"Dear Carol, I feel like I annoy everyone around me!"
I am always being called annoying. My brother calls me it (but he's my little brother so that's expected), my "friends" in seventh grade called me that, and some cabin mates at camp called me that. Just now my brother told me some of the boys in my grade said I'm annoying when I ask a lot of questions in class. What do I do? I want everyone to like me, or at least have a neutral opinion about me. I have some nice friends who don't think I'm annoying, but I don't want everyone else to think I'm annoying
-Am I A Pest?
Dear Am I A Pest?,
You are not a pest. You are a person. And you don't like everyone, so everyone doesn't have to like you. Try to be grateful for your caring friends rather than worrying about everyone else at school. As for being a pest, your little brother may be stirring up trouble. But yes, make sure you are not just talking to fill airtime but also listening and letting others take the stage. As for asking questions or speaking up in class, that's a good thing. Studies show that, infuriating but true, at business meetings, men talk more than women and interrupt them too, so far be it for me to tell a girl to pipe down.
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