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why do we generally not 'allow' teen angst emotions to be viewed as real or genuine...?

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joko | 13:22 Wed 15th Jun 2011 | Relationships & Dating
39 Answers
in general, we dismiss, belittle, be condescending and even sneer and huff in some cases whenever a teen comes on here in a state about some boy or girl...

because we know as grown ups, those relationships tend to come to nothing and in the grand scheme of things dont really matter - but we learnt that over time...its not just a 'given'

i remember as a teen having some of the most powerful, confusing and heartbreaking emotions over boys, which were no less valid than if i were 30 ang getting divorced - the latter maybe more destructive and have more upheaval, but the feelings inside can often be as powerful...its only now i look back and wonder what in the hell i was thinking and thanking my lucky stars that i am not still with those boys!

we tell them to grow up and move on - when inside we all know its not that easy to do...

the level of their drama comes from naivety and no basis for comparison...but the sense of loss and betrayal or whatver is still there - its not their fault they havent lived as long as us...

whether we think they are being silly and dramatic or not, to them its the end of the world and there is nothing guranteed to make you feel worse than everyone patronising you and dismissing your emotions as nonsense...

so why are we so dismissive of that - surely we all know what it felt like, so why cant we empathise more?


(no need to respond just to say that you yourself dont dismiss - its a given that some of you will be more sympathetic than others)


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Thanks for the question, but as you request I will not respond because.....
I'm not lacking in sympathy exactly but depending on the problem I do think a dollop of 'catch yourself on' advice is sometimes warrented to someone being overly dramatic regardless of their age. I tend to judge each situation accordingly.
Its not age....I tell everyone to grow up and move on.
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mama - of course you can respond...i just meant i didnt want pages of people just saying, 'i dont do that...' and adding nothing else to it...
I would treat anybody who was in an emotional state according to their invidual circumstances, age wouldn't come into it. The benefit of experience however might mean that I would give them my personal view and that might, if when talking to a young person, reflect my experiences at a young age and how they will get over it even though it seems like the end of the world at the present time.

That would not have anything to do with being unsympathetic.
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very true china...sometimes their over reactions and hysteria warrants that...but thats more about getting them to control their behaviour rather than saying they are daft for feeling bad...isnt it?
I don't think I would ever tell anybody to 'grow up' though Woofy!! Even us grown ups just can't move on sometimes.
Yes, I would agree with that joko. It's the reaction rather than the feeling itself.

Although that said, I have always really disliked attention seeking or drama queen behaviour in any one regardless of age and I do think that some 'feelings' on here are occasionally put on for a reaction or attention and that really gets on my tits; this is not just done by teenagers though. If I saw a thread that made me feel like that, I don't think I would even bother with a 'catch yourself on'... Few things irk me online but that sort of thign really does.

I think a craving for the sensational is natural in teenagers (they haven't yet worked out the joys of a quiet life) as they are still finding themselves and so much is new, I tend to think about my response in terms of how I would have felt if a stranger had spoken to my teenage cousins or sisters (when they were younger) in this way and alter my response accordingly.
okay...maybe I don't say grow up but deffo move on and not waste their time.
if it is indeed the end of the world to them, I would point out that it's not, and that they can expect to live another 70 years or so. I would do this on the basis of my longer experience, which would presumably be why I was asked in the first place. They are of course free to ignore my advice, and take the advice of someone their own age who knows as little about it as they do - but what's the point? If you ask advice you should at least consider it when you get it.

This has nothing to do with 'sympathy'; it's not at all unsympathetic to comfort someone with the prediction that they'll get over it.
I certainly try not to be dismissive, but rather realistic, it is in the nature of the tennage mind that all woes are enormous. As you say because we have all been there and in many cases have had teenagers ourselves and seen their pain.
just realised my post says almost exactly the same as Lottie's; sorry for the plagiarism.
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a lot of teens do tend to have that exaggeration thing...where everything is OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! and WOW and just, like, you know, amazing... and they will very animatedly and theatrically tell you a rather mundane story - simply because its all new to them...

in the same way babies look at life in bewildered astonishment...many teens look at impending adulthood in a similar way...
'but I loooooovvvvvvvveeee him.... maybe but if it was real love it wouldn't have ended... 3 months from now you will be embarrassed to say 'i had such a crush on......' what was his name again... I don't do sympathy.....
I have a teenage daughter who does all the OMGs and freak outs over nothing, but I would never trivialise her angst as I remember being her age and these things were a big deal, I try to listen/sympathise and guide her.
It is a compliment that I think like you jno!!
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i relaise many are sensitive, but whenever someone comes on and asked some angsty question, instantly people start with 'how old are you?' 'you sound like a child' and 'for gods sake', and 'grow up' and dont be stupid'... kind of responses...often with an added blunt and sneery and exasperated sounding 'hes not interested' or 'hes winding you up' kind of though saying, get used to it, thats life...

i even had it myself once when i posted that i was upset about splitting up with someone - as though i wasnt allowed to be upset and show any sort of reaction or emotion unless im 15...
In fairness, I sometimes ask how old someone is so that I can tailor my response. I've often been suprised to learn someone is actually an adult!
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i think some parents actually think that deep down inside their kid 'knows' the score, and understands, but are just acting up about it because they are a teenager and being childish...rather than it being a genuine reaction...

hence the rolled eyes reaction and the 'come on now, its obvious, dont be daft' sort of response...
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nothing wrong with asking the age, as its necessary as you say to tailor your response, but its the attitude that comes with it...the tone is often exasperated...'here we go again'...

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