Wednesday, 13 April 2011

The modern teenager's brain

Image found here
There was a recent low-grade social media issue in our circle recently involving a teenager we know (she wasn't the girl who invited the world to her party via Facebook in case you were wondering). Somehow I got dragged into the mess (as the alleged parental informant no less) and despite the fact that the whole incident was news to me, I found myself in 'trouble' with this teenage girl.

I didn't actually know any of this was bubbling under the surface until after the girl and I had met face to face and she had ignored me, averted her eyes to avoid eye contact, and disengaged from general conversation.

I noticed she was behaving strangely towards me (she is a polite, engaged young women whose company I adore), but I just thought she was "being a teenager" and having a day. Isn't she entitled to that?

I received some text messages from her mother, one before our face to face meeting (which I thought she had sent to the wrong person and ignored) and another after. After I received the second text, which addressed me by name but which made no sense to me whatsoever, I called her.

That one phonecall put the whole scenario into perspective, highlighted my innocence/ignorance and got me out of the dog house with my teenage friend. A case of mistaken identity.

I felt terrible for something I did not do.

This little case study educated me a bit to the workings of the modern teenager's brain. It is a scary place I think (I even remember that) and looks something like this:

1. Delete all adults from your Facebook page- then you can do what you like

2. When in trouble, make like moss and blend into the forest floor

3. Take life a day at a time - do potential employers really care what I did in 2011?

4. Gen X is like, so uptight!

5. You only get one chance - don't judge me or it is over between us.

Despite the fact that I had absolutely nothing to do with the incident that caused my teenage friend to learn one of life's lessons (the hard way), I still think that the trust between us has dissolved a little.

She believes that I 'dobbed her in' to her parents. Even though I assured her that I would have handled the issue differently, had I indeed been privy to it, she isn't 100% sure about me. She doesn't think I am her ally anymore. I am gutted.

So tell me, how do you mend breeches of trust with a teenager? Do you think they can cut you some slack and give you another chance (especially when you haven't done a thing 'wrong' at all)? Or do you think it will just never be the same between my friend and me?

6 comments:

Maxabella said...

I think that, like most things in a teen's life, this will blow over before you know it. 'Cause the one thing you left off your (very perceptive) list is: Why make a molehill when a mountain gets more attention?

x

Lucy said...

Seven years ago I had a misunderstasnding with a teenage friend. We were as close as close, and then were not. (Over texting at the dining table. I was a sleep deprvied new mother. I snapped at her. She snapped at me. Fall out.)

We laugh about it now. We are as close as close again. But she still refrains from texting at the table...

therhythmmethod said...

It depends on the girl. As a teen, I was brutal at cutting people off. Will your friend do the same? Depends how defensive she is. But you'd be such an awesome friend, hopefully she sees there's greater benefit in sticking with you than keeping you at a distance.

Photographer Mum said...

She might be feeling a bit wounded that she was wrong and doesn't know how to respond to it (even though you are out of the doghouse). It's tough to realise that you have something wrong when you are dead set certain that you are right about a situation. Give it some time and see how it pans out, maybe call her again after it has settled and let her know how you feel/felt and that you'd like that trust to return to its previous state. Or just call her and organise a friend day with her - go shopping or out for coffee or something, so you can get back on an even keel.

Alice Becomes said...

i dont have much experience with teenagers - at least i haven't since i was one!

sounds like a difficult situation to be in, i would find it very hard, i think perhaps with time, she will come back to you and perhaps rather than no longer trusting you, she is more embarrassed about the situation?

Gill xo

Shelley said...

Ah teenagers - I found it very difficult being one myself, let alone dealing with them. I think toddlers and teenagers have one thing in common - it can be difficult to reason with them. I hope it all works out for you both. xx

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