Top Ten Teen Dramas
By Stephanie Lynn, age 22, Massachusetts
Ever had this happen to you? You spot a group of friends in the hallway, and they're all talking and laughing, but when you join the circle everyone suddenly becomes eerily quiet. What's worse, no one will look you straight in the eye. That's when you realize what everyone's been laughing about.
In a recent Sweet Designs poll, you said your #1 type of teen drama (319 votes) is finding out that "friends" have been talking about you behind your back. So what to do?
Most of us stand there quietly with a mix of anger and embarrassment, but mostly hurt, that people we thought really respected us have made us the joke of the day. I mean, what did we do to deserve it anyway? Do a Britney - go nutty on drugs and shave our head?
You could excuse yourself and say, "I'm gonna leave now so you can go back to talkin' 'bout me." Or perhaps "I respect my friends enough to not talk behind their backs."
Maybe the best thing to do is to call the best friend you have in that group and simply ask why. Maybe she'll be sweet enough to tell you why people are talking - it could be something you really did.
Face it though, sometimes girls can just be a bunch of beyotches. But the good news is most gossip dies in a day or two. You'll outlast whatever some doofus has said. No one will probably remember it by this time next week. So chillax. Don't do something stupid they'll remember even longer.
#2 on the list (with 289 votes) involves a best friend's betrayal. I wrote a story for this month's issue about how that happened to me in seventh grade. This is high on the Top 10 for a very good reason - "best friends" are best friends for a reason. Okay, mean girls are mean, our enemies hate us, and boyfriends and other friends come and go. This is all a rational part of Teen World. But when our best friend betrays us, the world as we know it catches fire and disintegrates like a marshmallow that got too close to the campfire. This is not supposed to happen!!
Usually best friends get over it - whatever "it" is - and life goes on. So if a major betrayal happens to you, remember this and try to repair the friendship. It's worth it. This is someone you might want to be friends with 20 years from now. So you must try your best to fix it now.
Sometimes best friends don't just have a fight ... they permanently split. In my case, Angie did a total "Cady" - she decided it was cooler to lunch with The Plastics than sit in cafeteria with a geek-slash-true friend like me. Sometimes it's not upward social mobility but rather a boy that's at the root of it all. I don't know which is more tragic. Best friends are everything! (You said THAT too in a recent SD poll.)
Of course, 104 of you admitted to being the betrayer, so I guess we're not all victims. Your honesty is noted and appreciated.
#3 (with 245 votes) was "Somebody said 'Nobody likes you.'" I don't think anyone gets through six years of middle school and high school without some total moron feeling compelled to inform them that, in his or her opinion, they're a complete social failure and total reject. There's something sick inside many of us that feels better when we knock someone else down.
If this happens to you, remember the real issue is the other person's damaged self-esteem. She was hurt by someone, and now she feels a need to hurt someone else. A confident, mature person doesn't need to knock others down to feel good about themselves. She has self-confidence and doesn't feel threatened, so she can compliment and encourage. Often at the heart of the person who needs to inform you about how others don't like you is a person suffering rejection or harsh criticism at home.
#4 (with 227 votes) involves a guy who lied to us. "A guy I liked totally lied to me about everything" was the way we worded it. Yep, this is what guys do. And mysteriously, we still want 'em. And so we fall for it again and again. Of course, in fairness, 124 of you admitted to cheating on your boyfriends.
Finally, #5 (with 225 votes) involves finding out you've been called a [insert vulgar name here]. Yeah, you know the words. Okay, the possibility exists that you really do have a reputation problem. I mean, there are two kinds - people who are just called one of those names (as in #1 and #3 above), and people who have real issues. If it's the first, it will probably pass in like two seconds, because everyone deep down knows it's not true, so it won't stick to our rep. But some of us do need a reality check. Are we dressing in a way that would make people say we're a [that word again]? Are we behaving like one?
Rounding out the Top 10 Teen Dramas were:
My "friend" tried to steal my boyfriend (208) [this teen drama started in biblical times]
I found out my boyfriend was cheating on me (191) [vs. 124 for you doing the cheating]
A "friend" told lies to ruin my reputation (178) [133 of you, uh, made up those rumors!]
My "friend" left me to be with more popular kids (168) [my Plastic "Angie"]
My boyfriend dumped me for my "friend" (142) [don't you just hate it when that happens?]
At the end of our poll, we threw in four interesting items. 291 of you said you try to avoid drama whenever possible. 137 said that your commitment to God helps you try to be kind and fair. A sweet "Yay!" for all of you!
Perhaps the most interesting result was that 256 of you said that you've forgiven people for whatever crap they've done to you. However, 160 of you remain hurt, vowing that you can never forgive what's been done to you.
That's understandable, because the fact it, kids can be cruel. There are things I'm still getting over. Even so, by forgiving and letting go, we move forward with our lives, and become mature, well adjusted, caring adults. Holding onto hate and pain often result in our taking it out on our spouses and kids later on ... in the same way that adults and other kids inflicted their hurts on us.