High school is a crucial time in everyone’s life to make long lasting and impactful friendships. Some Northwest seniors have been friends since freshman year, others going back as far as elementary school. However, you don’t have to know every secret about each other to be a good friend to someone because even the longest friendships can grow sour and become toxic. Today, the Jagwire presents friendship tips provided by our very own Northwest students and alumni.
Over time, any friendship could fall apart or be filled with tension for a variety of reasons. Senior Bailey Thompson said in a survey that most friendships fall apart due to “romance, drama, miscommunication, lack of communication, [and] lack of friendship to begin with.” Which many other students agreed on as well. An abundance of students such as Senior Alyssa Coates agreed that “lies and no trust” plays a large factor in weakening the bonds of friendship. Everyone has that one memory of a feud that sprouted from disagreements or hurt feelings that had everyone feeling on edge, wondering if the friendship would survive at all.
Altercations with other people could also start from within yourself without needing the Disney Channel drama of spreading rumors or having a significant other take all of your time. “Good friends go through that age where so much is happening hormonally as they get closer to adulthood and people are changing and trying to figure out who they are,” Northwest Counselor, Mr. Flach expressed. “Whether its relationships outside the friendship, girlfriend, boyfriend, it changes the dynamic. Who we are and what common interests we have is what brings us together as people, but high school is about exploration.” He shared that most of the friendship conflicts happen in this school are due to that very thing.
Another problem when it comes to communication is social media. “Social media creates the biggest conflict in teenagers as a whole,” Mr. Flach explained, describing how social media often conveys to other people confused feelings and misunderstandings from posts or muted expression in messages, which “takes conflict to a whole new level.”
Ways to Heal a Friendship
However, there’s no need to worry, Northwest Alumni have definitely been through the perils of conflict with another friend and had a piece of advice to share. Overall, everyone agreed that communication was very important to saving any friendship. Class of ‘18 Sam Giatica answered in a survey that “admitting faults and giving unconditional love” was what was needed to make things better, along with Sarah Mulberg, class of ‘19, who simply stated “good communication.” If you ever have a problem with the way your friend is treating you or have a pent up concern, it’s best to not hold it in any longer or you’ll get so fed up that you’ll explode. “Hanging out with the person more and more” is another great tip, from class of ‘19 Matthew Brady, if you hardly see said friend. With different classes, clubs, and activities taking up one’s schedule, it could get increasingly more difficult to remember to sit down and see how your friend is doing, which also makes it easier to drift apart as you both go on with your lives. Here’s a list of fun things you can do with friends without spending too much.
Now let’s look at the possibility of you being the friend called out in question. It’s best not to get flared up and angry, lashing out from the complaints that are being given to you. “I always try to see things from their perspective and realize friendship is never one-sided,” said Jamie Shegogue, class of ‘19. This is an exceptionally good piece of advice for those who unknowingly passively listen than understanding. It may be hard to understand that you’re doing anything upsetting to other people, but it’s better to try to understand and make your way towards fixing the problem instead of dwelling on the accusations itself.
If you’ve lost a friend in the past or are currently going through a rough patch, just know that you’re not alone. Many friendships just don’t work sometimes, but make room for better ones in the future. “We all have to go through these things as a rite of passage,” Mr. Flach said. Just remember; communication, honesty, trust, and loyalty are very important and will take you a long way!