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.

Finding friends in unexpected places

As a teenager, friends, and the drama attached can sometimes be a little overwhelming. Friends change, life progresses, you change, etc. Sometimes friends, and the work it takes to make friends can seem like more hassle than it is worth.

Why you should have friends:
As a teenager life can be full of changes, friends help you stay sane, and often act as an anchor during that hectic time. They can guide and direct you, support you, and be someone to have fun with. Without friends, life would be boring, lonely and much too school focuses. So, having some friends is always wise, but this does not mean you need a million friends. A few close friends are often better than twenty okay friends.

Who your friends are:
Friends is a term that many teenagers use liberally. However, when it comes to finding friends in unexpected places, it is important to understand what it means to be a friend. A friend is not someone who is going to back-stab you, gossip about you, or treat you unkindly. In fact, they are the opposite. A friend is going to be there for you when you need them. They are going to be trustworthy, and someone who protects your secrets. Friends are sensitive to your feelings, and would never intentionally hurt you.

So, when talking about finding friends in unexpected places, it is important to recognize this is not about finding acquaintances, or people to hang out with, but friends.

Tips for finding friends in unexpected places:

Never prejudge people. You never know when someone you run into has the potential to be a close friend. If you base your friend selection off clothes, hair, social status, etc. yours will be a lonely life.

Be open to making friendships. Sometimes you miss signals given by people that want to be friends because you have your exclusive group. The fact is, you should always be willing to make new friends, especially if they will be true friends.

Be approachable. You will not find friends in unexpected places if you are a snob, if you do not allow people to approach you. If you are short with people, rude, or stand-offish, no one is going to take the risk to be your friend who you wouldn’t normally befriend. So, be open and inviting.

Examples of unexpected places:

It is amazing where you can find friends. For example, you may get a job, and initially think that the people you work with are all weird. However, you may find you have more in common than you think, and that they end up being some of your favorite people to spend time with. The following are a few of the unexpected places that as a teen you can find friends:

1.    Your job. If you want to make any money and have fun during the time at work, get to know the people you work with.
2.    Your church. You already have a common interest, and somewhere you can spend time together on a regular basis.
3.    Your classes. You may not have classes with your existing friends, but you will be spending an hour a day with the people in your classes, you might as well search out some friendships
4.    In your locker section. You visit your locker regularly, you might as well spark up a conversation and get to know the others who locker in your section.
5.    Your bus. You live close, and you are going to have to be together for at least a few minutes each day, talk and get to know each other.