Agony Aunt Agatha #8

Recently, I have come to the realisation that the relationships I had with some of my friends, whom I stuck to secondary school, are not worth keeping. Reasons being, our friendship was always shallow, mainly because we were part of a larger friend group, and I feel extremely used, in the sense that they only came to me when they needed something, but never really bothers to be there for me during my lows, which I have been going through a lot since coming to EJ. Should I put in effort to save the friendship? I do not think it is worth it but I am afraid I may regret my decision.

Times like this can be really hard but I am glad to hear you are doing your best to stay strong and take action on your circumstance. I do believe, however, that now is the time to really evaluate the worth of your friendships, to decide for yourself if they are detrimental enough to scrap or if you are just frustrated with what you see in the heat of the moment. Oftentimes, we may be blinded by emotions in the moment and forget what a person really is to us or what they have done for us.

That said, consider the situation. Being part of a large group often means that you cannot be as close to every person as you might like, but that doesn’t mean you can lump them all together as shallow relationships either. It can be difficult to differentiate who is true to you and who is just there, because you are in the same ‘group’. Being in the same group sometimes does not actually automatically make you ‘friends’, and does not automatically entitle you to ‘friendship privileges’. You cannot really expect things that are not obligated to you; much less, you cannot expect people to extend to you something you may not have openly expressed interest in or actively worked to deserve. Consider if you have ever reached out to them for help when you needed it; consider if you have returned them the same warmth of friendship you are expecting in return. Sometimes, though, frustrations like these can be built on misunderstanding, and before any rash decisions are made, it might be best to try to talk it out with said persons to clear things up, just in case. Either way, nobody is perfect – we can all be self-absorbed when stressed, and sometimes everyone needs a small reminder to break out of that bubble.

In the end, I think the ultimatum is considering the overall effect of that friendship. Your mental health and wellbeing always comes first, so if the relationship is in any way detrimental to you, then I advise you to try to cut it off, but in a civil and clean way. However, if it is merely shallow, maybe this is a time to try to work on building that friendship properly and getting to actually genuinely know that person. But, even if you are not keen to get close to them, acquaintances are always good to have – people you can be friendly with, build up your network with, even if you may not always be close to them, and even if you want to keep a comfortable distance nonetheless. If you are afraid you will regret the decision to cut them off completely, it is always safe to maintain friendly terms but at the same time that safe distance. Either way, take care to look after yourself first and foremost, and in whatever you chose, try to avoid being stepped all over, but also try to avoid making enemies.

Do remember to give yourself time to cool down first before making any decisions! Friendships are precious and you should always try your best before deciding to give up! All the best, and I hope you find closure in your predicament.


There’s this girl in my class who is really annoying and she’s always butting into conversations. I have the strongest urge to tell her off but I also don’t want to be rude. She’s overly-polite in front of teachers and we all know it but no one is saying anything so should I?  

I understand that you may be feeling frustrated and annoyed with the way she acts, but do try to understand her intentions here. Chances are, she is not trying to annoy you on purpose, or may not even realize what she is doing is upsetting you; she may just be a little insensitive in trying to do what she thinks is good.

Try talking to her in private. Pull her aside and explain that while you are appreciative of her efforts to be friendly, you don’t like your conversations to be interrupted as it makes you lose your train of thought, disrupts a private moment you were having with your friend, et. cetera, and it makes you a little upset sometimes as you feel she is not respecting your space. Of course, as a classmate you should be trying to include her, but it is understandable that sometimes you are just having a conversation that is meant only between you and your partner, and you need to make that clear to her. The most important thing, however, is to remain civil and objective. She is a person just like you, and there is no need to upset her beyond clearly and politely reminding her of the boundaries you wish to instate. Making her believe she’s made an enemy of you would only make things worse. Talk to her kindly about it; make an effort to try to find an actual solution too instead of just telling her to stop, such as by asking why she tends to interrupt conversations. Maybe even work out a system with her where you can give her a small cue in real life situations, such as a tap on the wrist, so she has a better idea of where stepping into a conversation is appropriate at the time or not.

There is a chance that even then she may not fully understand you and continue the way she is, but the fact is, this might really just be her personality. The way she interacts with her teachers is also not something that should really be concerning you – better polite than rude! – but if you believe it is detrimental in any way, perhaps also lightly or ‘playfully’ remind her that there’s no need to be so polite with teachers and it is alright to speak to them a little more casually to help build up a more conducive learning environment. Either way, hopefully understanding why she is acting the way she is will help you resolve this issue better. Maybe she just wants the attention she doesn’t know how else to get, or wants to show off her intellect. Showing some empathy and comprehending the situation from the other party’s perspective will definitely help, and maybe you will be able to work out a solution with her in the end. Whatever it is, being rude or ‘calling her out’ to humiliate her or simply to vent your frustrations is not the way to go at all, and could certainly make things worse. Reason and kindness is always the way to go. All the best!


How do I stop eyeing boys or girls and start focusing on my studies and academics? All my eye candies break my heart one way or another, intentionally or unintentionally and I want it to stop!

Have some self control. Have some discipline! Understand that now may not be your time to be looking out for guys or girls. Focus on your current work and put in your best effort to do it right. Love life will wait, but your academy won’t! A levels is a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you should never regret. Mindset is the most important thing.

Easier said than done, though! While no one can stop you from having eye candies, and you can’t stop your feelings either, perhaps the best way to do so is simply avoid looking, physically. The more distance you put between your crushes and yourself, the more you detach yourself from it, chances are, eventually your fondness will fade. Furthermore, if someone tries to point out your eye candy or gossip about them, have the self-control to tell them to stop – or even employ your friends to help you avoid them or talk or thought of them. Minimizing interaction will certainly help, and every time you find yourself getting distracted, give yourself a little reality check. Which one is going to get you to university – that cute guy/girl, or the homework practice you’re doing? That’s right. Your homework. Good luck!



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