I’m 17 and have social anxiety. I’m on medication for it, and I am very shy and awkward. When I was in elementary school, I was molested by some high schoolers, and my parents are very aware of that. I have a hard time making friends with people my own age, and two of my friends are 23 and 26. They both asked me to be their boyfriend. I don’t want to scare my parents, and I know my dad already doesn’t like me spending time with kids who are older than me. But, I don’t have many friends my age or at my school because i happen to be goth and very shy, so people who do approach me usually get weirded out because my personality doesn’t match my appearance. I’m scared if I say no, I’ll go back to being alone and having no friends. But, I don’t want to be either of their boyfriends, and I don’t know what to do. I’m really scared if i turn them down, they’ll be mad at me, but part of me thinks I should just because they were so nice to me. I feel like I owe it to them. The 26-year-old one has been sending me a lot of texts that make me uncomfortable. I don’t know what to do. I talked to my chem apps teacher because I trust him, and he told me that it was pedophilia. I’m not sure whats worse, my friends wanting me to be their boyfriends or the fact that they might be bad people.
- You have been through so much, and you are so brave to share your story. You seems like a very caring person who just needs to find friends that care about you as much as you do about them.
- You deserve to be surrounded by people who support you, and luckily it seems like you do have people around you who do care: your parents and your chem teacher. Maybe they have not been through the same things you have, but they do have a lot of experiences in life, and do know when to recognized a dangerous or toxic situation. They care about you and give you advice from a place that is objective (which may serve to be the wisest advice).
- Be extremely careful around those guys. Your teacher is right. It seems like these boys are taking advantage of your loneliness to make you go out with them. Kindness that has an incentive is not the same as kindness. If they really cared about you, they would still be friends with you if you said no. And they definitely should never push you or make you feel uncomfortable. It is not okay for people of that age to manipulate a 17-year-old, don’t make excuses for them. If they try anything, please report it.
- Take care of yourself. You are so important. You are responsible solely for your own emotional and mental state. Do not let anyone shake you or make you feel bad. Don’t worry about hurting other peoples’ feelings as well, especially when it was not your choice to be in this awkward situation in the first place.
- It seems like you have a toxic relationship with these guys, and even if it makes you lonely, it may be better to cut them out. The potential harm to yourself that these guys can cause is not worth the feeling of being wanted.
- Not to say that you should not try make friends because you should! There are many ways to meet new people without having to go far out of your comfort zone. Try volunteering (at a library, animal shelter, etc), take up a new hobby (art, music, etc.), or get a job. Those are some great ways to meet people without forcing yourself to socialize and over-exert yourself.
- Lastly, keep talking to your parents and other people that you trust. People who you know will not try to hurt you. It is okay to seek help or advice from someone you trust. And you may find that opening up to people can help build those connections that will make you feel less lonely.
- Why is it important to only surround yourself with people who support you?
- How can you go about meeting new people?
- Why is it important that people respect you, and why is it important for you to respect yourself?
- What does it mean to you when people take advantage of you?
- What kind of people do you want to surround yourself with?
- Who can you turn to for help?