It is with no shame that I admit that I still have much to learn. In fact, this fills me with the kind of nervous yet giddy excitement felt by young kids when they are about to start school. They fall just short of the experience required to be jaded by what has already happened, and are just naïve enough to believe that maybe it won’t be as hard for them as it most definitely will be. Yet I will be damned if someone tries to tell me that my life, though short, has not offered plenty of experiences from which to learn.
Common teenage problems include your parents not understanding you, having teachers giving you a lot of work during a difficult time, or maybe not knowing if the person you have feelings for also has feelings for you. Most people have or will experience all of these things. One day while watching YouTube video by the VlogBrothers, John Green offered the same advice for many situations: use your words.
That’s right. Three of the most helpful statements that I have ever been told and the most useful piece of advice I could ever give someone is something as simple as use your words.
As a teenager, much of the drama that occurs derives from a series of “he said, she said” situations. Your source of the gossip comes from someone who heard from a person who was told by the sister of the boy whose cousin is the best friend of one of the people involved. In some cases, the perils of social media reveal themselves in horrible assumptions involved with things such as subtweets. The underlying theme there being miscommunication, a problem easily solved by using your words.
Though it sounds simple, I am sure that many people can agree that it is a very difficult piece of advice to follow. It’s scary to tell people how you feel or to potentially get an answer that you don’t want to hear. No matter how much you think that you are avoiding something you don’t want, consider that what you don’t think you want to happen may be exactly what you need to happen. You probably don’t want the person you like to tell you that they don’t like you back. Knowing that they don’t like you back, however, means you now don’t have to spend your time and good mental space on trying to figure out if the 2-second eye contact you made in the hallway two weeks ago means that you two are going to fall in love.
Have you ever gotten frustrated that you couldn’t tell what was going through someone’s head? Have you ever asked other people questions about a situation with someone else and just couldn’t get the answer you wanted? That can all be solved by talking to them. I have been known to be upfront when I have a crush on someone. Or if I think someone may have a crush on me I just ask. If someone doesn’t want to be my friend anymore, I ask those questions too. Once you know the ending you can move on, whether that means finding a new beginning or starting a new chapter.
Yes, it’s scary and intimidating. Take it from me that it’s all worth it in the end. Stop complaining about other people when you can work with them and use your words.