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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.

Cure for obessive teen love?

July 16, 2014

Who gets to break my heart without my permission?

Who gets to break my heart without my permission?

Breaking up is hard to do. And painful. Hopefully, though, there were good times before the relationship tanked, so at least you’ve got some happy memories. On the other hand, if you’re obsessed with someone who was never nice to you, well, that’s just pain on pain. No one needs that.

Recently got an email from a girl in that dark place. Read on…

My heart aches for him and I really want to move, but I find myself checking his instagram, facebook, and all other social media  just to see him.  I cant let go, even though I want to so bad. I’m torn between wanting him to want me and wanting to forget about him completely. It’s been almost a year. I just hate this obsession. What do I do? –So Stuck

Dear So Stuck,

The truth may hurt, but I’ve got to say it anyway. This guy doesn’t care about you, That’s the way it is. You may wish things were different, but all the wishing in the Known Universe and beyond will not change fact.

Here’s something else that’s true: You deserve someone who wants to be with you as much as you want to be with him. This guy is not The One. The sooner you accept it, the sooner you will find The One (Maybe during this coming school year! There’s an exciting thought!)

In the meantime, you’ve got to stop checking up on this guy. It’s a total waste of the summer and, more important, it’s bringing you down. You have gotten into an unhealthy habit here, but you can get back in control. Here’s how:

1. Make an agreement with yourself to stop stalking him.

2. Whenever you get the thought, “I’ll just check his instagram, FB, etc.” notice that thought. 

3. Imagine the device you’re holding is burning hot. Get your hands off the darn thing right now this minute! 

4. Close your eyes and BREATHE mindfully. Inhale slowly and evenly through your nose. Then relax your jaw and exhale, slowly and evenly through your mouth. Repeat 5 times….. S-L-O-W-L-Y.

5. Did you do it? If not, what are you waiting for? Do it now.

6. After breathing, the urge to “check on him” should be less intense. If not, breathe some more. If it is less, congrats! You got yourself back in control. Well done. You know how to do this. And you’ll probably get lots of practice. Whenever you feel the urge to check up on him, think “Fire!!! Will not get burned again. Hands up! Breathe…”

7. Go do something you enjoy. Something away from the phone or computer with people you like who like you back.

I hope this helps.

In friendship,
Terra

 

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Unplugging

July 11, 2012

This is Part 2 of my 4-part Bing Summer of Doing blog series. If you just got here and missed Part 1, let me explain. I’m the Bing Summer of Doing ‘expert‘ of the week. Part of this awesome responsibility involves blogging about the word of the day.  Today’s word is unplugging. The irony of writing about unplugging while plugged in doesn’t escape me, but if I wrote on the back of this envelope, you wouldn’t see it, so…

Bing Summer of Doing - Pull the plug and.. DO

Winnie-the-Pooh said, “Sometimes I sit and think. And sometimes I just sit.” He also called himself a bear of “little brain” but I disagree. Just “sitting” is the best thing you can do at certain times. And if you’re just sitting in a park, on the beach, on a fallen tree in a forest… you’re probably in a good place, mentally and emotionally.

I’ve noticed that it’s summer. Funny how a whole season can sneak up on you like that. Actually, it’s more scary than funny.  Sometimes, my time on the computer seems endless and I feel like I live in a casino – no windows or evidence the earth is turning. But I see that it’s beautiful outside (yes I do have a window) so I’ve decided to unplug. Not forever,  just for some significant part of each day –  as a way to grab back some balance in my life.

What am I unplugging from? How about these three things for starters? Negativity. Routine. Technology.

Unplugging from destructive emotions: Instead of marinating your soul in anger, frustration, jealousy when the mood strikes, how about simply recognizing the feeling? And then… take a few slow deep breaths. (INHALE s-l-o-w-l-y and evenly through your nose. Relax your jaw and open your mouth.) Then EXHALE s-l-o-w-l-y and evenly through your mouth. Repeat. …. again. Again. Now smile (a half smile will do). Good. You’ve just unplugged from an upset and hopefully you’ve done it before causing any damage. Nice going.

Unplugging from routine: Routines offer security. They can also be fun and creativity drains. Fight back by changing something you’ve been doing automatically every day. Try a miniscule shake-up like brushing your teeth with the opposite hand. Dang, unplugging from your routine could be as simple as sitting in a different place at the kitchen table. Or skipping the table altogether and taking your salad or sandwich out on the front steps. There are so many ways to dance through your day, why not make up some new moves? When you do, you’ll find your usual dance partners have to come up with some new moves of their own.

Unplugging from technology: Life isn’t virtual. It’s real. Simple truth. So easy to forget. Years ago, a storm blew out our power for 5 days. No school. No computers. No work. Me and David and the kids read aloud from a big book of obscure folktales. We paused at crucial plot points and took turns guessing what could happen next. We acted out alternative endings. We played Crazy Eights by candlelight. We roasted marshmallows. We all shared memories from childhood. And by the second or third day, we were eating outrageous ice cream sundaes for breakfast (hey, we couldn’t let all the Chunky Monkey melt, could we?). I was more than a little disappointed when the lights came back on and we all plugged in again. But you don’t need a power outage to take a healthy break from social media and the rest of it.  I’m not saying you should become incommunicado for a week and freak out your friends and family. I’m just saying that by spending most of your waking hours with your head in a screen, you miss a lot of the juice of life. That’s just a waste, because the real stuff — the shared joys and disappointments between friends and family — need to be experienced face to face, not just via text and FB posts.

So I’m unplugging today. When I mentioned this to David, he said, “So you’re not going to do anything?” Wrong! I’m going to do plenty of stuff… not sure what yet, but I know, for sure that I’m not going to check my email 75 times. Tweet. or Surf. Just for today. And see what unfolds when I push back the digital infringement and make some room for other things. I’ll report back later. In the meantime, how about if you slowly take your hands off the keyboard, step back from your computer and go outside and play with a friend?

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“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.
OK?

In friendship,
Terra


Hey Terra,

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

Jillian

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
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