Dear Tori,

Last week I did something really stupid. I wasn’t thinking and then it just happened. I’ll spare the details but in short, it was really embarrassing. Not many people were around but what made it worse was that this guy I kind of like saw it too. Now I can’t look at him without feeling like an idiot because he probably thinks I am one. Then when I walk down the halls, it’s like people are staring. And you know that group of people down the hall probably laughing about a joke? Well even though I know better, I keep thinking they’re laughing at me, and a part of me thinks that they really are. I know only a few people were there during “the incident” but people like to talk and I can’t help but feel everyone knows. I don’t remember the last time I did something so embarrassing so I’m having a hard time dealing with it. Please help!

The Flustering Fairy

 

Dear Flustering Fairy,

Oftentimes, an embarrassing moment isn’t as embarrassing as you think it is in your head. And it’s especially not as bad if you tell yourself that it wasn’t so embarrassing.  Everyone has bad or clumsy days and makes mistakes; it’s only human. Sometimes people see those mistakes but when everyone does them, it’s not such a big deal.

I can assure you that not everyone knows about what you did because I haven’t heard anything recently about someone doing something stupid or embarrassing. When you emphasize a bad moment, you tend to emphasize the events surrounding it as well. If you dropped something in a quiet classroom, it sounded like the whole school heard it. Then the next whispers you hear sound like they’re talking about how clumsy you are.

It’s unrealistic to think it is true because simply put, you’re feeling a little paranoid since you haven’t gotten over what happened last week. I’m sure that even if you are still thinking about it, other people aren’t. I know because I’ve done embarrassing things too and often the next day, people don’t even seem to remember.

It’s easier to see the one embarrassing thing you did in contrast to the many “normal” things you do every day. Try to look at the whole spectrum instead of focusing on one part. Meanwhile, if some guy thinks any less of you because you did one stupid thing in front of him, he’s definitely not worth liking.

But chances are he’s forgotten along with everyone else who was there. Instead of hiding from him, you should get to know him better if you kind of like him. Finally, you should remember that it’s okay to laugh at yourself sometimes and this really helps when you do something embarrassing per se. If you think it’s funny and not embarrassing, then so will others. And you won’t focus on it because it’s not a negative moment like an embarrassing one.

 

To boycotting embarrassment and remembering to smile,

Tori

 

 

Dear Tori,

My best friend has a girlfriend and they’ve been together for over a month. I’m really happy for him and everything but I also feel like a third wheel. For a long time it was just us hanging out at lunch and after school. Now I hardly catch him alone and I can’t remember the last time I had a proper conversation with him. When I’m with him and his girlfriend, they’re always having their own conversation that I often can’t relate to. His girlfriend is nice and but sometimes I just want to spend time with my best friend. They seem to be tied at the hip though. He won’t leave her even if I ask him to hang out as just the two of us. I’ve told him plenty of times that I feel like a third wheel but he keeps telling me nothing is wrong and we’re still best friends. I don’t think he’s really hearing me, and he says we’re still best friends but it sure doesn’t feel that way. It feels like we aren’t even friends but I don’t want to lose this friendship. What should I do?

Wannabe Unicycle

 

Dear Wannabe Unicycle,

You should definitely talk to him, again. This time, however, be more specific than just saying you feel like a third wheel. It may take longer and be a more emotional conversation but he’ll finally know exactly how you’re feeling and it’ll be harder for him to brush it off. Tell him how he’s been spending a lot more time with his girlfriend, causing you to feel excluded and like you two aren’t friends anymore.

You could tell him how it would be harder for him to see it because he’s not the one that has to spend time with people who are in a relationship. He has to see the situation from your shoes. Similarly, you also have to try seeing it from his perspective. He may not realize what he’s doing because he’s so caught up in his relationship. Although that’s not a very good excuse for his actions, it’s a possible reason.

Of course, in order to do this, you have to find a time to talk to him. I think even if he’s with his girlfriend, you should at least let him know you want to have a serious conversation. If you really can’t find a time in person to say this, you can call him, e-mail him, or something else you know will work.

When you have the actual conversation, nonetheless, I would recommend it be in person. It’ll be more personal and can help you both understand how the other is feeling. Also, it’ll make it harder for him to brush you off, or resign from the conversation completely without literally walking away from you.

Since you’ve been best friends for a long time, he probably wants to help you feel better about your friendship with him and his relationship with his girlfriend. By considering both your feelings, you can come up with a solution or a compromise.

This will take time so you both must have patience. Recovering from friendship bumps can make your bond stronger, though the bump itself can be fragile.

You don’t want this friendship to end and it sounds like your friend doesn’t either so you’ll have to be mindful and not make the situation worse. But you have told him many times about how you feel and if he’s disregarding your feeling intentionally, then you may want to rethink how you feel about being friends with him. Only you know if this friendship is worth fighting for or if it’s time to move on.

 

To overcoming speed bumps and remembering to smile,

Tori