It’s important to have fun in high school but we all know a friend who takes it too far.
Like, someone who drinks and drives. Or is destructive, bullies other kids, or is too controlling.
Remember, you’re a teenager, not an idiot.
So, you may begin to realize that you can’t relax or have fun around this person anymore. It’s time to move on, even it’s someone who’s been a close friend. It’s not an easy thing to do, especially if you’re worried that new friends may be difficult to come by.
So here are a few things to consider.
1. Maybe there’s no need to be that dramatic about it.
If you feel like confronting your friend directly is too dramatic (I completely understand) the best thing to do may be to just search for new friends and be “busy” when your friend texts you.
Connection with others is important and necessary. If you don’t look for someone new to spend time with, you’ll be drawn back to your old friend again and again. Not smart.
So, be brave. Say “hi” to some of your other classmates and see if they’re free to hang out sometime. Join a new club or activity. Find a new coffee spot or basketball court. If your school is small, find friends from a different part of your community by looking up youth programs or sports online.
With new people in your life you may find that you no longer need to call your troublesome friend by default when you don’t know what to do on Friday night.
2. If you do need to have a talk about it….
Maybe the situation really has to be addressed. Maybe your “friend” is constantly texting you or seems comfortable showing up at your house totally unannounced.
Having this conversation is hard and takes courage. It’s also extremely embarrassing for your friend, so make sure it’s done in private and not at lunch where everyone else can hear you.
Don’t beat around the bush. Trying to “gently” tell someone hanging out is a bad idea just doesn’t work. Say exactly why you’re uncomfortable and make sure it’s clear that it’s the person’s actions, not personality or body type or anything else, that make you uncomfortable.
Also, realize that having this talk doesn’t make you uncool. It shows a lot of strength and, believe me, you will use this skill to say goodbye to more than one friend as you go through your life and career.
3. You WILL find new friends
One of the most limiting thoughts you can have is fear. Are you afraid that saying goodbye to this one friend will leave you alone with nobody to talk to?
If you’ve been close for a while, it’s likely that you’ve spent a pretty good deal of your free time hanging out with this friend. Sometimes, when you consider cutting the relationship off, you imagine that all you’ll have left is an empty void.
Be patient. While it’s true that you might not have plans for the upcoming Saturday because you and your buddy used to always go skateboarding, you will be surprised to find how quickly you replace these old activities with new ones. You’ll eventually see how much your “friend” was blocking your view of people and activities that could have been expanding your universe.