The drama of teen friendships

Out of all the age ranges, the friendships within teens undergo the most amount of drama. Teens seem to attract drama. Whether it is with the opposite gender, or the same gender, friendships amongst teens is often complicated and dramatic. This holds true a little more so for the females, but is not strictly a feminine characteristic or attribute.

Why teen friendships often have drama:

Teens are adept at communication, especially teen girls. This is a great thing, but it means that they pour all kinds of energy into it. All of that energy leads to drama. If you put all of your energy into every conversation, you start to read into every expression, every syllable and how it is pronounced, etc. looking for hidden meanings, underlying messages, vibes, etc. The fact of the matter is, most teen girls get far more out of a typical conversation than is said, and this is because when they speak, they often mean far more than what they say. For example, a teen girl might say, “Cute outfit” when they really mean, “Wow, you look horrible.” They may say, “I’m not sure if I can go tonight” when they really mean, “I will come if I don’t get a better offer between now and then.”

Because of the way teens communicate, they are always looking for the thing that is not said, or the facial expression that gets to the heart of the matter. While boys are more direct, teens do not like putting themselves at risk, males or females, and so a lot of communication games are played, love games, etc. and this is why there is tons of drama in teen friendships.

How to not let the drama affect your actual friendships:

Drama creates problems more often than it does anything else, while it adds interest to life, it also means gossip, hurt feelings, insecurities, etc. So, avoid ruining your friendships with drama by deciding not to dramatize every situation. With your friends you have to agree to be upfront with each other, saying what you mean. You have to be able to talk to each other when there are problems, so that life is not about, “Did she mean this?” Is so and so mad at so and so.” Etc. You also should do what you can not to get offended too easily. Most drama comes from unintentional, or even non-existent offenses.

Tips for avoiding drama:

1.    Avoid gossip. Gossip feeds drama, so if you want to reduce the drama in your life, do not spread or listen to any gossip.
2.    Stay busy. The busier you are with classes, after school activities, family time, etc. the less time and energy you have to commit to drama. Drama is more prevalent in the lives of the bored teen.
3.    Don’t stew on things. If it is outside your control, or you are too chicken to ask what they mean outright, or if you don’t understand something someone did or said, don’t worry about it, and sit and mull it over in your head, just be laid back, forgiving, and cool.

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