Advice for the Meddling Friend

Advice for the Meddling Friend

We may just be trying to help, but sometimes there’s a limit.

It starts off as advice.

Our best friend comes to us with a relationship problem. They open our eyes to the innards of their relationship, allowing us a private screening to the chaos. It’s a classic scene: the best friend is in tears, crying on the shoulder of their trusted confidant (the part we play). They paint the picture of a horribly unhappy relationship; a no-win scenario for themselves or the significant other. Of course, they’re your best friend. The thought of someone, especially a boyfriend or girlfriend, making them feel miserable in turn sparks feelings of anger and discontent in your own heart. You give advice accordingly, depending on the situation, expecting your best friend – the person who trusted you and your opinions enough to tell you their problems in the first place – to take said advice.

Chances are, the advice you’ve just given will have to be repeated ten times over. The same problems arise again and again, and the more you give your best friend your words of wisdom, asked for or not, the less effective they seem. At some point the excuse of “I’m just trying to help,” is no longer valid.

Whether we like to believe it or not, we’re meddlers. We’ve all been there. So, what do we do instead?

1. Getting mad doesn’t help

As frustrating it is for us – the group of meddling friends – getting exasperated with your best friend for still having these problems or for not taking your advice is not going to help. If anything, it is only going to impact your relationship with your best friend. You have to think to yourself: which is more important, getting your two cents heard in another’s relationship or the relationship you have with your best friend?

2. Learn to let go

It isn’t your relationship. Your best friend and their significant other did not intend to have a third person involved with them when they started dating. If your friend chooses not to listen, understand that it is their choice. Once you’ve said your piece, disengage. It is not worth your mental health to be so invested in a relationship that, ultimately, does not impact your life.

3. Don’t offer advice so freely

Some of us need to realize that sometimes our best friends just want to vent. After so many times of sounding like a broken record, maybe don’t give your guidance so easily. Until the words, “can I have advice?” are uttered, concentrate on just being there for your friend. They are hurting, and they are looking to you to be their confidant that will simply listen without judgment.

4. Just be a good friend

Meddling sounds like such a negative word, but your friend knows it's coming from love. But remember, you can show love without interjecting into another two peoples' relationship. Be there in his or her time of need, and be the loving, understanding friend they know you to be.

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The Importance Of Empathy

How just meeting new people can make all the difference in your life

Merriam Webster Dictionary describes “empathy” as, “The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another.”

During such a time with increasing social, political, and societal divide, a better comprehension of empathy would do wonders to lessen this divide.

Attaining a better sense of empathy allows for one to build upon their perspective and have a better understanding of the people around them. While it may sound too cliche or rudimentary, the best way to build a strong sense of empathy is to explore new things and new people.

In high school I was involved with football, the TV show, the art department, the drama department, the spirit club, etc.. In the fall I attended community college, and now I attend the University of Southern California. I have been able to surround myself with people of different passions, socio-economic backgrounds, and perspectives. All of which makes up a lot of who I am today.

Then while I may have my own preconceived opinions and views, I have fostered some ability to understand the point of views and thought processes of the people around me. Whether it be an privileged high school athlete, or a low-income community college art student, I have been able to interact with people across the spectrum of perspectives.

Surrounding myself with such a variety of people shapes who I am and builds me a stronger sense of self. Then while all these people I have interacted may not be my best friends, nor may I even get along with them all, I at least know where they are coming from and look at them with more than one lens of thought.

From the high school students trying to do something new and build their resume, to the successful college student who just wants to meet some more people outside of their hometown, I cannot stress enough how much getting outside of one’s comfort zone and getting to know people you may have never even spoken to before.

Just by surrounding oneself with a variety of passionate and well-intentioned people, a strong sense of empathy can be fostered. With racial and socio-economic tensions flaring consistently, society would greatly benefit if people just grew better understandings of one another. Once everyone beings to appreciate and value all the different perspectives and point of views that make up this world, a lot could change for the better.

Cover Image Credit: Alexis Brown

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A Florida Assistant Principal Told Students Their "Fun Is Over" During Their Protest For Gun Control

Fighting for our lives is not our definition of "fun."

On February 14, 2018, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, experienced one of the world's deadliest mass shootings. Seventeen people were killed and 18 others were hospitalized. Innocent students and faculty members lost their lives because of one monster with a rifle, Nicolas Cruz (19).

Besides the fact that this is the eighth school shooting in the United States since the start of the year, mind you, it's barely been two months... the rifle used by Cruz was the exact same rifle used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting.

Oh wait, and the Las Vegas shooting and the Orlando shooting.

Now, I have a question and whoever thinks they have a logical explanation, please make your voice heard. Why is it, that an individual of 18 years can legally purchase a military-style assault rifle, but has to be 21 years old to legally purchase a handgun in the state of Florida? How does this make any type of sense?

Why is it that an individual has to be 21 years of age to legally buy and drink alcohol in the United States, but 18 to buy a gun? Why is it that our government has stricter laws banning Kinder Chocolate Eggs in the United States than tighter gun control policies?

Why is it that former Marjory Stoneman Douglas student, Nicolas Cruz, WAS STILL ABLE to buy an AR-15 rifle as easily as he did, after being tipped off to the FBI TWICE? Cruz was expelled from school, posted pictures on social media holding guns and even commented on a youtube video saying that one day he "is going to be a professional school shooter?"

The government has had far too many chances to set gun control regulations on their own and we as students are done waiting around.

Our politicians have failed us.

They keep failing time after time, and we are nothing short of angry that it has happened again.

On February 21, 2018, survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School made their way to our state capitol in Tallahassee, Florida to protest for gun control. Students all around the United States showed their support by conducting walkouts during the day to not only fight for their rights but their safety and their lives. Students do not feel safe. Our parents do not feel safe. Action must be taken, and that action is being taken by the future leaders of the United States, us students.

Today, a friend of mine participated in a walkout at her South Florida Highschool. She and the rest of the students had made it a decent 15 minutes away from campus where the assistant principal approached the group and said: "Your fun is over, get back to class."

She stopped, stared at him and said: "Fighting for our rights is not what I like to call fun."

Had the assistant principle not turned on the news? Was he trying to forget the fact that the mass shooting could have very well happened in the very school he works at? Or is it that his political party doesn't seem to find the importance of gun control? I don't know, but it's blind people like him that students are done obeying and just another reason to continue fighting for gun control.

This is in no way "fun."

It is also no secret that one political party is in favor of gun control while the other political party is not. It is also no secret that the political party who is not in favor of gun control also happens to be the same side as our president.

The real point I'm trying to make here is that recently, people are so caught up in the idea of what political party wants what, what political party is stronger than the other, that they do not stop to think about how their selfish acts of "who says what" is affecting the population as a whole.

Gun control does not mean taking guns away from people. We don't want your guns. Gun control simply means making it more of a process, making it more difficult for just any person to be an owner of a gun.

We don't want politicians passing laws allowing for teachers to carry guns in school as "self-defense."

Our government today doesn't even want to give our teachers money for basic classroom supplies but they are willing to invest in gun handling lessons? You can't fight fire with fire, that will just put everything into flames. Can you imagine if EVERYONE was allowed to carry a gun on their person for "protection?"

One little disagreement could suddenly turn into a death sentence as the person who gets worked up knows he/she has an easy solution sitting in their back pockets.

Our politicians need to focus less on how much money from the NRA goes directly into their pockets and focus more on making it more difficult for just ANY individual to buy and obtain a weapon, especially an AR-15.

Us students are not giving up. We demand change and we want change now. There are other "fun" things we'd rather be doing, than doing our leaders' jobs.

Cover Image Credit: ileana_palmieri

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