Friendship Advice: Fitting In

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Relationships can be hard especially with someone you really care for, or if the person you’ve known for a while is having trouble, or even if you’re trying to start a new one. Just remember that trust and communication can make or break any bond whether it be in the beginning or end of a friendship. As long as you can be yourself and understand one another, there shouldn’t be any problems. If there are problems there’s always a way to fix them, that’s where Latinitas comes in.

Question: “Whenever my best friend says or does something really mean to someone I point it out because I feel that’s what friends should do. The only problem is that whenever I’m honest with her she gets really defensive and threatens to end our friendship. How do I remain honest without losing my best friend?”

Advice: Honesty is the key to any relationship, whether it be family or friends. You’re doing the right thing in asking your friend to reflect on her actions or words, especially if their intention is meant to hurt someone else. Try to step back and put yourself in her shoes for a second. Think about how you would react to being approached and called out on something you feel strongly about, even if it’s wrong. Try to approach your friend the same way you would want to be approached in order to avoid tension, and be fair and calm. If you feel that doesn’t work, resort to honesty again. Tell her why you’re asking her to stop saying those things or why you make an effort to point them out. Let her know that she’s still your best friend and that your friendship means a lot to you. Explain to her that you want her to be honest with you and that you hope she feels as confident in your friendship as you do. The key is to be calm and understanding of what your best friend is feeling. Hopefully, reflecting and being honest to her about your friendship will help her understand that saying mean things is not right and that being honest is beneficial to any strong friendship.

Question: “I’m new to a school where there are a lot of cliques and I keep finding myself getting bullied because I can’t seem to fit in anywhere. How can I deal with being bullied  and make friends fast?”

Answer: Being new is incredibly hard and you should acknowledge that it’s difficult. Take a moment for yourself and breathe. Before rushing into friendships decide what it is that draws you to people. Because you’re being bullied, you could make a rash decision and end up in a group you don’t feel comfortable being with. You’re dealing with three very difficult and stressful situations. In order to figure them out and keep your cool, start with the one that’s bothering you the most. Assuming it’s bullying, talk to an adult you trust and let them know what’s going on. Bullying is something that should never be taken lightly. What may seem like no big deal now can escalate further down the road. It’s incredibly important that you feel safe in an environment and a community that is new to you. Once you have found a way to deal with the bully then you’ll be able to focus on making friends and adjusting to your new school. Try to break the cliques and surround yourself with positive people that you’re comfortable with. Don’t worry about fitting in to one specific group and having to act a certain way. Friends are people you can be yourself around and will accept you for who you are. Keep that in mind as you continue to encounter new faces.

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