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I’m not “that guy” anymore

How can I show my friends that I’ve changed?

Our elder has some tips on becoming “the interesting guy” instead.

Dear EWC

Growing up, I was never really into the popular crowd. I didn’t like how they laughed and made fun of the “weird” kids. I became good friends with the “weird kids” and became one of them. I constantly got picked on. And me being raised by a single elder mom, I was taught not to fight. It continued on, and still does. By 5th grade, I was sat next to a kid who I became good friends with. We talked about games and stuff us young folks do. He ended up introducing me to his group of friends and we hit it off. They weren’t really good people, but it was better than getting picked on. They always made fun of each other and stuff like that. I became like them, and by the time middle school came around, they started calming down and becoming better people. I didn’t, I stayed the same. I would constantly still get picked on and I liked to say stuff back because I liked their reaction, this is when the mistake came in. When I couldn’t find anything regular to say, I made fun of their parents and family (not knowing them, just stupid stuff) and I didn’t care when they got mad. I lost most of my friends because they didn’t like how I was.

When eighth grade came around, I suddenly changed and stopped, but the damage was still done. Nobody wanted to talk to me anymore. I apologized to everyone but nobody likes me. Some people forgave me but they still have that grudge. I’m nearing the end of sophomore year and I feel so alone, I don’t have anyone to talk to and it’s hurting me. Please help.

ConstanceF replies

As the saying goes, “Time heals all.” It sounds like you are very tuned in to your own shortcomings and have worked at overcoming them. With time, people will forget that you used to be “that guy”. Friendships change frequently during the high school years. Most people, even the most popular, have periods of loneliness too. People are changing a lot at this time of their lives, hormones are kicking in, bodies are morphing… Everything changes.

My best advice to you is that you look for groups that do activities you’re interested in. With Covid-19, that is pretty impossible right now for in-person meetups, but you can find groups online. Get involved. Meeting people virtually can lead to some pretty tight friendships. My daughter belongs to several groups that regularly get together in person to pursue the activities they like. Look for similar opportunities. Make yourself interesting. Always add to your store of knowledge and skills. Don’t be a showoff, but if you see someone struggling with stuff that you’re great at, help them out. Offer to mentor or tutor. When school starts back, look for after school groups that do stuff you like. Volunteer.

The next few years are important, but most important is that you contemplate who you want to be. Make opportunities for yourself to become better and better. People seek out those who are interesting to them. Make yourself the interesting guy. Best wishes on your endeavor.

Letter #: 458016
Category: Friendship

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