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My best friend is much more popular than me

Hi, I’m a girl of 13. My best friend is much more popular than I am, so I get jealous of her easily. I feel that all the girls and boys like her much more than me. I know it’s wrong to be jealous, but I can’t help it. I feel that everyone likes her better than me. What should I do?

When you’re a teenager it’s very easy to compare yourself with others and then feel like you’re not good enough. You might feel that you’re not cool, or popular. Even though it is painful to experience this, remember that you are not alone. Even the people who you think are popular probably think that they are not pretty enough, good enough or cool enough. The fact that the teenage years are often like this means that they become a kind of struggle for existence, where people, in their fear of being left on the outside, struggle to find a way to become popular or to be part of the in-crowd. The fear of not fitting in, or of not being liked, means that people gather round those who they think can give them status. This leads to some people seeming to be popular, even though they might not be so well liked. This might sound a bit strange, as we don’t think about it like this, but it happens unconsciously.

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In surveys done in some schools, the results showed that the people you think are most popular are not always those who are most liked. So even if some people seem to be cool, everyone notices who is kind and who excludes others; they notice who encourages and who tries to boss people around. So each situation isn’t as it appears from the outside, although we do understand that it is very difficult for you when you compare yourself to your friend. It will change! That’s why it is important for you not to lose hope, even though it can feel a little hopeless now, things will change and get better over time.

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We can’t give you the right answer for how to be popular or better liked, but the best advice we can give you is to smile, be nice to people, and be yourself. Talk to people and about people in a nice way. Everyone likes to hear others say kind things to them, and they appreciate those who do this. If you say nice things to other people, they will think you are kind. Use your energy and focus on being the best person you can be, so that others can get to know who you really are. You are not your best friend, and it is a bad idea to compare yourself with her. If you try to become like her to be more liked, you will just become a worse version of her, and of yourself. Others will notice it and become uncertain of who you are. Find out who you really are, and who you want to become, and practise being that person. Our whole life is a long training in being the best version of ourselves, without becoming discouraged if others look more pretty, more clever or cooler than we are. Stand up for your attitudes and values, and think what you want, be generous and caring, show interest for others and be honest about who you are. The best friend a person can have is someone who is relaxed and secure in themselves, who dares to be themselves and who lets others be themselves without competing with them. Be a friend like that, and make sure that everything you do shows who you are.

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Remember that you are created by God to be totally unique. No one is the same as you, you are valuable just as you are! Your appearance, your personality, your gifts and talents should complement what other people don’t have. You are precious and you are needed! Start finding out about what is unique about you, and be happy about it.

If you think this is hard to do, it might be a good idea to talk to an adult who you trust, or the school nurse. They often have a lot of experience of situations like this, and can help you to think positive thoughts about yourself.

Best wishes, boyandgirl.info

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