Dear Dish-It, I'm Struggling With My Social Life

Dear Dish-It,

My name is Misha and I'm a talented, poetic, musical, anti-cool, individualistic hard rocker who should have been a teen in the 70s. I'm in the 8th grade and am struggling with my social life. People I thought were my friends before this year have suddenly taken up a liking of making fun of me just for my reaction, especially since a new jerk, err, kid showed up. I used to have longer hair and people were always pressuring me to cut it, so I go and get it styled and they say it looks even stupider than before! I have said some really stupid things to them before that they use as blackmail, but these people in my school do not understand my social predicament. I had two best friends and they both moved away two years in a row - one after the other. I became really isolated and seemed to play video games all the time. After last year at summer camp, I became a rock and roll junkie and people were mad at that too. Even worse, one of my good friends is still hanging with those jerks I mentioned before. I have never had a girlfriend and to top that off, I have no idea who to ask to my school dance... I need some social help... What should I do?
PS. One of those guys at school is saying that I'm not an individual person and the music I write is terrible - yet he can't tell a note from a bottle of toothpaste!

Dear Hardrockguitar,

Welcome to high school - a place where the people you thought were your friends a year ago probably won't give you the time of day and kids you never would have imagined talking to will become your life-long pals. Adjusting to life after elementary school is rarely easy for anyone - especially though for those of us who are a bit "different." You march to the beat of your own hard-rockin' drum while your classmates groove to their mainstream radio stations. And because of these differences in personality, there are bound to be clashes. It sounds like you are pretty comfortable in your own skin and know who you are. Don't let some former friends make you feel like you need to change in order to be cool enough to hang out with them. If they aren't willing to accept you for you, then they clearly aren't worthy of your friendship.

It is tough to find real, genuine friends, but as long as you stay true to yourself, other people who share your interests will recognize your confidence and will want to be around you. As for having a girlfriend - or even just getting a date to the dance - those things will happen for you when the time is right. If you're interested in a particular girl, just ask her to go with you. If she says no, don't let that discourage you from trying again with someone else in the future. Your social woes are not going to disappear over night, but if you just keep being you, and do your best to ignore the jerks that are just trying to bring you down, things will fall into place for you soon enough! Good Luck.

So, ya gotta burnin' question? Need some love directions? Thinkin' 'bout stuff like depression, sex,how ya feel 'bout YOURSELF (that's called "self-esteem"), boyfriends, girlfriends, losin' old friends, bullyin' or peer pressure, but too scared to ask the parents? Don't be scared to .

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