I feel ashamed of my best friend.

WARNING: Very long rant.
Hey, I’m a freshman girl in High School and am struggling with an issue with my best friend (who is also a freshman girl). Lets call her Alex. Okay so Alex and I have been best friends since 1st grade. She was always a little nerdy in elementary school but it wasn’t as severe back then. I was shy and kinda nerdy too. We hung out 24/7 and formed an inseparable bond. We didn’t end up going to the same middle school but we still talked everyday and hung out weekly. She was always herself around me. I could notice my own personality was maturing and I found a love in fashion and all things beauty. I started to open up in middle school and made a lot of new friends with similar interests. I started slowly realizing that Alex and had an extremely different personality than me and she was kind of a geek. She began to obsess over Anime and Manga. Japanese slurs fell into her vocabulary and made me feel a bit annoyed whenever she used them. I also began to notice how her outfits weren’t as fashion forward as mine were. She never wore makeup or did anything with her hair and dressed very plain and nerdy. She had went to a uniform school and wasn’t used to picking out outfits everyday like she’d have to in high school. She didn’t have much care about how she looked but I decided to ignore it. We graduated middle school and were both super excited to start High School together at the same school. She talked about how great she’d look in high school and how we’d spend every lunch together. And then when school began (A month ago), she showed up to the first day of school in an embarrassing outfit. She wore a tight fitted grey tee shirt with baggy grey capris and grey converse with long frilly socks. People gave her looks. She could tell I was surprised. I had given her much of my nice old clothes over the Summer which she said she liked. I gave her outfit suggestions based on the clothes in her closet for the rest of the week. She made excuses such as it’s “in the wash”, she “couldn’t find it” or other excuses. She continued wearing nerdy outfits out of laziness. She basically threw on the first outfit she pulled out of her drawer. I decided for her own good to let her know about her fashion. I called her one day after school and said “I love you as a friend and needed to let you know that your outfits reveal an unconfident, lazy personality. You should put more effort into your outfits to feel more confident at school. I’m doing this because I care about you.” And it was because I cared about her, if I didn’t care I’d ditch her completely. She cried a little but understood and admitted her outfits revealed she was not confident. She began to put slightly more effort into her appearance, but eventually she’d be too lazy and stop taking my suggestions. Not only that, but she brought a nerdy, purple insulated lunch box everyday. I remembered she had a lunch box in elementary school but assumed she had stopped using it by middle school. I was wrong. She brought it to school everyday which embarrassed me. I dropped hints saying “why don’t you bring a brown bag? you can throw it away and won’t have to bring it back home.” She made excuses like “My parents would get mad if I got rid of it. What’s wrong with it anyway?” Barely anyone used lunch boxes in my high school, only weirdos and nerds. But I guessed she enjoyed being a nerd. She continued using annoying Japanese phrases like calling me “senpai” or saying “desu” it bothered me greatly and I told her not to say those things around me. She tried but nerd phrases sometimes slipped out. She enjoyed being with me at lunch but I always questioned in my head why I still hung out with her and how I even became friends with her in the first place. I regarded those thoughts as selfish, she had been my best friend for over 8 years. I tried to ignore her nerdy personality and enjoy her as a person. I tried and tried but everyday my mind thought in an angry way. I wanted to be with my other friends who shared interests with me and not feel embarrassed. I wanted to feel proud of my friends. You’re probably wondering, why didn’t I bring Alex over to hang out with my other friends all together at lunch? Alex was awkward with others. She creeped people out, hugging people when she first met them and talking to them like they were her family. It made others feel awkward. I had seen it when I introduced her to one of my friends. She couldn’t possibly fit in with the rest of them. They wouldn’t make fun of her, but it would always feel awkward. I feel so embarrassed of her at school but I still feel like I can tell her about all my other personal issues. I love her as my friend and thats why I’m struggling here. I know I probably sound like the most conceited bitch ever, but what do I do? I can never enjoy myself when I’m with her at school. Please help ❤

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6 thoughts on “I feel ashamed of my best friend.

  1. MargieCharles says:

    [To put this bluntly: you’re being incredibly mean and self centered.

    Read over what you wrote, and try to pick out how many times you become personally slighted because of aspects of Alex’s personality. Her behavior *is not* offensive, and you’re becoming offended because she doesn’t meet your fashion standards, she doesn’t have cool hobbies, and because she carries a lunch box you don’t like.

    Nothing in your description paints Alex as a bad friend. I know that feeling like you fit in is an incredibly important part of your teenage years, and I’m getting the feeling you’re really worried about how others perceive you. Maybe you’re projecting your own insecurities onto Alex. You obviously seem to care about fashion and what people think of you (and there’s nothing wrong with that), but you need to realize that Alex has different priorities. She’s obviously discovered where her interests lie and what kind of things she sees as important, and it doesn’t line up with your viewpoints. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but there’s also absolutely nothing wrong with Alex.

    You shouldn’t try to change her, and you’re being mean in trying to do so. I know you think you might be helping her, but you’re not. You’re probably making her feel bad about herself, and you’re being one of those mean girls who picks on people even though you probably don’t realize it and it’s not your intention. When you suggest a different lunchbox to Alex or harp on her to dress more to your standards, you’re probably making her feel like crap. She comes up with excuses because she feels uncomfortable telling you how she really feels, which is that she’s just fine with her clothes and her lunchbox. Maybe she doesn’t feel like she needs to impress people, and that’s great.

    It sounds like you mean well, but you’re doing more harm than good. That phone call to her was especially cringeworthy and tactless. It seems like what it comes down to is that you’ve both grown into completely different people. That’s perfectly fine. But don’t feel like you need to make Alex conform to your standards in order to fit in. If you’re uncomfortable being friends with the “weird” girl, that’s your decision. At this point it kind of sounds like ending the friendship wouldn’t be any more damaging than continuing to beat Alex down.

    But when you get out of high school, you’re probably going to look back on your behavior and see it differently. You might look back on it with the maturity and insight of someone removed from the situation and realize that the two of you had just grown into two totally different people who made it hard to remain close friends, but I can guarantee if you continue to treat Alex how you have been that you’re going to look back on it and feel really shitty for treating an important person in your life with so much selfish disdain.

    • MargieCharles says:

      [I realized I didn’t give a ton of advice other than “stop being mean to Alex.”

      Some things you might consider if you want to try and keep up your friendship with Alex. I know you’re not completely coming from a selfish place. If Alex is receptive to the idea and you want to help her with her wardrobe, why not compromise? Obviously the girl knows what she wants. You’re not going to be able to impose your fashion sense on her, but you can help her to discover her own. Find out what styles and things appeal to her (and, yes, they might be Japanese inspired) and help her put together a kick-ass wardrobe. Maybe you can find what sort of makeup or hair styles appeal to her and help her with that as well.

      Basically, you can’t make Alex conform to your own standards, but you *can* help her to become confident in the styles and things that interest her, and maybe that’s an area you can bond over.

      If she is awkward with people, she probably realizes on some level that people finds her hobbies are weird. And it’s probably a double-edged sword because if someone has different hobbies and people make them feel weird about them, then they start acting even weirder.

      Basically, Alex can use your help, but it’s not in the areas you think. You can help her to embrace her quirkiness and find a way to polish her style and hobbies.

  2. resullins says:

    [Oh wow. I have a lot to say here, but I’ll try to keep this concise.

    You need to just let this girl go. You are not good for her, and you’re going to cause some really serious damage to her self-esteem and independence, if you haven’t already done so. Your letter sounds so self-centered, I’m surprised you’re even aware of this poor girl in your presence. She is different. That’s not a bad thing. Yes, she will probably get made fun of. She will probably get looked down on. But you know what’s going to make that worse? You trying to make her fit into a group where she clearly doesn’t belong and isn’t appreciated.

    Let her go find her own friends, cause sweetheart, you’re not one of them anymore. And I’m not saying that to be mean. You’ve grown apart, and you’re trying to hammer this girl into the mold you’ve created for her in your mind. But that never works, and frankly, you’re kind of being a b*tch about it. If the only thing you care about is how she dresses, and how she looks, and her embarrassing hobbies, and her lunchbox… you’re being superficial and are not her friend.

    Cut bait and walk away. Go hang out with your “friends” who all dress nicely and don’t have any dorky hobbies and conform to what you think young girls should act and dress like. Let Alex be herself and find friends that appreciate her.

  3. Matt Sanchelli says:

    [While I commend you on wanting to try and salvage the friendship you’ve had with Alex, I do believe it’s time for the two of you to part ways. This could turn out to be temporary…or it could be indefinite.

    Where you say your personality matured during middle school, I would phrase it that the two of you each began to identify your own individual personalities; yours being what could be consider popular fashion and beauty, and hers being geek culture and Anime.

    You’re trying to fit her into a mold that you believe she needs to fit in. It’s like the old adage of trying to shove a square block through a triangular hole…it’s not going to happen.

    Reverse the situation here. Imagine she approached you and told you, “Hey, I love you as a friend, and I’m only telling you this because I care, but you spend way too much time focused on how you look. People give you weird looks because you were these complex outfits and it looks like you spent hours on your hair and make-up.”

    Would that feel good? Doubtful.

    You say her outfit choices are mostly out of laziness, but did you ask her what she thought about her wardrobe choices? (before you told her it made her come off as lazy and lacking confidence?) Odds are she didn’t conform to your outfits and suggestions because she didn’t feel like herself when wearing them.

    Again, reverse the situation. Would you feel comfortable wearing, for a day, baggy capris with frilled socks, a pair of Chucks, and an Akira (that’s Anime) t-shirt?

    While I despise having to comment on this particular aspect of your post (and believe me when I say it does at least say something positive about your character that you came here asking for assistance…regardless of the motivation)…it hurt ME to read, “I tried to ignore her nerdy personality and enjoy her as a person.”

    You’re basically trying to ignore her…who she is.

    If that’s the case, the best thing you can do is to just let your friendship naturally dissolve. It happens. You’ll both begin to make your own circle of friends and eventually you’ll spend less time together. Just remember that this doesn’t mean you don’t have to be civil toward one another. You can still talk from time to time. Say Hi. Not be embarrassed when you see each other.

    Most importantly…remember that even if you two end up not being as close of friends as before…remember that you once were friends. If you notice someone laughing at her, or the other “weirdos and nerds” she’s hanging out with…don’t laugh along. Don’t ignore it. Speak up. It could be something as simple as, “Stop.”

    ***by the way…lunchboxes are making a comeback, if not already have. I’m 33, currently looking for a new vintage 80’s tin lunchbox to use every day at my job*** 😉

  4. Anonymous says:

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