The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Devil’s Advocate

Q: My friend and I both have been playing on the same team since freshman year. We have a couple of classes together so (with practice and all) we see each other a lot. Lately I’ve been noticing that she is really starting to slack off. Sometimes she doesn’t come to class, and she doesn’t do as well in practice. I’m really worried about her. The classes that she misses are important for her major, and if she doesn’t start pulling her weight in practice or at least try to do better, she may not be playing on the team too much longer (which would be really bad for her because her sport is what she really loves). I have tried talking to her about it, but all she does is tell me that everything is fine and that not everything in her life is my business. How do I approach her again before it’s too late?

-More Than a Troubled Teammate

Dear Troubled,

In what manner did you approach your friend, and exactly what was the topic of your conversation: her performance in school or her performance at practice?

If the latter was the opener to your one-man mediation, your friend may not have felt that you were, in fact, being her friend. Your concern for her may have come off as concern for excelling in your sport, which would explain the less-than receptive response from your buddy. This could especially be true if she really is going through hard times right now. No one wants to feel as if he or she is at the bottom of a confidante’s priority list during a time of need.

My advice is to approach your friend/teammate (notice that I said ‘friend’ first) again as soon as possible; you and I both know that the semester is quickly winding down, so if she is going to get her act together, she should do it soon. And as far as the ‘how’ part of your problem goes, simply explain everything to her as you have to me. Describe to her exactly what you see going on -classes and practice- but emphasize your motives for bringing such things to her attention: simple, yet sincere, concern.

Q: There is this girl that I like, but I can’t seem to relax and let her get to know me. We work together so the other night when we got off, I asked her if she would liked to hang out for a little bit. She did, so we sat and talked for about an hour. The only thing was that I did most of the talking. After I got home, I realized that I still didn’t know very much about this girl after an hour of sitting and talking with her. I feel so stupid because I thought back to it and I just rambled the whole time. What am I supposed to do now?

Rambling Romeo

Dear Romeo,

Before I get to your question, I feel it absolutely necessary to comment on how refreshing it is to hear that a member of the male sex is concerned about wooing a female. You have no idea how sick I am of receiving letters from women worried about how they come off in the eyes of men! It has really gotten annoying, but you, Romeo, have restored my faith in the group of people who seek my advice: There is still hope for gender-balanced submissions! But anyway…

I really wouldn’t worry too much about the fact that you think you talked too much while in the company of your lady friend. Chances are that she let you do all the talking for a reason.

When it comes to one-on-one interaction, people can be very slick in an effort to appear interested and intelligent. In my opinion, the young lady let you dominate the conversation because she honestly didn’t have much to say. Maybe you caught her off guard in your casual, yet last minute request to hang out. Maybe she was a little tired after work and wasn’t working with all parts of her brain. Maybe she just didn’t want to talk to you (just kidding!). A number of factors could have affected your seemingly one-sided conversation.

So, where do you go from here? Back to her, of course! Invite her to hang out again, except do it the right way this time. Take this opportunity to arrange your first date with her. She’ll appreciate the well-mannered gesture, and it will give you something to look forward to. Just be patient and take it one day at a time. Besides, a girl of her nature may need time to warm up, and thus open up.

Do you need advice?

Do you have a problem that you just don’t know how to deal with?

Let us help!!

E-mail your problems to THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE at:

[email protected]

When e-mailing submissions, please be sure to include a name and phone number.

Submissions will be printed without names, but we need to know who we are calling.

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