Q: “A few of my close friends have recently started experimenting with hard drugs. Although they’ve invited me to join them each time, I’ve always declined because I’ve had bad experiences with drugs in the past. I don’t think I have a right to express an opinion on their choices, but a lot of our time spent together now revolves around them planning to get drugs and joking about their last highs. I value each of their friendships deeply, but I’m starting to feel left out and even a bit annoyed at the lightheartedness with which they approach the topic. How do I maintain my friendships and truly respect their choices without compromising my own values?”
Friendship is a two-way street. It’s fantastic that you value your relationship with each one of them, but it’s also important that they feel the same way. In order to find that out, communication is essential, as it’s the basis of any real friendship. You should approach your friends, and let them know how you feel. Tell them that you enjoy hanging out with them, but that their drug use is starting to bother you for the reasons you just stated, such as feeling left out. While doing so, express your care for them so that they don’t get the wrong impression. After that conversation, let the chips fall where they may.
You’re taking the time to choose them, but don’t be hurt if they temporarily choose their relationship with drugs over you. This may not be a reflection of their feelings toward you; sometimes, substances can provide people with a false sense of comfort only they can overcome in time and/or through tribulation. No matter the reason or the result, know that you did your part in the friendship and move forward in whatever way you think works best for you. College life is all about growth, and as I’ve told other students who have written in, people don’t always grow together.
Q: “I’m a leader of a club and we’ve recently gone through applications and interviews for new members. One of my best friends applied, but her application wasn’t very strong and she didn’t seem confident during the interview. Our board decided to reject her, but I’m uncomfortable with the social situation going forward because three of our other best friends are also in the same club and we will definitely be talking/planning/doing activities that she won’t be a part of. She’s also a very prideful person and I know she will be hurt. Any advice on how to handle this?”
That’s a tough situation. First, I just want to give you props for being a solid friend and caring about her feelings. Even though she’s not in the club with the rest of you, it’s important that you all make separate time to spend with her so that she still feels valued and cared for. That will mean much more to her than being a part of any club. Also, don’t let her rejection from the club be the elephant in the room. Tell her that you all know it’s tough that she didn’t make it, but you still love hanging out with her and are going to make a concentrated effort to do so. You can’t change the rejection nor how she responds to it. All you can do is minimize her feelings by making her feel like the special friend she is, regardless of any club status.
Q: “There’s this girl I really like, and we always have good conversations when we see each other at parties. However, whenever I see her during the week and talk to her, she always reintroduces herself to me like we’ve never met. What should I do?”
From my thoughts, she’s either intoxicated when you two talk at parties, super shy, or playing games. I don’t know about you, but I’m not one for guessing, so I would call her on it and break the ice. Next time she reintroduces herself, smile and playfully ask her how many times she plans on doing that. Tell her you remember her name from the first time you two met because you enjoy talking to her and would like to get to know her outside of parties. Ask her when she’s available to hang out and get her number at that moment! You can’t figure it out without taking a chance, so don’t be shy.
Q: “Hey Addison, thank you for your column. I’m a huge fan! My boyfriend and I have been together for a few months now. He’s shorter than me (5’2″) and it’s only recently started becoming a problem for him. He’s asked me to stop wearing heels because it only makes him feel “worse.” I’ve told him it’s not a big deal, but he says I shouldn’t be wearing them anyways. He’s even posted on Facebook about the role of heels in upholding toxic masculinity which I feel like is to pressure me to stop. I just think he should let me make my own choice.”
Thanks for the kind comments, love! So, it sounds to me like your boyfriend needs a few shots of confidence. Sorry, not sorry. If your heels make him feel worse, he already felt bad about himself before you, and frankly, it’s not your job to fix him. Since you care, I would recommend talking to him openly for the two of you to better understand each other. Let him know about how it’s making you feel. Speak positivity into his life in an attempt to empower him so that he can begin to feel good about himself. If and when that happens, he won’t care about you wearing heels because his mind will be focused on how fly his girl is. Heels are sexy and empowering, so keep on rocking them as long as you like how they make you feel! Always make your own choices, and if your boyfriend still doesn’t support you, maybe it’s not meant to be.
Ask Addison is an anonymous advice column regarding relationships, college life, and everything in-between. Submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.