Talk about Girls What happens when she says, "Fine."
Fifty-five years ago, when I was a teenager, I learned quickly that when a girl says to you, “Everything is fine,” that’s not what she means. Somehow the guy is supposed to know that those words are a signal that she needs to talk but wants you to be caring enough to let her know that it’s alright to talk. It seems that fifty-five years later, not much has changed in teenage communications. In this clip, it’s obvious to the viewer that something is truly wrong with Bobbi (Rachel Hayward). And it’s obvious that whatever the problem is, she needs someone to talk to. Unfortunately, Jessie (Jessie Froese) is not prepared to deal with problems in their relationship. As most teenage boys, he has only one thing on his mind.
To say that teenagers are ill-prepared to face the hard realities of life is a sad truth in today’s complicated world. That which a young man thinks is fun to do often turns out to be a young woman’s nightmare. And when the young man refuses to acknowledge his inadequacies and lack of maturity, the young lady realizes that she must turn to someone else for help or handle things on her own.
You may ask, “What is her problem?” My answer is, “Does it matter?" Is one problem worse than another? Or isn’t it enough to know that a friend has a problem and needs someone to understand, be there, and hold judgement? Being a friend doesn’t depend upon how shallow or how deep the other person hurts. A friend knows the other person needs to talk through their pain and or problems. Sometimes, that person needs advice. And sometimes, that person simply needs a shoulder to cry on.
Alex Lickerman, MD, offered this definition of a friend: “The Japanese have a term, kenzoku, which translated literally means "family." The connotation suggests a bond between people who've made a similar commitment and who possibly therefore share a similar destiny. It implies the presence of the deepest connection of friendship, of lives lived as comrades from the distant past.” (Quote from psychologytoday.com, “The True Meaning of Friendship” posted Dec. 15, 2013)
He wrote further in his column in Psychology Today Online that a friend is that person in your life who is “committed to your happiness even if it means telling the truth when it hurts and will never ask you to compromise your principles to be their friend.” And the most important, I think, is that he says, “A true friend inspires you to live up to your best potential, not to indulge your basest drives.”
Perhaps what Bobbi needed at that moment in the story clip above was a real friend, not someone who is perfectly willing to ask her to compromise her “Christian” principles so that he could have a few moments of personal release. That’s not a friend. And that certainly isn’t someone you want to spend the rest of your life with.
Teenagers today are not stupid. They are not dilettante in their relationships. And they certainly don’t want to purposely hurt other people. Teens today want to have relationships; unfortunately, they lack the training and models in their lives that help them develop healthy relationships.
So, what are some tips on finding good, healthy relationships as a teen? Perhaps, we are looking at the same tips that adults use to find the same things. I would suggest that you look for and develop people with common interests, not necessarily the same interests; maybe people who have gone through the same difficulties that you have; someone who will treat you as an equal, and who shares common values and principles in their lives.
These are not the end all of suggestions, but perhaps they will help guide you as you work your way through life. No matter what happens, remember that there are plenty of people out there perfectly willing and ready to be a good, healthy friend to you. It’s your responsibility to be aware of how people treat you when you’re around them and make judgements early as to whether you should pursue that relationship. And if it’s best to “drop” someone, don’t be mean, just don’t be with them any longer.
Remember that your health and welfare are far more important than what other people are trying to get out of you. You are not a toy nor a thing to toy with. Look after yourself first. Then take time to get to know other people slowly. Then if you know you can trust them, then move on to a deeper relationship (which may not include sex). And remember that it’s okay for you to hold strong to your principles and values. And if other people don’t like that, then they’re not really worth your time.