Toxic Friendships: When You Should Back Away

In life, especially in high school, friends come and go. There are friendships that do last for years and years, which I’ve experienced; and there are friendships that last maybe a month, which I’ve also experienced. It’s really tough to let go of a friendship, especially one that has lasted a very long time. But sometimes, there comes a time when you need to break off a friendship because it has become toxic. It’s hard to figure out whether a friend is a toxic friend, or if it’s just a problem that can be worked out. Here are some signs of a toxic friendship, and how to back away.

1. You provide them with something. Usually friends will give each other rides, borrow clothes, or help each other in other ways. But if it becomes a friendship in which your friend only calls you when they need something from you, you should take a good look at the situation. For example, a friend of mine has been troubled lately because a friend of hers – and an ex friend of mine – only wants to hang out with her when she needs a ride. Usually she’ll want a ride to the movies to meet some boy, which makes it awkward for my friend. friends should be friends all the time, not just when they need something.

2. They insult you. If someone is insecure, they will usually put down others in order to make themselves look good. Everyone talks about others once in a while, we’re humans. But if your friend is constantly putting you down in front of others, you need to stand up for yourself. Friends don’t make friends feel bad about themselves, especially on purpose.

3. They take advantage of your weaknesses. Here is an example: one of my major flaws is that I am one of the most forgiving human beings on the planet. If someone wrongs me, I will be quick to let them back into my life. Rather than helping you to gain strength in the areas where you are weak, a toxic friend will take advantage. If you are forgiving, like me, the person will know they can treat you badly and still be forgiven. If you can never say no to people, a toxic friend will take advantage and ask a million favors of you. A friend will not walk all over you, they will help you be stronger.

If you see these three things as a pattern in a friend, take it as a red flag. Re-examine your friendship and see if you are putting more into it than you are getting out.

“Oh no! I’ve got a toxic friend! What do I do?”

Confront your friend about what is going on. Demand respect and tell them that if they don’t change then you can no longer be a part of this friendship. Don’t do this in an attacking way, do it in a calm and fair way. Be willing to listen to anything they have to say about the type of friend you’ve been.

If they don’t change you can do one of two things: 1) Confront them again until they change (this won’t work usually), or 2) Sit them down and explain to them that you valued their friendship but you cannot be disrespected.  You can continue to be casual with this person, but don’t keep as close of a friendship as you had. Surround yourself with positive people, distract yourself, and let yourself be happy.

lastly, be proud of yourself for standing up for yourself and demanding respect. that is a huge accomplishment.

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How to Recover from a Breakdown

I began writing a very nice post today about Toxic Friendships (a subject on which I am an expert), but it never got done. Sorry to whoever has been reading this. Today was a really tough day at school, and I came home wanting to shower, lay down in my bed, and not come out until tomorrow. So in light of my latest personal tragedy at school, here’s some tips that are short and to the point:

1. Get past it. Quick.  – occupy yourself, talk to a friend, stop thinking about what ever is stressing you out. Do something mindless like playing Guitar Hero or taking a walk.

2. If you have to cry, do it.  – I’m a pro at this. Don’t hold it in, go cry. Cry alone if that’s your style. Personally I call my mom from the backseat of my car crying, then call my boyfriend from the backseat of my car crying, and tell them both my tragic story and how life is unfair and I’m not getting into college. Everyone has a different coping method. But don’t hold in crying, it will make things worse later.

3. Fix it if you can, Forget it if you don’t. If it’s something like failing a test, just do better next time. Stressing about it will not get rid of the bad grade. But if it’s something like a misunderstanding with a friend, do what you can to fix it. Don’t be too persistent though. accept the things you can’t change.

I’ll finish that other post when I’m less groggy. Have a good day!

Overcome the in-class Essay

It’s happened to all of us – you walk into your class, your teacher tells you to sit down, take out your notes, and write an essay. It’s possible that you’re someone who works well under pressure, so this will be easy. But if you’re like me, and a lot of other people, you’re terrified. So sit down, take out your pen, and take a deep breath.

Clear your mind. Don’t think about your test next period, the fight you had with your boyfriend last night, or anything else. Just clear your mind and look at the question. Read it, digest it, understand what it’s asking. Now you can…

Pre-write. Ok, I hate pre-writing. But it makes essays so much better. If you only have about 40 minutes (depending on the length of your class periods) then you should definitely pre-write a little. It doesn’t have to be an outline, just jot down your ideas and supporting ideas. Figure out what order things should go in. This will make the essay flow much better, and it will look organized. Now…

Write. Don’t think too much. Your teacher will obviously take into account the time constraint you had to write this essay. Waste no time, write what ever it is you pre-wrote. Then take a breath. You’re almost done.

Proof read. If you have time, check for spelling errors or simple grammar mistakes. Read it to yourself and make sure the sentences make sense to you.

There you go. You’ve survived your in class essay. Just remember to relax, and that your teacher knows that it isn’t going to be perfect given the time you’ve been given.

Friday Links.

Productivity: Snow Day Style.

So in my neck of the woods, it snowed last night. Although I already had school, I and all of my friends am snowed in (I had an accident in the snow a few months back, so snow = no transportation for me). There are two things one can do when snowed in: 1) sleep and do nothing. 2) turn it into a chance to be productive! The first one is self explanatory. Five ways you can be productive on a snow day:

1) Sort things out. Go through folders and notebooks and your desk, and put everything in it’s right place, where it can be found. Doing this now instead of your stuff being unorganized when you sit down to work will save you a lot of time.

2) Catch up. If there’s a reading assignment or a paper you’re behind on, seize this opportunity to catch up on it. You’ll thank yourself later.

3) Study. Is there something in school you’re having trouble with? Take this time to do some work to get better at it!

4) EXERCISE!  Shoveling, and walking through the snow to a friend’s house who is nearby will give you a good workout. 🙂

5) Help Others. If there are people on your street who are older or can’t do it themselves, go shovel for them! It’s good exercise and it’s a very nice thing to do.

Have a good snow day, guys. Well, if it snowed wherever you are. 🙂

**note: I’d like to thank my good friend and neighbor Michelle for numbers 4 and 5.

SAT Hacks – Stop Worrying and Start Succeeding

So I’ve taken the SAT once in my life so far. It was the old SAT, and I was in eighth grade in the John’s Hopkins “Talent Search” thing. I sat among a group of nervous juniors, and I didn’t really care how I did on the test. Next Saturday, I’ll go and be one of those nervous juniors. The difference between me and most of my peers is, I’m not nervous. Sure, I know there’s a lot riding on how I do on this test. But being nervous does pretty much nothing to help your score. Here are my suggestions for taking the SAT to the best of your ability.

Take a Class – I took a class since January, and I think it really helped me. SAT classes don’t teach you facts, they teach you test-taking strategies that are extremely useful when it comes to taking the test. The class will also force you to do work to prepare, when you might have procrastinated on your own with it.

Get a Book – I have the one the Collegeboard made. It has a bunch of practice tests. If you sit and time yourself, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how you’ll do when it comes to testing day, and what you need to improve upon before the day comes.

The Night Before – My SAT teacher told us this: The night before the test, don’t review anything, and don’t hang out with friends who are going to take the test. Personally, I’m hanging out with my boyfriend who isn’t taking it the next day, because he is not one to talk nonstop about the SATs, and so he’ll help me to keep it off my mind.

The day of the test – have breakfast, bring number 2 pencils and a calculator, and one more thing no one told me but I learned when I took it in eighth grade – wear pants and a t-shirt, and bring a sweater of some sort. You never know what the temperature of the room you’ll be in is going to be. It could be freezing, or really hot. If you are uncomfortable, then you won’t be as focused.

For everyone taking their tests the same day as I am, good luck 🙂

The End of My Cellphone ADD

So today, I purchased a new phone – which isn’t new, because I go through phones like you wouldn’t even imagine. But today was my actual upgrade day. And I finally got a phone that fits my needs. No qwerty keyboard or fancy touchscreen or anything like that. It’s the simple LG vx 8350 in red. It’s small, functional, and doesn’t have a hundred unnecessary buttons.  It has a simple calendar, and it holds like a million texts, which suits me well. 🙂

Just thought I’d share my joy.

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