Mod S2S Mentor

Drama vs. Empathy

There's a lot of stuff going on at my school right now - a lot of personal drama and just plain rudeness. Even if the frequent judgmental comments are not aimed at me (though they were last year), whenever it happens around me I start to feel a bit ill. I guess one could say I'm extremely empathetic when it comes to these things. I've talked about it with my parents and teachers but haven't completely revealed the full extent of it - I'm really nervous about standing up and I hate it. I've noticed myself becoming a lot more subdued, and my friends are worried about me. Sometimes I just feel detached from myself, like my brain and my body aren't the same (does that make sense?). I hate feeling like this and I just don't know how to deal with it completely.

 - Anonymous

Oh gosh, I’m so sorry you have to deal with that. I can certainly relate to being hyper-empathetic and non-confrontational, and that sounds like a very tough situation to be in.

Could you try to write an email, text, or letter to an adult you trust? I often find that’s a much easier way to say what’s necessary without stumbling over my words. Sometimes being able to think of the exact right message, proofread it, and deliver it without having to physically go up and talk to someone can be a very good option for those who have difficulties with speaking up. If you think they might be confused by that, maybe start with something along the lines of “I sometimes have trouble speaking up about things, so I thought I’d try to phrase this in a different way, hope this is okay.” That way, you could try to talk about the issues you've noticed without having to go up and actually speak to someone about it.

As for feeling like your brain and body are disconnected, that could potentially be a sign of something deeper that you might want to look into and fix. Do you have a school counselor you could talk to? Or could you potentially find a way to ask a parent if you could try to find a counselor or book that could help you try to figure out what’s going on? It can be difficult to ask for help, but like I said, writing out what you need to say can sometimes make things easier, or if you find a way to segue a conversation into talking about it without it feeling too random, that can sometimes help things feel a little less daunting too.

It sounds like it might be hard to talk to the people who are causing the drama, since sometimes people who start drama and rudeness aren't super receptive to peers who try to stand up to them, so telling a trusted adult may be the most peaceful option. Standing up to people is always a good thing to do, of course, but if it makes you feel as bad as it seems, it might be a better idea to try to have someone who can really handle the situation to help be a mediator of sorts.

I really hope everything works out well for you! It can be very difficult to confront people and I really hope that some of this helps, or at the very least you find other tools to help yourself. Good luck!

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  • Sound hard ):
    I hope you get through it!
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