Feeling uneasy and uncomfortable
I dont know how to start this other than describing whats happening and how i feel. So im 17 and in my group of friends there are a few people who i feel are toxic and destructive, like theyre participating in under age drinking with high % alcohol, saying racial slurs and other activities that make me feel uncomfortable and uneasy, with also the feeling of being unmotivated due to most of the people in the group not studying and not providing much support at all (in yr 12). i guess its accidently rubbing off onto others if you will. these activities are causing me to feel uneasy and uncomfortable, for not only there activities, but seeing innocent people interact with people that they KNOW are toxic makes me feel like i should do something to help.
What should i do?
I can give more context if needed
Hello Dear Bailyjoyce,
Welcome to our forums,
Having a group of friends is something most young people have and that’s great, but if some of those in your group are becoming toxic and enticing innocent people to participate in underage drinking and other unhealthy activities…Then maybe it’s time to re assess your friendship with the toxic ones…It’s really important to look after yourself…True friends are there for each other and to support each other, not to make you feel uncomfortable and un easy…I’m sorry that’s how they are making you feel…you don’t deserve that..you deserve friends that are supportive, caring and can fun with..
You sound like a very kind and caring person, worried about your friends health and well-being, is it possible to talk to your parents about what’s happening within your friends group…or maybe even with your schools health worker…
My kindest thoughts Dear Bailyjoyce..
Thank you for reaching out to us here, we're glad to have you. It's a difficult situation you're in, and I relate to you.
The friends that I had throughout school were, for the most part, only friends because of proximity. I seem to remember that for a lot of my high school experience I was masking my real personality out of fear that it wouldn't be well received or that I wouldn't fit in. That's arguably not a good way to go about it in terms of maintaining authenticity to who you are, but in terms of "surviving" high school with relative ease, it worked for me.
It's not that I didn't like my friends in school, not at all. It's just that, like you said, many of our values and interests didn't align, and I didn't want to share my actual interests or partake in activities I didn't like, so I stayed out of all of it. I too wasn't interested in underage drinking or partying, I was very much into my studies and doing well in school to secure a future for myself.
As much as it may seem like a kind gesture to warn others of their toxicity, or as much as it may be uncomfortable watching other interact with them when you have insight into what they're really like, I don't think there's a lot you'll be able to do to help. As long as you don't feel yourself conforming to what you know makes you uncomfortable, I think that's the best thing that you can do in this situation. Not only will this protect your own wellbeing, but other people who share your values can see your efforts to distance yourself from activities that you don't align with, despite others close to you partaking.
Do you have any other people either inside or outside of school who you would prefer to surround yourself with? I know that it can be difficult to integrate into an entirely different group of people in high school, but it may be worth considering if you feel like you need some distance from your current group.
Please feel free to share more with us if you'd like, and we'll see if there's anything else we can help with. Otherwise, we're here to listen if you'd just like to vent or get some things off your chest. I hope this advice can help out a little!
All the best, SB