I wonder whether she is my true friend

I have a best friend. She tells me all her secrets and even I do as she is very trustworthy. But if I tell her that she should improve in her studies and confidence, she just nods and spoils it instead. When I talk to some other friends of mine, she feels jealous; she wants me to be with her always. I love one Chinese actor but she discourages me. She doesn’t complete her assignments and doesn’t come to school on important exam days. All this is happening since the past two years. Even our teachers, family and friends tell me that she takes things for granted. Is she my true friend or not?
Anjali (15)

Dear Anjali,

Looks like you both are pointing fingers at each other, trying to boss each other and change each other; and this is making both of you resentful.

Each person is different — in thoughts, feelings and actions. Each person makes his/her own choices and is responsible for the consequences of these choices. Each one has to learn to decide what is good for him/her and what is not. Asking someone to change and do things — perhaps the way you think is right — can make him/her feel that you don’t accept him/her for who he/she is, and this can spoil the relationship. Also, telling someone to change will not make the other person take steps to change unless he/she wants to choose.

While you do care for your friend, you can only express your concern to her and perhaps make suggestions. It is up to her whether she wants to take your suggestions or not, and you have to respect that. Focus on enjoying your life, while keeping your friendship, too. I’m sure there are still things you both can enjoy together without getting in each other’s hair!

Nasreen Hashambhoy
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Nasreen Hashambhoy

Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.