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Thoughts about teens, tweens, parenting and this adventure of living on Earth in the 21st century.

Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

“I get really jealous!”

October 18, 2011

We've all been there, and it sucks!

We've all been there, and it sucks!

Got an email the other day from a girl burning with jealousy because she and her friend like the same guy. Well, actually her friend used to like him, but now she’s not actually sure if she still does because it seems the guy said… But the two of them still… And this makes the girl who wrote to me feel like… Never mind, read it yourself:


Hey Terra,

A girl in my class and I like the same guy. Actually I asked her yesterday if she does like him and she said she dosen’t really know. This is because she told him last week that she liked him. He said he didn’t really like anyone right now. Then about a day later she told him that she didn’t like him. Now she told me that she stopped liking him because he didn’t like her back. So that’s why she dosen’t really know if she truly does or not. I know I really do like him. Here is the problem, they sit next to each other in many classes and they always talk! I get really jealous.

What should I do?

Jealous Jillian

Hi JJ,

Whenever you feel yourself boiling or burning with jealousy, notice the feeling. Then STOP whatever you’re doing. (When you abruptly put on the brakes, that’s a wake-up call to your body and your brain that says: “Wait a sec. I don’t have to go down Jealousy Street. It brings me down and makes me feel worried and insecure and unhappy. I’m not going there.”

Then take some SLOW DEEP BREATHS. This will calm you down. (It really works!)
Now… you say to yourself ,”What am I trying to do?”
You’re probably trying to:

a) get the girl and the guy to stop talking to each other

b) get him to start paying attention to you

c) ??

Most of the stuff that bends us out of shape is OUT OF OUR CONTROL. Really! If this guy likes this girl as a friend or something else, then that’s his choice. Same with her and whoever she likes. It’s her choice. You don’t get to control the emotions and behavior of other people.

You want a bf. I get that. It’s cool to have someone you like, like you back. But you can’t make that happen. It’s either going to happen or not. At this time or not. With this guy or not. What you can do is control your behavior. If you don’t like feeling “really jealous” then notice when it comes up, put on the brakes, take some slow deep breaths and turn your attention away from these two.

In friendship,

Hey Terra,

I got it. Thanks for the advice! I’ll tell you how it goes when it happens. 😀


UPDATE: Just heard from Jealous Jillian: “OMG!!! It worked!!! I saw them talking today and I just turned around, took some deep breaths and told myself, ‘If he likes me, he likes me and if he doesn’t, I can’t change that.’ And I just got over it!!! Thank you so much! :)”

Wow… that just made this teen advisor’s day!!

Filed under: Parenting,Teens — Tags: , , , — Annie @ 8:59 am

For Teens: What do you do after someone has lost trust in you?

December 28, 2009

When someone like a bf/gf or a bff trusts you enough to tell you personal, private information it probably makes you feel pretty special. And it should! Because this person means a lot to you and you want those feelings of trust to continue growing, you promise not to tell a soul. And you totally mean it. But then you find yourself talking to someone else and without meaning to hurt anybody, you tell the thing you promised you wouldn’t! As soon as the words are out of your mouth you get that “uh, oh” feeling. And things usually go downhill from there.

Has anything like this ever happened to you? It’s not uncommon.

Hey Terra,

My boyfriend broke up with me because he said I’ve changed. I have lost his trust, because I was telling people things he told me.  For example he told me that he was going to beat up this guy and then I told my friends. The topic of that particular person came up in the conversation and I thought my bf wouldn’t mind me telling my friends because they are like best friends with him.

I regret that I told them anything. I want to gain his trust back but I don’t know how to really “show” it. When I chat with him online he seems like he doesn’t want to talk to me and that really annoys me.  Today I was talking to him and he said that nobody could ever gain his trust back and that people only get one chance. I screwed up my chance. I really want his trust back again. I told him that but he said I should have thought before I acted. I’m not sure what to do please help !

Sorry Serena

Hi Serena,

We all make mistakes. (Welcome to the club!) But not everyone knows how to use a mistake to learn something about yourself and other people… and move forward with your new wisdom. I admire your self-awareness and I respect the fact that you’re not making excuses for what you did. You made a mistake, you’re sorry and it’s over. You need to forgive yourself.

If you can, try to remember what was going on in your head at the moment you decided to tell your friends what your ex told you. Whatever pressures or temptations you were feeling, it’s important to be honest with yourself about it. That’s really the only way you can avoid doing the same thing again. As for your ex not trusting you 100% any more, well, I’m sure you can understand that he feels betrayed. It’s a human response to pull back and protect oneself from being hurt again.

You’d probably like things between you to be back the way they were… instantly. But that’s not going to happen right away. It takes time to build trust in a relationship, and that can all vanish in an instant (as you’ve experienced). The long road back from betrayal to trust is just that… A long road. You can’t apologize or talk your way back into someone’s trust. Your actions, over time, will either prove to him that you are trustworthy or not.

My advice (since you asked) is that you forgive yourself for your mistake and continue to be the best, most trustworthy friend you can be. That’s all you can do. The rest is out of your hands. No sense stressing about it. Just promise yourself that in the future you will try to be more aware of what you promise and what you deliver through your actions.

I hope this helps.

In friendship,


Filed under: Teens — Tags: , , , , — Annie @ 8:02 pm
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