My Friends Don't Care When I'm Upset!

I am tired of picking up the slack with my friends. They get sad over a bad grade or something, and I always make them feel better.

But when I'm upset, they act like nothing happened. I don't get it. I tried talking to them about it, but they got all defensive. Please help!

Hey chica,

Your first option is to stay calm, cool and collected. Continue to play nice with your pals, so that you don't come off as an uber-meanie. First, try dropping some hints that you'd appreciate more sensitivity. Since your buds went on the defense quick last time, try subtle stuff like, "Hey, I was really glad to help you when you were so upset over that C+ yesterday. I feel like I'm really overwhelmed with school projects. Get a sec to listen?" Showing them that your relationship should be a two-way street might do the trick.

If that doesn't work it's time to be upfront again. This go round, get serious. Explain how important advice from your pals is to you. Tell them that while you love helping them out and listening, you need to feel some compassion, too. Be firm and stick to your opinion.

If nada works you might have to re-evaluate your friendships. If a pal-ship is way more work than it is worthwhile, than what's the use? Join an after-school sport or activity where you can surround yourself with peeps who support ya.

-Jean L.

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2/3/2010 7:00:00 AM