Girls Inc. of Upper Canada

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Question & Answers as seen in Backpack Magazine

July/August 2011 Issue, Page 34:

Q: I’m dating a boy from another school, and I’ve been told he’s dating
someone else, too. I don’t want to lose him. What do I do?

A: Love and relationships can be a pretty overwhelming experience - sometimes it can feel like you are riding an emotional roller coaster! When you are in a relationship, it is important that you remember that you have rights, or certain things that you should expect from a relationship. You deserve to be listened to, to be taken seriously, to feel safe and respected and be treated as an equal, and to be able say “no” or talk about other things that are bothering you without feeling guilty or being afraid of how the other person might react.
And remember that relationships come and go, but you are always going to have you. It is important to be kind to yourself, remember that your needs matter, do what you love and spend time with friends and family that care about you too!

May/June 2011 Issue, Page 34:

Q: What do you do if you hear your friends talking badly about you behind your back?

A: Gossip can often make the gossipers feel powerful and in control, but leaves the one being talked about feeling hurt and angry. It is tempting to be mean back, but this just leads to more hurt feelings and broken friendships. Sometimes we show friends we are mad by rolling our eyes or ignoring them, but then we say nothing when they ask us what's wrong. People won't know why we're upset with them unless we tell them. After you have had a chance to calm down, give yourself a reality check. Ask yourself questions like "What am I really mad about?" "Were they really talking about me?" and "Why is this bothering me?" If you decide that you need to talk to your friend, choose a good time and place, talk in a calm voice and use strong posture (shoulders back and head up) and facial expressions. Use "I" statements, and tell him or her how their actions made you feel.

March/April 2011 Issue, Page 34:

Q: What is the best way to deal with peer pressure?

A: Making decisions on your own is hard enough, but when other people get involved and try to pressure you it can be even harder! Sometimes people put pressure on others to get them to do things they wouldn’t usually do – especially things that are risky, unhealthy or dangerous. You can use these step-by-step friendly refusal skills to say “no” to friends without having to end the friendship or give up power over your own choices.

First, ask questions to figure out exactly what your friend is trying to get you to do. Tell your friend why what they are asking makes you uncomfortable. Think of negative consequences or risks and state these. Next, think of another activity you can do instead and invite your friend to join you. Use your power. Once you make your decision, act on it. If your friend tries to get you to change your mind, don’t stay and listen. Just leave. Do the alternative activity and enjoy it!


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