ask toni & josh

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 April, 2009, 12:00am

Dear Toni

My friend and I got into a fight and, while we were arguing, she suddenly brought up one of my personal problems to defend her argument.

Her behaviour really upset me. We're not talking at the moment, and I miss her, but I can't ignore what she did to me.

Under siege

Dear Attacked

Fighting with friends is never pleasant. Any fight is upsetting, of course, but at least when it's with your parents, you can blame the age gap, if you fight with your siblings, you can just say they're annoying, and fighting with boyfriends - well, they're boys, there will always be differences of opinion.

But friends are the family we choose ourselves, as the saying goes, so it's particularly hurtful.

Using personal issues that you've confided about in someone as ammunition is not cool. But it's also important to remember that very few of us are in complete control of our actions when emotional, and in the heat of the moment we may say or do things we would never dream of when calm.

If this friendship is important to you, you need to get your feelings out in the open. Arrange to meet your friend - it will be harder face to face, of course, but so much more effective.

Tell her how disappointed you are she used your private problems against you. Say you value her friendship, but you can't be friends if you can't trust her to keep your confidences.

If she's a real friend, she'll apologise - I expect she's too embarrassed by her behaviour to get in touch. But if she seems unbothered by your reaction, it's a sign it's time to move on.

Dear Josh

I'm in love with this guy who's 18 - three years older than me. Every time I see him I get chills. But I don't get why I like him. He has a girlfriend. And if he ever sees me, he ignores me - it's like I don't exist. I know I don't have a chance, so I feel like such an idiot. Help!

Crush puppy

Dear Lovelorn

'And they call it puppy love'... You're too young to know this song (although it features in Love Actually), but there's a lot of truth in it. When you're young, it's all too easy to think you're 'in love'. It's mostly your hormones that are to blame - all those chemicals rushing around your body can make you feel emotions for no apparent reason.

I think you know, deep down, you're not really in love with this guy. And you sound rational enough to realise he's not interested. Maybe he smiled kindly at you once, or did something thoughtful, and your brain has decided you're in love. Trust me, it's not love, it's just a chemical rush. I think he's probably ignoring you to avoid giving you the wrong idea, so don't be hurt by that.

I'm not suggesting you rush out and kiss the first boy you come across to 'get over' this guy. But I do think you should avoid crossing paths as much as possible, and hang out more with your friends. Get to know some guys your own age - I'll admit we're not always that mature at 15, but who knows, maybe you'll meet a boy who is kind and thoughtful, and cares about you, and you'll get to experience the real deal.

speak up!

Do you need an answer to a problem and don't know who to turn to? Growing up can be hard, but Toni and Josh are here to help. Whether it's about school stress or jealous friends, e-mail and they'll lend a sympathetic ear.