then get back out there and fight for someone who’s worth it.

Amen.

If you want to know what boys really think about their crushes read Pretenders. Trust me.
TTYW,

Lisi

Writer’s Roll

Writers Roll
Hi friends. I received a question from Rhema Joy recently on writer’s block. I replied to her directly, but it seems a lot of the aspiring writers who read my blah-g struggle with this so I’m elaborating to pass on what I know about getting the ball rolling and words flowing when you’re feeling stuck.

Here’s what Rhema said:

Dear Lisi,
I’ve been reading your books since I was eight or nine. I’m now fourteen and I love writing. I have a question though… more like a problem. I’ll have these amazing characters and plots and ideas; I’ll write bit, get writers block &and never finish it! It’s a sick cycle I’ve been on since I first started writing at age seven! Any ideas as to what’s my problem and how to fix it? Thank you x

1) The truth about writer’s block

Okay, Rhema, here goes: First, I don’t believe in writer’s block. There. I said. People give a lot of power to this term, but what I believe happens when they say they have writer’s block is that they simply are not interested enough in what they’re writing, or they haven’t given enough thought to where they want the story to go. I’m a huge supporter of OUTLINING first, as I’ve mentioned here on the blah-g. The outline can and will change, but you’ve got to give yourself a route to travel while writing, otherwise you’ll never make it to the final act. Some writers say they simply sit down and let it all flow out naturally, then edit later. It’s a very small percentage of writers who can successfully do that, and while you’re honing your craft I suggest you try to work from outlines first. Practice. Then be among that small percentage when you’ve developed the writing chops.

2) Give yourself a break

Got an outline and you’re still feeling stumped? Take a hike. Or a walk. Or just step away from your story for an afternoon and get some fresh air and eyes for the next time you sit down in front of your draft. Sometimes we think we have to dedicate every waking moment to our novel in order to get it done, but that isn’t always realistic or helpful to everyone’s process. Sitting in front of your story day after day can make it feel stale and cause you to lose inspiration and steam. Keep your perspective sharp by giving your draft some space when needed.

3) Don’t get too attached

Maybe that scene you had your heart set on writing simply doesn’t advance the plot. Cut it. Try something new. Don’t get bogged down by events or details that don’t drive the story forward. Remember, you are the ultimate creator of your fictional world. Your characters will tell you where they want to go, but you decide their fate.

4) Be imperfect

Avoid perfecting your early drafts. Your first, second, third, etc. drafts aren’t there to be pristine. They’re there to get down the story in all its gruesome form. Get the words down on paper and give yourself something to come back to and edit. You’ll never make it to the end if you keep stopping to fix details along the way. Trust me, I know this one from experience. Get the story down first, then polish it to perfection in your final drafting stage.

Rhema and all the other young writers reading this, I hope those tips help! If you have any advice to add, let us know in the comments section.

TTYW,
Lisi

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