DEAR READERS: Happy New Year. Here are a few shorter answers for recent questions.
DEAR KELLY: I like a boy who is really popular, but in class he’s really nice and friendly. My friends say I’m wasting my time and I have no chance because he’s so perfect. Should I give up or try to make him interested in me?
DEAR SOPHIA: Sometimes friends give bad advice even though they think they are helping. Who says he is any better than you? Why would you have no chance? I’m sure you have plenty of wonderful traits that would make you a catch. Be yourself and see what happens. Maybe he won’t pan out romantically, but why not add another friend if he’s nice and friendly? Have confidence in who you are and the right person will come along when the time is right.
DEAR KELLY: If a girl calls you her best friend, texts you all the time, hugs you at school and tells you that she couldn’t live without you, does this mean that she’s just a flirt or maybe she likes you? Oh, and she has a boyfriend. I can’t figure her out. What do you think?
DEAR UNCLEAR: Not unclear at all. She has a boyfriend. This means she’s interested in someone else and you are in the friend zone, which doesn’t mean that everything she has said isn’t true. We do enjoy talking to our friends. Good friends are invaluable, so don’t view your role as a friend as a bad thing. If she continues to come across as confusing and unclear, call her out by saying something like, “I know you have a boyfriend but sometimes it feels like you like me more than just friends. Am I reading this wrong?” As awkward as it might seem, you will make her more aware of what she’s doing and you will get an clear answer from her on how she feels about you.
DEAR KELLY: I don’t know if I ever want to get married or have kids. Does this make me weird? And I don’t come from a messed-up family or anything. Even though I’m just in high school, it just doesn’t sound appealing to me. Is there something wrong with me?
DEAR BBB: No, it doesn’t make you weird. Think of yourself as independent or modern instead of weird. Weird somehow makes it seem bad or terrible, which it isn’t. There is nothing wrong with seeing yourself not interested in doing the whole family thing as an adult. Maybe you envision yourself traveling, doing a job that requires a lot of moving or having pets fill up your life. Whatever your reason is, it’s fine and you are OK. If someone tells you differently, it is their issue, not yours.
Accept that this is where you are now. It may change, it may not. Never say never.
DEAR KELLY: What do you say to a friend who constantly back-stabs you, talks behind your back and makes fun of things you say in front of your group of friends? I’m tired of it and don’t know what to do.
DEAR ALY: Goodbye. Adios. See you later. Call them an acquaintance because friends don’t treat friends like that. Stop investing in a person who makes you feel badly. Set good boundaries and follow through. Don’t allow someone to make you feel badly about yourself. If you tell them to stop and they continue, you might need to find a different friend group.
DEAR KELLY: My friend wears way too much makeup and it looks terrible. How do I tell her she would look so much prettier without so much makeup on?
DEAR BH: Ask her to join you at a makeup place that does lessons or shows you how to apply it properly. Tell her you want to learn some tips on how to do your makeup so it looks fresh and natural. If there is a cost, offer to pay as a birthday present. Or offer to do each other’s makeup someday and just do it lighter on her so she can see the difference. If she doesn’t want to go or puts up a stink about having someone else do her makeup, be accepting that she may not change. Somewhere along the line, someone told her it looked pretty and she lost sight that in most situations less is more.
The next time she sleeps over or you see her with just a little makeup, encourage her by saying, “Your face is so naturally pretty. You don’t need any makeup to look amazing.” Maybe if she starts to hear that, she won’t feel the need to cake it on next time.
DEAR KELLY: How do you deal with people who you don’t really like yet can’t totally avoid?
DEAR LIMBO: Smile and be civil. Keep the conversations short and brief, but polite and respectful. Don’t talk about them or your dislike of them to others. That creates drama. Use them to better understand yourself. Why do they bother you so much? What are the kinds of people you do like to be with? What specific behavior is that that you don’t like? Is it them or do they remind you of someone else in your life? Understanding the triggers will help you understand the feelings.
It’s easy to see the best in your favorites and the worst in people who bother you. Find something positive about them and think of that when you have to be around them. You might have to look hard, but everyone has redeeming qualities. Keep an open mind – your view on them might change one day and you might find yourself liking them more than you thought possible.