Forced Friends

I have a problem. There’s this woman my mom is really good friends with, and her daughter goes to my school, but she’s a grade younger than me. So because my mom’s friend is divorced and working several jobs, we drive her daughter (let’s call her Anna) everywhere. The problem is...I CANNOT STAND THIS GIRL!

She’s too shy to hang out with any of my friends, and she’s a perfectionist that will not settle for anyone being better than her. She insists on being polite to the point where it gets obnoxious (she gets mad if someone holds the door open for her), and whenever someone complains about something, she insists that her life is so much worse. Whenever someone brags about something, she insists she’s got better, and she cannot take criticism, constructive or not. She cringes whenever I bring up anything remotely mature (I talked about two of my friends who liked each other in front of her, and she was all “Ew! Ew! Ew! Shut up! Ew! Gross!”).

Anna is a seventh grade girl. We have NOTHING in common! NOTHING! Yet I am forced to hang out with her. And she’s so incredibly touchy! Sometimes my family will go over there for dinner, and I spent a lot of time talking to her older sister who I get along with great, and she and I teased her a little bit, and somehow she read into it. She wrote me this long letter saying how she was sorry she was burdening me with her friendship, and she would try and avoid me as much as possible in the future. And the thing was…I was relieved. But my mom forced me to work it out, and now Anna and I are friends again. I don’t think it’s a fault of either of us. We don’t fight, other than that letter. I just find her such a misery to be with. Plus, she kicks—hard. Whenever someone criticizes her or teases her even jokingly, or talks about something she finds “inappropriate”, or decides they have a crush on her, she kicks them. I feel like I should wear shin guards when I’m around her.

I also feel my patience wearing thin, and I’m afraid one of these days it’s gonna snap. I’m sorry this is so long, and I’m sorry I sound like a total complainer, but I’m fed up! I tried talking to my mom, but she just told me to deal with it. Please! I don’t know what to do!

    -Strawberry '

With all the differences between you and Anna, she’s probably as unhappy being forced to hang out with you as you are. Because of your moms’ friendships, though, you will both have to put up with each other. So try to find some common ground, maybe a movie you both like or a store you both like to shop at. She probably won’t ever be your best friend, but finding something that you can both like and agree on might make your time together more tolerable.

If she does brag or behave in a way that upsets you, try to talk to her in a calm and polite manner about why it bothers you. She might not realize how her actions seem to others. Being mean to her or complaining about her will probably only frustrate your mom. Just always keep in mind that you can’t change the situation, so try to make the best of it.

:), Andie

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8/26/2009 7:00:00 AM