There’s a really unusual situation at my school. A certain girl who is a junior like me is very popular with many guys, but she seems to have no girlfriends at all. I have one casual girlfriend, but we are not super close, so I’ve always done my best to be friendly to other girls in the hopes that one of them might have enough in common with me to start up a friendship.
This girl is very pretty and she draws a lot of male attention, but I know that many other girls talk about her behind her back, likely because they are intimidated by her looks. I consider myself just a touch above average-looking, but I do have great hygiene, dress nicely and don’t talk behind anyone’s back. In fact, the two times I heard other girls start to gossip about her in a disparaging way, I quickly made an excuse to leave the area and I did not participate in even listening to another word of the gossip.
I’d like to approach this girl but don’t know how to go about it. Do you have any ideas? I don’t want her to think I’m a stalker or anything like that. I just think she’s lacking female friends since nobody seems to ever talk to her except the guys who want to chase her.
A Possible New Friend of Hers, via email
A Possible New Friend Of Hers:
Be bold! Go right up to her at lunchtime someday and tell her that you’d like to sit next to her at lunch and speak with her. She’s likely to be curious as to why you’re asking her this, and when she does ask, simply tell her what you told me.
Mention gently that you’ve heard other girls start to talk about her behind her back, and that you walked away without participating in that conversation because you thought it was unfair to her since nobody in that group knew her at all.
Tell her that you’d like to have lunch together so that you can hopefully find her nice and then be in a position the next time you might hear the same gossip start again to tell the others that they are incorrect. You can then tell them that you know her personally and that they are way off base.
An approach like this may give you a good chance to have her spend some time getting to know you as well. If she refuses your invitation, simply thank her and tell her that if she might like to have lunch together in the future, you are open to it.
This way, you’ll leave the conversation on a good note. She may accept your initial offer, or someday double back and say hello to you at a future time. Either way, you’ll have made a sincere and graceful introduction and given your idea an honest try. Good luck!
My Sister’s Mistakes Are Unfairly Impacting Me
I’m a guy who is now a high school senior and I’m currently deciding on which college I would like to attend this fall.
There’s a good college about 15 minutes from our family home, and my parents told me I could continue to live at home if I attended that college. But there’s also another college that I really like, and it actually is a better academic fit for me than the one that is near to our home. The second university is about four hours away from my hometown, and I would need to live on campus to attend that college.
My parents do not think this second school is a good idea at all, likely because my older sister went away to college three years ago and got herself into a lot of trouble. Since I’m a gentleman, I won’t get into the details of exactly what mistakes she made, but let’s just say that she messed things up pretty badly.
My parents are even trying to entice me to just stay at home and attend the local college by offering to pay for all of my books and tuition, but they’ve told me that if I’m going to go away to college at the other school, I’ll be on my own with no financial support from them at all.
I don’t feel this is fair since I think they’re overreacting to my sister’s experience. I’ve always been more responsible than she’s been, I’ve gotten better grades than she did and I’ve had a life plan organized for years, whereas she is the type of individual who lives only for the day.
Are there any suggestions you have for me to get my parents to help me out with room and board and my books if I decide I want to go to the college that is four hours away? I’ve actually applied to both schools and both of them accepted me.
Don’t Want To Be Compared to My Sister, via email
Don’t Want To Be Compared To My Sister:
My first suggestion is to start your discussion with your parents by focusing on your academic pursuits and your career goals. Explain to your parents exactly what you told me, but do so in more detail with them. Explain why the other school has the academic curriculum you desire and explain to them how that will help your overall career path once you get your college degree.
My second suggestion is to ask your parents to meet you halfway, meaning, ask them for 50% support of your tuition, books and living expenses on campus. Tell them that you will seek out a part-time job to pay the 50% yourself. This means you’ll be asking them to meet you halfway. Tell them that you’ll guarantee that you will stay in school and pass all of your classes. Further mention that if you slip up in any slight way like your sister did, you will not ask them for another cent to help you from that point forward.
At that point, take a moment to smile at your parents, look them in the eyes and tell them that there’s no circumstance in which you’re going to cause any trouble. Explain how driven you are to achieve your college degree and how proud they’ll be when they know that they met you halfway and helped you achieve your academic goals. If you can garner a “yes” answer from your parents, you’ll need to immediately start looking for gainful employment in that area.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at email@example.com.
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