Hello Tribelet of Mini-Women! It seems like most of you have found our new combined blog and have figured out how to comment. Thanks for being so patient with the change-over. It’s one of the many reasons you absolutely rock.
Today our topic is what to do if your friends talk, talk, talk — and did I mention talk? — about themselves, but when you feel like it’s your turn to share, they’re barely listening. You know the signs:
* their eyes glaze over
* they kind of go, “Oh, yeah, that’s cool,” and go back to talking about themselves again
you think for a minute they’re interested because they say, “Oh, yeah, I get that!” but then they go on to say, “That happened to me and I was like, blah, blah, blah.”
or they just go on talking as if you hadn’t said a word
ASHER and SARA both said they’ve had that happen, and I’m sure more of you have too. We start to feel like: (a) we must be the most boring people on the plant or (b) we have the rudest friends ever.
It really is rude when people blow you off, especially when those people are supposed to be your friends. What … did they just become your buddies so they’d have an audience? Seriously?
But just like with every other friendship flub, we can’t change other people. We can only work on ourselves. So what can you do in this situation?
(1) Be sure YOU are listening to THEM when they talk, and not thinking about what you’re going to say if they ever hush up. SARA says that’s what she’s doing. Good on ya, Mini-Woman. Listening doesn’t mean just being quiet while they go on and on. It means asking questions, making comments … actually BEING interested. If you don’t really care what they have to say, um, why are you friends?
(2) Think about whether what you want to talk about fits the conversation. Let’s say two of your CFFs are discussing how hard the vocabulary test was and you chime in with, “I think math is SO easy. My dad’s been helping me and blah, blah, blah.” Oops. Now YOU’re doing it …
(3) That doesn’t mean you should never change the subject. Just be sure everybody’s finished talking about that other thing before you take off on a new topic.
(4) Try starting your “turn” by including your friends in what you’re about to say. “What do you guys think about this?” “I couldn’t wait to tell you this — are you ready for it?” Then it isn’t like you’re “on.” You’re really having a discussion.
This is the hard part, and it happens a lot at this time in your life when you’re changing and so is everybody else. Sometimes the loss of interest in what each other is saying is that you are attracted to different things. Some girls want to talk about boys right now, and you might still think they’re absurd little creeps most of the time. Some girls are totally into music, and maybe you would rather read Anne of Green Gables than listen to Taylor Swift. Some girls are all about sports, and perhaps you’re more into art or animals. Being friends doesn’t mean you have to like all the same things, but it helps to have at least SOMETHING in common. If you just don’t anymore, you don’t have to stop being friends, but you can start looking around for other kids who get excited about the same stuff you do. They’ll want to hear what you have to say.
If you want to comment this week, tell us what you ARE interested in talking about with other people. We will listen to you!!!
Also — next week we’re going to talk (but not blah blah!) about what to do when your friends start acting all grown up and you still want to be the kid you are! If you’ve had any experience with THAT, tell us about it in a comment.
See you next Wednesday, Mini-Women.