Ask Jonathots … August 6th, 2015

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I’m worried about my best friend. We are both sixteen and have played on our school football and basketball teams for years. So this past year my bud has been changing. He’s avoiding me and other friends, too, and says that he’s not going to play next year. I really think something is wrong, but when I ask him about it he just shrugs me off. What should I do? It’s his life, but I want to intervene.

Two words: best friend.

If he considers you to be his best friend, the question you have to ask yourself is, “Why isn’t he sharing with me?”

Don’t ask the question to make yourself feel bad. Understand that if you are his best friend and he’s not sharing with you, there are only two logical reasons:

  1. What’s going on in his life is too embarrassing to share with anyone else.
  2. He doesn’t think anyone would understand–including you.

Then ask one more question.

Which one of these two possibilities can you address?

You cannot eliminate his embarrassment, but you certainly can express to him–through your actions and your own personal confessions–that you can be trusted and that he can share without fear.

When I can’t get friends to open up to me, I take them to the side and admit something personally with them. Just letting them know that I trust them and that I have problems is often the catalyst that will open their hearts to consider unburdening themselves.

As long as people view you as an unknown, they will avoid you.

You can’t take the embarrassment out of an embarrassing situation, but you can confess some of your weaknesses in private with your best friend–letting him know that there’s no shame in a struggle.

The only real darkness in life is to continue to struggle in shame.

 

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