I AM a 17-year-old girl and my close friends are S and P. We have been together since Form One. However, S and P have known each other since primary school.
S is friendly, cheerful and an extrovert. P is very “princess-y”, stubborn and sensitive. No one is brave enough to tell P her mistakes.
Recently, P’s attitude has gone from bad to worse. She likes to mock, tease and be sarcastic to S, which hurts her a lot.
Once, S forgot to see P during recess, so she started to sulk and ignore S. S got fed up with P’s immature behaviour and complained to me about it everyday.
Since then, S has decided to avoid P in school.
After that incident, the possessive P started clinging on to me until it became difficult for me to tolerate her. Every time I tried to advise her, she would take it so negatively and fight back without thinking twice.
This is not the first time our advice has fallen on deaf ears. When P offended me, I reminded her of my advice but she becomes defensive and we end up quarreling.
Recently, S suddenly became friends with P again as if nothing had happened, and they didn’t explain why. Now, they don’t really talk to me anymore. P even ignores me for no reason at all.
I have been kind to them, but all my good deeds have gone to waste. I feel as though the world is against me. Now I don’t have any good friends to talk to, and I don’t have the time to find new ones as SPM is looming. Why are they behaving like that? Are all girls like that? – Puzzled
It is a sad fact of social relationships that our friends can sometimes go against us for impulsive or vague reasons.
You seem to care about P despite her past and present behaviour and also about S, so it is worthwhile to find out what these reasons are, even if it might seem difficult to do so at first.
With P’s track record of being stubborn, it would be risky to confront her without any information as to what the situation might be.
Try speaking with S first, making sure to keep the conversation focused on what happened between you and S that caused this rift. Be honest and sincere, and take care to leave P out of the discussion.
S, with her friendliness and extroversion, might have decided to forgive P without realising you wanted an explanation. By being direct with her about your needs, you give her the chance to explain and also to understand you better as a friend.
You feel betrayed by P’s actions especially given all the time and effort you’ve spent trying to help her. But know that no good deed is ever wasted, especially when it’s towards the betterment of others.
You effectively become a role model to these people, which is a big ripple effect for one good deed. At the same time, you are augmenting your own strength of character and goodwill.
Don’t be discouraged. People like P often learn the hard way what it means to find and maintain friendships that are keeps for life. If you are moving her even just a little bit closer to learning what that means, then you have done a good job as a friend and person. — Su Ann
Learn to let go
The lesson here is to be your own best friend. You’ll experience episodes in life where your best behaviour and actions aren’t reciprocated. In your case, this happened with the people closest to you. If S and P persist in being inside their own world without you, let them go. They might return in the future when all of you mature and discover that true friendships endure. Or all of you will disconnect altogether. That’s okay too – there’s no way you can completely shape or decide what or how people view you, even if you’ve been good to them. S and P will have their own minds, and you’ll have to respect that.
Focus on the future with good things to look forward to, and their mind games won’t last long in your memory. Shape what you’re in control of – you. Focus on your exams and surround yourself with people who have the same goals. Positive people make a lot of difference. They’ll come naturally when you exhibit the kind of attitude that you want in others.
Ace the SPM and figure out what’s next. It’s not all about grades. Fill up your time with extracurricular activities that you enjoy or broaden your horizons. Instead of giving energy to what brings you down, do the opposite. Concentrate on what can make you happy. And if there are people who don’t support that or bring you down, let them go. — Rusyan