A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist
Best friends often say things without thinking about how their words may affect each other. Read on to learn how to teach your teen how to handle misunderstandings.- Sandra
“I started playing basketball on a team a year ago. One day, me and my BFF were shooting baskets and she told me she was better than me at playing basketball. That may be true, but what she said hurt my feeling! What should I do?”
I can appreciate that what your friend said about her being better than you, at a sport you are trying to compete in, did not feel nice. Since you are BFFs, I think it could be helpful to let her know how you feel.
The problem isn’t that she thinks she is better than you at shooting baskets. You, yourself, said she is really good. The problem is that she didn’t seem to understand how her words affected you.
The question I have for you is what did her words mean to you? Did they mean that she doesn’t care about you in the way you thought she did? Do they mean that she is somehow no longer your equal? To be able to communicate what you feel, it is important for you to understand what you are feeling.
Adolescence is a time in life when teens are trying to figure out who they are. By comparing yourself to others, you find out what you are good at, and where you may have to work harder. Your friend may have simply been trying to feel good about herself.
Adolescence is also a time of feeling vulnerable and a little insecure. Which is why teens are very sensitive to things that are said by their friends. This may be why it feels really uncomfortable to talk to her right now.
Something else to consider is that there are often expectations that go along with being best friends. I would guess that one of these expectations is that a best friend would cheer you on, and believe in you. It can be shocking and disappointing when your friend says something less than positive or encouraging.
Communicating how you feel in a kind and respectful manner can go a long way towards repairing this relationship. Your friend may not have meant any harm, and may even believe that you are better than her in other areas. Perhaps this situation could be an opportunity to strengthen your relationship, by discussing what it actually means to each of you to be each others best friend.
If your teen or young adult child is struggling socially or emotionally, I can help you to discover the cause and remedy it.
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