WORDS M.K Smith
Whenever I’m hanging out with my friends it seems like they would rather play on their phones than speak to me. This is a trend I’ve observed with other groups of people too. I find this behaviour really rude, am I being unreasonable?
Having recently shirked my Luddite ways and upgraded from a dumb-phone, I certainly understand why everybody is so obsessed with their phones. You’ll never get lost again with GPS! You’ll never be bored on the train when you can catch up with the news on your phone! You can prove your friend wrong when debating the birth country of Fabio! Yet, no matter how tempting it is to stay glued to your phone, O Captain, My Captain, social protocols still apply.
There is nothing unreasonable about asking your friends to actually pay attention to you when they’re in your presence. Can you imagine what their reaction would be if you pulled a book out in the middle of a meal? What about if you procured a piece of paper and started writing a letter, longhand, while they picked at their salad? I’m sure if you kept popping off to a payphone to make calls your friends wouldn’t be very pleased either. If these square-eyed individuals really are your friends then I’m sure they won’t mind if you ask them to put their phone away for an hour.
If you’re a non-confrontational soul, you can just fiddle with your phone as well and throw out an “I’m sorry, do you mind if I use this for a second? I’d feel terribly rude if I sat here ignoring you without asking first”. Hopefully your friends will pick up on the hint and put the Apple product down.
It’s easy to seethe when the only dish your friends are interested in is the one they’re picking a filter for on Instagram (if they choose ‘1977’ they should be sterilised). But you can’t help that your friends are stupid. Just be polite and don’t forget your manners, it’s more than you can say for your pals. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to my phone. If you own a smartphone and you don’t check it every ten minutes, it ceases to exist.
WORDS M.K Smith
One of my best friends got badly dumped by her long-term boyfriend a few months ago and has started acting really promiscuous since. It’s starting to bother everybody in our group because she has no shame and everybody is discussing her sex life behind her back. She is giving herself a really nasty reputation. Should I do anything about it, or just keep my poker face? It’s making me lose respect for her.
I feel terribly for your poor friend. She’s not only been dealt the ghastly card of heartbreak, but also been dealt the ‘shitty friends’ card. I’m sure that bluffing her way through recovery from a nasty breakup has left her a little blind, and all of her chips are down (okay I’m sorry, I’ll stop with the poker puns now – but you started it). If this behaviour is new for your friend, perhaps she’s just acting out because NEWS FLASH, breakups suck!
Why is everybody in your peer group merely discussing her proclivity for casual nookie instead of, oh I don’t know, making sure that she’s doing fine? I’m sure by gossiping about her antics behind her back you are only adding to the reputation, not detracting from slander. And why do you care so much about who she’s sharing her swimsuit areas with? There’s this little thing called catharsis, and if this is what she wants, just let the girl be. But it’s also your job as a friend to make sure she’s using protection, not being taken advantage of by creepers, and actually happy with the choices she is making. Talk to her, not about her. After all, she has to make her own choices, as do you.
Will you be a supportive friend and try to understand if she is doing this for her own pleasure, or will you let your lack of “respect” get in the way of helping out someone you care about? Stop bottom dealing your friend if this is a relationship that you want to Texas Hold’on to, and I bet that, with a little understanding, your friend will feel like she’s hit the jackpot (I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist).
WORDS M.K Smith
I’m not sure if my boyfriend is treating me the way a girlfriend should be treated. We’ve been fairly happy together for a year but he’ll occasionally talk down to me or just plain insult me and claim “it was just a joke!” I always feel like I need to prove myself to him. I’m not sure he knows that he is doing it though and I don’t want to jeopardise anything because I really love him. What should I do?
Your boyfriend sounds like a garden variety, grade-A douchecanoe and I’m inclined to tell you to dump that crusty arsehole. Being in a caring relationship means there has to be a sense of equality and consideration. If there isn’t, then you’re just engaging in passive aggressive monogamy when, alternatively, you could be bumping uglies with someone who doesn’t make you feel like you have to make an effort to feel cared about. You know you’re with the ‘right’ person when you don’t have to waste any energy trying to convince them that you’re lovable.
There is always the chance that you could, you know, talk to him seriously and tell him to quit being such an abrasive dickwad. But I have a feeling that it’s probably best to rip off the proverbial band aid and end it; cry for a week into some frozen yoghurt/red velvet cupcakes/someone else’s groin, and step away from the unappreciative boyfriend. Let it go, life is much too short to be with someone who is not only mean, but thoroughly unfunny.