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Help my Friend, Brothers and Sisters!

edited August 2005 in Buddhism Today
OK fellow Brothers and Sisters,

My friend here is having a problem... She thinks that her friends are ignoring her and she's getting depressed... I don't wish to convince her using Buddhist philosophy, so is there any way of getting her cheered up without the use of Buddhist principles? Maybe a bit is ok, but not use things that will confuse an atheist.

And please don't give things like "try talking to your friends" and such, cause I think that will make her more depressed.

It is our duty, Siblings, as members of the Sangha, to provide selfless service to all. Can you all help her with it? :bigclap:


  • edited August 2005
    Step One: Do not reward her complaints of being ignored with attention.
    Step Two: Do not ignore her to make her problems worse.
    To sum it up, do nothing for her. Her problems are 100% internal and she must work them out. At most I would explain to her that others' opinions are beyond her control and she is multiplying her problems by worrying about things she can't control.
    Remember: Life's tough...get a helmet.
  • edited August 2005

    My son had the same experience as your friend when he was in High School. He came to me about it and we sat down and talked. After he told me that his firends seemed to be ignoring him, I asked him why and what were they doing? He told me that they were going to school activities all the time and other things that he really didn't care for. He was a computer Geek And his friends were sports Jocks.

    So I explained to him, that they were really not ignoring him, Just taking a different path in their lives. And that he would do the same several times over. But in choosing to go down a different path they would each meet new people and new friends. That Life never stayed the same it was always changing.

    He soon meant new friends, and while he stilled hung around with his old firends when they all had a chance. He was very glad to have the opportunity to meet and become friends with other people.
  • edited August 2005
    Yeah... That's it. Something Buddhist in essence yet sound common sense... Yes, I will try it.
  • PalzangPalzang Veteran Veteran
    edited August 2005
    And if that doesn't work, try tickling!
  • SimonthepilgrimSimonthepilgrim Veteran Veteran
    edited August 2005
    Take her out on a picnic to a place where there is beauty and running water!
  • comicallyinsanecomicallyinsane Veteran Veteran
    edited August 2005
    Just make her laugh. It will hit her that she has a real friend.
  • edited August 2005
    It really is the little things that count.
    One of my closest friends works overseas for the British Government and she's currently posted at the embassy in Singapore. It's her birthday today but they are 7 hours ahead of us so yesterday evening I sent her a text message to her phone so that it would arrive at one minute past midnight.
    She said that it was the sweetest thing as as I had made the effort to time it just right and it showed her that even though she was thousands of miles away her friends were still thinking of her.

    So......just give her a big hug and be there for her.
    Hope that helps,
  • SimonthepilgrimSimonthepilgrim Veteran Veteran
    edited August 2005
    Another possibility, Ajani, is for you to spend some time getting into the feeling that your friend is experiencing. Let the nastiness of it enter you, with your breath. As you examine it, you may be surprised to see what small changes are necessary to transform it. And then you can breathe out the transformed feeling.

    This is, of course, something for you to do about which your friend does not even need to know. It cannot patronise them or discount their feeling. One of the problems that we have, I think, in trying to "cheer someone up" or "change their mind" is that our good intentions can be interpreted in negative ways.

    Mind you, as you look at the small changes that can alter the feeling, you will also see what contribution you can make to that change - without any 'heady' stuff (Buddhist, psychobabble or whatever) but from your own awareness and sharing of their pain.
  • edited August 2005

    I checked your profile and I think in this situation age does matter, not for you, because you seem wise and mature beyone your years, but maybe it does for your profile.

    I think in your formative years being "liked" and "included" are extremly important. I don't believe you can encourage your friend to see the benefits of Buddhism until her mood improves. Its like there is a deep fog around her and until that lifts she cannot see any sunshine. Trying to tell her there is sunshine when she can only see fog wont help her at all. Try and help her to move the fog. So from that point of view I think your right that using Buddhist theology or explanations may not help her at all.

    Maybe all you can do is show her examples of friends who do love her and don't ignore her. Try to pick some of the friends she has who she values and give her examples of how they love her. For a young woman, life can be pretty tough, they care (as I did) too much what other people think. Trying to fit in with the group dynamic is really important. It gives young women (and men) a sense of identity a sense of belonging. So if she feels that her friends are ignoring her than she feels her own sense of identy is being threatened. She is probably unsure as to where she fits in and what its all about.

    In my opinion for all its worth, all you can do, is to try and build up her confidence about herself. Reassure her of her good qualities and the things you know that are important to her. The fact that you are there and she can talk to you about her feelings, I believe, is a much bigger benefit to her morale, than you imagine.

    Good Luck .... Its hard!
  • edited August 2005
    yeah sure~ i'll try all of that~ and thx for the compliment anyway~ cause one of my other friend says that im a little childish in da thingz i do~
  • edited August 2005
    It’s difficult to know when to give advice or when to just listen. Sometimes it may seem that a person is asking for advice when all they really want is somebody to talk to and let off steam.

    If your friend is asking for your advice you could maybe try this little experiment. (It may not work as well if the person is in a familiar environment)
    Ask your friend to look around at everything that is red, tell her to spend 15 seconds looking around at all the red things she can see and to remember them. Then ask her close her eyes, she’ll be expecting you to ask her to remember all the red items, but while her eyes are still closed ask her how many blue things she remembers seeing and ask her to name them individually. I bet she won’t get many if any!

    This is an experiment to show that we only notice what we focus on. This is very true and it is true with all things in life, whatever we focus on becomes our reality.
  • edited August 2005
    That's good! That's really good! I can use it on many others and myself, even! Thank you for that!
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