Ask Elle: Pushing people away

Elle gives advice to a student who worries that asking for help will push away the people she loves

Elle is MCHS’s advice columnist. Email her at [email protected].

Elle Smith, Staff Writer

Dear Elle: My parents are driving me absolutely insane. Life hasn’t been easy on me this week and every single time I try to talk to them about it, they just tell me that life is hard and I should just get over it. But that literally doesn’t help! I’ve vented about this with my friends and on my spam account because who else am I supposed to vent to? But now I’m worried that I’m pushing my friends away by being negative and whiny. If I don’t have my family or my friends to turn to, how am I supposed to make it through this rough week?

Signed, So Lonely



Speaking from experience, it is so easy to get caught up in this feeling. When we have built up anxiety and stress, all we want is someone to talk to, but often we convince ourselves that, if we open up about our stressors to others, it will push people away. 

Let me assure you however, this will not push your true friends away. Real friendship is a two-way street, meaning that a real friend will be there when you need someone to listen — when you ask for advice, and when you are goofing around being happy together. A true friend will not leave when things get tough, no matter how much you are talking about it. Although, you do have to keep their needs in mind too, but it seems to me you are being mindful of that. Give yourself room to be not okay (cliche, but true), and start to accept where you are at now.

Remember that good friends care about you and want the best for you. They should have your best interest at heart, but you need to give them a chance to show you that. 

As important as it is to have people to vent to, it is also extremely important that you can rely on yourself. You are the only person who will be in your life for its entirety, so now is as good a time as any to start building self-trust. Spend a bit of time alone, figure out what the things are which make your soul happy, and lean into them. 

As far as your family goes, they may not truly understand what you are going through, and that is okay. Know that no matter what, you have yourself, and you are valid. No one can take your feelings away from you, or invalidate them, it’s simply not possible. 

So the next few days, please, be kind to yourself. You know you are going through a lot, and that is all that matters.

Need advice on school, work, love, life, or anything else that’s weighing you down? Email Elle at [email protected], and she may respond to your letter in the online or print edition of The McHenry Messenger.