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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » Is this a teenage thing?

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Author Topic: Is this a teenage thing?
ShanShan
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Member # 49994

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Recently I have been probing my mind, and I realized that my mindset is odd. Like, I feel like my world will end if my friends yell at more or are mad at me, and I talked to my mom about it, and she says it's a teenage thing and that everyone has gone through a stage where they think that their current friends are the most important thing in their lives, is that true? Is this a teenage thing, and will it pass?

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I have a wonderful bunch of coconuts.

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eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
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I'm hazy on facts (someone feel free to correct me!) but yes, I think you're right in that most young people will go through a stage where the most important group of people in their lives are their friends. When we're young children, that most important influence tends to be our parents or caregiver figures. I'd agree that it is a stage that will pass.

There's some interesting related research done on this, looking at driving skills of adults and young teenagers when they encounter hazards on the road. When they are driving alone in the car, adults and teenagers tend to perform similarly well in their ability to respond to hazards. But when teenagers are driving with their peers or friends in the car, their hazard skills were much reduced, as compared to adults whose response skills remained the same as before regardless of having friends in the car.

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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Djuna
Activist
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I think I agree that this feeling of anxiety about friendships is often a teenage thing, yes. But that doesn't necessarily add up to you having an "odd" mindset - perhaps an irrational mindset, but that's not a bad thing. However you're feeling, you have a right to that. [Smile]

I'm hearing, though, that you're feeling more anxiety than you'd like to - have you tried any of the ideas we talked about last week for managing anxiety? If so, how is that going?

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In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I dont know what I am. I dont know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Just to clarify, adolescence tends to be a time of both immense social development and when social relationships are gaining increasing importance. It can also tend to be a time when people feel very socially isolated and in a lot of flux, and during times of life like that, all people tend to feel very attached to their social relationships.

Now, what I'd want to check in with you about is if you're saying you TRULY think the world is going to end, or if you just mean this is very important to you. Because those are pretty different, and there's nothing about adolescence which makes extreme anxiety or fear something to blow off: those things aren't part of typical development.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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ShanShan
Neophyte
Member # 49994

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To Patrick:

It actually has been working, I have found that drawing really helps me calm down because I get to express myself on paper. But there are times when I am just set off.

To Heather:

I don't feel like the world will truly end, I just feel like when I am not there that they are talking about me negatively or someone says something about me, and it just frightens me. I am afraid that if I am not there I could lose my friends or they could just...

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I have a wonderful bunch of coconuts.

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Karybu
Scarleteen Volunteer
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What makes you think your friends would be talking negatively about you when you're not there? Have they ever given you any reason to feel that they'd be saying things about you if you aren't around?

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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ShanShan
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This is the first year where I have had good friends, my other friends from the past have always been two-faced and talked about me. The thing is, I know in my mind that they probably don't, but it still scares the crap out of me if they do. Plus, there are people on our collective group who do talk about me, my good friends say they defend me, but still it scares me...because I am always thinking what if they agree with them and are just making me think that they are defending me.

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I have a wonderful bunch of coconuts.

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Karybu
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Given that you've had people talk about you in negative ways before when you aren't present, it's not really surprising you're concerned now: it can be tough to trust new friends when we've had negative experiences in the past. Ultimately, though, it doesn't sound like you have anything to be concerned about with your good friends now, and I don't see any reason from what you've said here to think that they aren't being honest with you.

Have you talked to these good friends and let them know that this is a bit of a sensitive thing for you, given your past experiences? Maybe if you knew that they were fully aware of how important this is to you, that would help you be a bit more comfortable?

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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