Ask Anonymous Post #1

High School Social Life

The Incognito Pink Panther, My job is to be honest.

“I have a friend who’s gone through some traumatic stuff and has unloaded all of it on me to a point that it’s majorly affecting my mental health. I feel like I should be there as a good friend, but I’d also want to not have all of these awful problems on my shoulders. I’ve sort of avoided talking to her and since we go to different schools, it isn’t that much of a change, but I still feel like a terrible person for abandoning her. What to do???”

Feeling Horrible

Dear Feeling Horrible,

Now, to begin. My advice? Talk to them. This seems like an important friend to you, and cutting off your connection with them without closure will take a toll on both of you. Do you still want to be friends with this person? Be honest with yourself. If you do, then tell this person how you feel about them unloading on you. They may be dealing with some serious stuff, but that doesn’t excuse them affecting you as well. You need to tell them clearly that they’re hurting you. If they don’t do anything about it, then you might have to distance yourself. In the words of my friend, who has gone through something similar, “I felt like I was barely keeping my head above the water whenever she would keep on dragging me into her struggles. I’m ashamed to say I even felt resentful at some points. The thing is, we’re all kids here, and none of us should deal with these things alone. We are surrounded by a community of family, friends, and teachers, and if you ever feel like there’s a problem you can’t solve yourself, then know you don’t have to do it alone.” The point is, you’re not alone. If you explain it to your friend, they will understand (if they don’t, they were never your friend to begin with).

But, if you still want to be friends with this person, you will have to deal with these awful problems. I can’t tell you any other way. Friendship is a two-way road, and you will have to carry some of the burden if you want to remain friends. That’s just friendship. If you can’t do that, you’re gonna have to decide to maybe stop being friends with this person.

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How do I know when it’s time to let a relationship go?”

-Letting Go

Dear Letting Go,

Well, that is a difficult question. Simply put, it’s either you or the other person. If you’re in a relationship right now and you’re having doubts, it might be important to ask yourself some questions. One, if it’s you, do you love this person? Are they hurting you? Are you no longer interested? It’s important to be honest, especially with yourself. If you’re struggling in the relationship or hurting from it, then it’s probably time to let go.

Otherwise, it might be the other person. Perhaps they no longer love you or don’t want to hurt you, so they are still with you. If you have doubts like that, then maybe it’s time for a talk with the person about your relationship. Be careful with this though, because misunderstandings can stem from this (you know, girl dumps the guy because she thinks he doesn’t love her and he leaves her because he thinks she doesn’t love him and angst all around – I’m warning you now!) so don’t jump to conclusions. If you’re having any doubts, then talking to the person is the best solution and being honest with each other is essential. Then you can decide what to do. Good luck!