U R Enough - Page 15

2. Emotional Enemies!

Along with the verbal varmints or sometimes by themselves, kids want to hurt other kids by becoming their emotional enemies! What do I mean? It means saying or doing things secretly and behind individual’s backs that will deliberately hurt their feelings. At elementary and middle school ages, the most common emotional enemy is excluding someone from a game, an activity, a group or party. Or, playing mind games such as pretending to be someone’s friend one day, and then rejecting them the next day. It’s ganging up on someone such as passing messages or texts to others, getting them to agree to mistreat another individual. In high school, these same kinds of behavior are also common, but they tend to get much more serious and severe. Jealousy, envy, and rivalries between friends and in romantic relationships can lead to two extremes – sudden exclusion from a group or circle of friends to complete possessiveness and controlling behaviors in a romantic relationship. What is so scary about emotional enemies is that the victims usually feel very isolated and very alone. And tragically, as emotional enemies get away with busting down friendships and breaking down individuals, over time they turn into physical defrauders.

3. Physical Defrauders!

Sadly, not only have many of you seen and heard the news about our sports stars hurting their loved ones, but some of you may have witnessed physical defrauders yourself – in your own homes, in your friends’ homes, and at other places like school. Physical defrauders are individuals who have moved beyond the verbal varmints and the emotional enemies, and now inflict physical harm onto another individual. Today, with younger people, we call it bullying. On the playground it looks like pushing, shoving, punching, and kicking another person. In middle school and high school, it can involve one person against another, or it can be a group of kids ganging up on another person – fighting, shoving, hitting, spitting, or biting. With older kids and adults, we call the physical harm abuse. Many young people in romantic relationships experience this kind of physical abuse – a boyfriend shoving his girlfriend on the ground, punching her, threating her or her family, and much worse.

Young people, these Friendship Busters - Verbal Varmints, Emotional Enemies, and Physical Defrauders - are ugly, and they are hard to talk about! However, this is important! You must be aware of them and what they do to you and to your relationships! By understanding these Friendship Busters, not only can you get help, but you can be empowered to be part of the change – you can become Friendship Builders!