Dear Abby: I’m 15. My problem is I often mouth off and insult people. When I’m asked to explain why I said what I did, I answer with, “I don’t know” or a shrug. It’s the truth. It upsets me that I act this way, and I have lost friends because of it.
My parents think counseling and therapy are a coward’s way out, and I don’t want to go to my school counselors because they’ll tell my parents or the state. Is it a blatant choice not to care, something subconscious or a possible disorder? I’m under a lot of stress. I know stressors can cause people to act this way, but I have a feeling it’s not caused by stress. What should I do?
– Nervous and Afraid
Dear Nervous and Afraid: Everyone snaps sometimes, but because it has ruined relationships, do talk to a school counselor or other adult you trust about what’s happening. Your behavior may just be part of being a teenager, but if the stressors in your life might also be a factor, it’s important you understand what triggers your behavior so you can modify it.
Twins joined at the hip
Dear Abby: I’m a 14-year-old girl, and I have an identical twin. The problem is she always gets all the attention, especially from boys. I don’t understand why because we look exactly alike, and in my opinion, I have the better personality. When I’m around her, which is practically all the time, I feel invisible – as if people only see HER. How do I get people to stop noticing my sister and get them to see that I deserve some attention?
– Here, Too, in California
Dear Here, Too: You say you and your twin are together practically all the time. THAT may be the problem. If you want to be noticed, start joining activities on your own. That way, you will develop separate interests and, along with them, separate friendships. Although you and your twin are identical, you do not have to be joined at the hip. Remember that.
Thinking about death
Dear Abby: I’m 27, and my grandparents have played very important roles in my life. I know they won’t be here forever, and I cry myself to sleep thinking about this.
Besides spending more time with them, what else do you suggest I do to prepare myself for their passing?
– Loving Granddaughter
Dear Loving Granddaughter: Accept that death is a part of life and make sure that yours is a full and happy one. And make an effort to stay in the moment. The more time you spend obsessing about what will eventually happen, the less you will have to enjoy the blessings you have today.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 60069.