Devil’s Advocate

Dear Devil’s Advocate,

I have a problem. I have a group of friends I hang out with and they are all pretty cool, but they always make fun of me. I am always the butt of all their jokes.

They laugh at everything I do and I am sure they call me names behind my back.
I never did anything to deserve this treatment and I never make fun of any of them.

I just want to know how to stop it from happening. I’m sick of it. I want them to respect me for who I am.
Can you help me out?

Sincerely,

Disrespected Dave

Dear Dave,

Well “Aretha”, hopefully I can help you get just a little bit of r.e.s.p.e.c.t. from your friends. The most important advice I can give you is to respect yourself and to behave in a manner that deserves respect.

Nobody is going to respect you if you don’t respect yourself. You have to be confident in yourself and your actions.

If you aren’t confident, you better learn to fake it pretty well. Just learn to believe in yourself. It takes time and practice, but it’s necessary.

If you want respect, then you have to deserve it. You have to earn it. Your friends might make fun of you because you do stupid things.

You have to stop. No more picking your nose. No more showering every other day. No more acting without thinking.

Of course, if this doesn’t work or if it’s simply too difficult for you to achieve, then there is another solution.

Find new friends asap! If they were your real friends, then they would never call you names, or make you feel like gum on the bottom of a sneaker.

Going to a school this big, there are plenty of opportunities to meet people. Join a club, run for student council, check out campus ministry, look in to Greek life. The sooner you start to meet new people, the better you will feel.

Sincerely,

Devil’s Advocate

Dear Devil’s Advocate,

I have been best friends with this girl, Anna, for eight years now. We have gone through puberty, high school, family problems together, and have always been each other’s person.

For the last year, Anna has been going out with this real jerk. At first, he treated her like gold, but as the months went on his shine diminished.

He refuses to see her on the weekends, and when they do hang out all he does he is criticize her appearance and mannerisms.

What makes this worse is that he has a history of cheating on past girlfriends. I do everything in my power to persuade her to get rid of the boy, but she wants nothing of it. What can I do to help my best friend who’s blinded by love?

Sincerely,

Troubled Trina

Dear Troubled Tina,

You’re in a very tricky situation here. As her best friend, your first instinct is to do everything in your power to get her out of that situation.

I’m sure if you could, you would kidnap the sleazy boyfriend and send him to the farthest place imaginable, but you can’t.

This has to be your friend’s decision because it is her relationship. She is the only one who knows what this guy is like behind closed doors. Maybe they have a dynamic to their relation that you have no idea about.

I’m not saying that it’s the right way of going about a serious relationship, but again, who are you to say what is?

If you keep trying to break this couple up, you’re going to end up breaking up your relationship. There will always be disagreement on this subject, because it is two different perspectives of this situation.

What you can do is to be there for her when it all falls apart, because it eventually will. When this does happen, remember not to rub it in her face with “I told you so” and “You should have listened to me.”

Hopefully she will learn her lesson sooner than later, so she can move on to a guy who deserves her.

Sincerely,

Devil’s Advocate