What makes a good friend? Is it what they look like? Is it what they wear? Is it what they do? Is it how well they can keep a secret? We often find good friends when we are looking for people who have what we NEED not necessarily what we think we want. Teens and relationships often get complicated and difficult to navigate.
Mean Teens and Relationships
Just because we might be included doesn’t mean we belong. When someone hits you, it is fairly obvious they don’t like you. When someone is being sarcastic, teasing or using put downs when hanging out, is it still as obvious? Recognizing relational aggression is important to determine if your friendships are actually friendly and if you are being the kind of friend you think you are.
The Social Jungle
Where do you belong? What would you do to belong? In school there are a variety of groups to identify with and feel a part of something. Navigating this path and remembering: ”to have a friend, you must be a friend”, can help you find what would make you feel like you have found the right place.
Teens and Relationships Under Pressure
Peer pressure is about wanting to fit in knowing there may be a cost. Determining if doing something is worth the price, can help us make informed decisions and accept potential consequences. Ask before you assume something in order to have the most information to make the best decision for you.
To Date or Not to Date
Figuring out if you are ready can be a bit scary. If you choose based on pressure from others, you may find yourself making decisions you will regret. If your social standing demands you follow the crowd, perhaps it is time to reevaluate your friendships and values.
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
It is almost inevitable that teens and relationships have a shelf life during the teenage years. Planning how to survive can be helpful for a quicker recovery and to feeling confident in yourself. Sometimes noticing red flags can help you to not be caught off guard. Planning what to say and/or do can help us have the “smart” reaction versus the “emotional” one.
Stephanie Phillips, LCMHC, NCC, CCTP
Psychotherapist & Owner
The Mindly Group, PLLC