First things first, I freakin' love your stuff. I read the letters every time I see a new one whenever I get the chance. So, thanks.
Moving along, so I've got a bit of a problem that I need confirmation for the solution I've been currently using. Suggestions on what I should do are also welcome(Needed. LOL). See, I was this friend who'd do anything for the sake of others. I liked helping out others and I just couldn't say no especially to people I really care about. I was rather okay about this for the last 2-3 years, I didn't complain. And then last summer when I got separated with my classmates who were my only friends, I just went into a rather distant mode as I've come to realize from my lonely time alone that they may have just come to like me because I gave them benefits in terms of school stuff. I wasn't smart enough to realize how much of a slave I've become to them because of my absolute kindness. I thought that since school was over, they didn't need me anymore. I just became so distant and depressed that summer. Depression wasn't really new but, hey. I got depressed because I overthink a lot when I have nothing to do. College has been making me busy so it's not too much of a problem now.
Moving on, I'm an introvert and have what I think is social anxiety so I'm not really outgoing. Most of them hung out with people who were rather adventurous. I know I'm not that fun and outgoing but somehow it hurts that they have someone better. I don't even know if I had a best friend since most of my friends are rather the opposite of me. There's this one close friend but I'm hesitant to call him my best friend because he's really extroverted and he has several best friends which I know he would prefer to hang out with. There's this other one who was my ex but she has a boyfriend now and they're both so focused on each other that it seems like they've shut off all other people besides the two of them. I tried my best to adapt and what became of me is this numb person who doesn't really trust anyone that much.
I don't consider anyone now as a best friend since it only ends up being one sided. I'm just sick of it all, how people will only come to me because they need something. Currently, I'm being as selfish as I can without acting like a jerk. Selfish as in I'm trying to put myself in consideration, I'm trying to value myself more, and the likes. I only consider friends as friends, nothing that will go to the point of best friendship. I'm trying not to put my hopes up or expecting too much. I try not to get too attached to anyone. Is what I'm doing okay?
Trevor Locklear (age 16)
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You fell victim to the nature of most human beings to see someone who will be useful to them and take advantage of that. Anyone with a kind heart such as yours has been used by another person. The danger here is to become so jaded that your heart hardens; you don’t trust people because you’ve been used over and over. You then become blind when a good person does come along. You push them away and miss an opportunity for a golden friendship ... or more.
The trick is to have a delicate balance between being a complete tool and being a loner. This is something that, at 16, you’re just becoming aware of. You’re way ahead of me at that age; I didn’t really get a full grasp of this dilemma until my 40s!
What you need to do is learn how to become a good judge of character. Ask yourself these questions when you’re establishing friendships.
These ten questions can be your barometer for judging a person’s character.
Real friends want to hang out with you because they enjoy your company, not because they want something from you. Are favors part of a friendship? Sure, but such incidents should arise only occasionally, not as a matter of course.
How do you find new friends? By becoming involved in life and the many things it has to offer, you will be, inevitably, exposed to other people who share your interests. Sharing activities with them will establish bonds, and, over time, strong bonds as long as both parties are of good character.
Don’t give up on friendship yet, Trevor. Just learn how to be a better judge of character.
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