I was in class 11 when I had a huge crush on a guy from my class (Tom). He was smart, popular and all things glam. We became friends and after a year I told him I liked him but he rejected me. We never spoke again. Some months later, my best friend (Judy) broke up with her boyfriend and everyone found out. Tom approached me and started talking to me again and ever since we’ve been good friends. He later asked me to set him up with Judy. She is good looking, so I get this often where people use me to get to her. I knew what was in for me. She was broken after the last break up and I told her that it would be a good idea to date again as I thought it would help and make her feel loved again. Hence, she agreed. The first month the relationship was the talk of the college. Now she keeps telling me that she can’t do this. She constantly thinks about her ex and cannot love again. This relationship helped me a lot. She matters to me and he loves her a lot but this break up will ruin everything. Please help!
Thank you for sharing your predicament with me. Growing up is hard! I’m so sorry that you had your heart broken when you were rejected. Being rejected feels horrible but as time passes, you realise that you were only being redirected to something better. It’s wonderful that you and Tom are now friends. However, it had me questioning if the friendship had anything to do with you at all? Or was it only aimed towards building a relationship with Judy. I was saddened to know that you have accepted the fact that people use you to get to Judy. Is this really alright with you? How does Judy react to this? Mark Twain wrote “Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be just their option.” Hope she genuinely cares about you and values you.
No doubt you had Judy’s best interests in mind when you suggested she gets into another relationship. However, sometimes we need to take the time to deal with the heartbreak, to feel the pain, to heal and then when we are whole again, decide to love another… We are often in a hurry to find love as we are so scared to be alone. We need to remind ourselves that if we aren’t happy single, we won’t be happy taken. Happiness comes from within, not from others.
Judy needn’t be in a relationship if she isn’t happy in it. Things don’t have to get ugly and the breakup can be respectful and amicable. Maybe it’s a good time to test if Tom really cares about your friendship or if it was only about getting to Judy. Stop letting people use you. Know your self-worth. It’s good to be sweet like sugar but don’t let people dissolve you as per their requirement. All the best.
I seem to make the wrong kind of friends, people who are nasty and gossip about me. I have competitive classmates who are insistent on standing first, often becoming aggressive. I don’t like to compete and find it difficult to be friends with them. How do I deal with them without getting on their bad side? Is it impossible to find a friend whom I can get along with smoothly?
Thanks for your email and for discussing your situation with me. The best vitamin for making friends is B1. When you are a friend to people around you, you will automatically find people with similar vibes and mindset, then you can decide if they are worth your time. It is absolutely fine to not want to compete with others and this isn’t a reason to get on anyone’s bad side. If others want to compete, let them. You could try telling them that you are aware of the gossip and backbiting and that it would be nice if they could stop doing so and maybe try talking to you directly if they had a problem. It certainly isn’t impossible to find good friends, it just takes time. Maybe you need to stop looking so hard, you might be surprised at what you find when you least expect it.
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Until next time, be kind to yourself.
(The columnist is psychologist and counsellor, currently working as a school counsellor.)