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Copilot Teen Q&A: How can I be a better friend? I must not be a very good one, my friends just keep on leaving.

By Iuri Melo

Wow, I’m just incredibly proud that you are even brave enough to ask the question. I just love people who are courageous enough to take a risk and humble enough to search for answers.  

I’m telling you now, the purpose of life is growth, it is to learn, to expand, and to evolve. That is what we are here to do, regardless of your spiritual or secular orientation. Because this is your life purpose, then it’s your personal responsibility. If you want to enjoy a rich life, a life full of meaning, then we must seek relentlessly, we must ask, we must learn and we must grow, because when we are not growing we are dying my friend, so let’s grow.  

First off, you’re not the only one that is experiencing this. I speak to hundreds of students like you on a daily basis, and this is the most asked question in our awesome text inbox. I’ve felt this way many times: feeling like I was the odd one out, not quite fitting in to what someone else is looking for, wanting to be really good friends with someone, but feeling like they don’t want the same thing from me. It’s a sad thing really, and as a result a lot of people your age begin to feel a bit hopeless, thinking that perhaps your life will be a repeat of what you are experiencing right now— making friends and acquaintances, making efforts, taking risks, and ultimately ending up hurt, because people move on, they choose others, or a million other potential scenarios that could happen to you.  

Listen to me— and I’m not selling you anything, I’m speaking the plain truth to you— the one thing you must absolutely continue to do is try, as challenging as failing is, as painful as rejection is, as difficult as getting picked over or pushed aside is… Don’t ever, ever, and I mean never, stop!  Never stop being a friend (even a great and loyal friend!) and seeking out those with whom you will mesh with and create deeply meaningful bonds that will change your life, that will motivate you, and that will take seemingly normal situations and make them extraordinary, simply because you are sharing them with a friend.  Go on my friend, full send regardless of the outcome, knowing with absolute certainty that every youth that you see around you is looking for the very same thing that you are looking for: a true and great friend.  So let me throw some tips your way that will help you be an extraordinary friend, and then you can confidently wait for the right circumstances to come your way.  

So here’s tip #1, and this one is just so flippin’ obvious that you are going to be sayin’ “Really, Iuri?” but yeah, really. Tip #1 is to be friendly, and let me give you 3 specific things that can help you be friendly:  

  • First, when you see your acquaintances and potential friends, get excited, show enthusiasm, high five them, hug them. This matters a lot!  
  • Here’s another way of being friendly (and this is #2): build them up.  Compliment them, say nice things about them.  It’s awesome to have people in your life that make you feel like you are just awesome. Don’t be creepy or overdo it, but look for opportunities and comment on cool stuff they are doing or just how they are. I want to give you some examples of stuff that I would say, but you would just be like, “Dude, Iuri, I don’t want to sound like I’m from the 90’s”… Well, guess what, I’m going to give you some examples anyway, and maybe we’ll just laugh ourselves silly. But look, it’s not rocket science, throw out some compliments: “I’m diggin’ those shades”. Hahahah, I wish I could see your face right now, laughing at my compliments… I’ve got more, here’s another: “Your hair is on point” or “I love that dress”, or “those shoes”, or “your style”, or “how smart you are”, or “how unique you are”, or “brave”, or “funny”, or “fun”, or a “great listener”, or “your style in music”… Compliment, compliment, compliment, and perhaps even more important, develop this wonderful skill inside of you. Be the kind of person that sees and notices the good in others, and then says something about it.  
  • #3 offer to help people.  Be a great listener, and look for opportunities to help others with work, with an assignment, with a pick me up. I’m telling you, turn your sorrow, your fear, into energy that you can then use to help people. By the way, this will help you to feel better as well.  There are countless opportunities all around you, start to see them, and then be gutsy enough to act on it.  

Tip #2 – Get out there. Now I’ve talked about this, if you want to be successful you have to straight up put yourself in a place where this can happen. Give yourself a chance of success.  Just the other day I went to a club rush at one of the high schools. It was a short assembly about the clubs that were available at the school— all the way from chess club, dance clubs, drama, Deca (which is like a business club), mountain bike, random acts of kindness, sports, choir, music, band… Now, don’t start making excuses for yourself even as I’m telling you this, don’t limit yourself all the time. Stop selling yourself the idea that you’re just not good or that you don’t like this, or that. Remember, you are the most important person you speak to everyday. Be encouraging, open doors, don’t slam them in your own face.  

OK, Tip #3 – Bring the fun!  My friend, bring the fun… make the fun… create the fun… create opportunities, create fun texting groups, buy pizza, watch a movie, go to a game or to all the games, get a group together and go do something fun, go to the dances, join weird clubs. What it is that you do matters less, than just doing something. Use that phone of yours to create opportunities, not just something you hide behind or that you use to avoid life. Be the one that instigates fun and makes it happen. Get creative! Reach out, and do fun things with people, and people will want to be with you.  “Well iuri that’s just not me” That’s a lie. Don’t limit yourself, don’t tell yourself that you are some funless, limited person. I don’t buy it. And by the way, if you’re not good at something, who cares? Get better at it. Look at things as disciplines and skills that you can improve on. 

And Tip #4 – Be interested in the people around you.  Two ways to do this: 

  • #1 make a mindful effort to remember people’s names, and then use it.  Remember that the sweetest word in all the English language is your name, so be deliberate, and remember their names.  
  • And #2 ask people questions.  Ask them about their interests, ask them about their family, what they like, what they dislike, go a little deeper and ask some follow up questions. A key part of being interested in others naturally goes along with being a great listener.  Listen to people with your eyes and ears— this means, look at them, not at your phone when they’re talking to you.  

Practice these skills. Become better and better while you are doing the very best you can to place yourself in the right places, at the right times, with the right people…. Trust the process my friend!  Now get yourself out there and seize your life!  Later gator!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Through Iuri’s extensive 20-year career as a Licensed Therapist, he has helped countless individuals and gained valuable insights into  the human psyche. As a published author of two books, Mind Over Grey Matter and Know Thy Selfie, Iuri has established himself as an  authority in his field. He has received numerous awards and accolades for his outstanding work, and his passion for helping people is  evident in everything he does. Iuri’s admiration for people and their capacity for growth and transformation is a cornerstone of his  

philosophy. He firmly believes that positive change must begin with improving our own psychology, and this core belief serves as the  foundation of Copilot‘s mission. Their primary goal is to inspire profound and lasting change in individuals by providing them with the  finest and fastest-growing positive psychology service available in the nation.

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