Hononegah Highlights

Hononegah Highlights

9

2. The toxic friend will constantly search for ways to put you or oth- ers down. If you notice that your friend is o t en undermining your accomplishments or never com- plimenting you, this is a red flag for a toxic friend. 3. They make everything about themselves. Toxic friends love to be the center of attention. They will o t en attract the subject of most conversations to something about them or their interests. They rarely will allow you to dis- cuss your interests and feelings. When you do, they will try to shi t the conversation away from it. 4. They will try to compete with you. Toxic friends love to be the best at everything and anything. They will try to make everything a competition, even if you don't intend for it to be one. 5. They are jealous of your other friends. If you notice them get- ting jealous every time you hang out with someone else, they are a toxic friend. They want to be with you and only you. They will o t en be clingy and sometimes obsessive. If you notice these signs in any of your friends, begin to note these incidents. When you see that these events are happening o t en, begin to think about ways that you can help yourself to es- cape this toxic situation. In my experi- ence, and in many others, this process is never easy. Because toxic friends are o t en manipulative, they will do every- thing in their power to keep you in their control. Dropping a toxic friend can be scary sometimes. They may threaten you or make you feel nervous about leaving. Luckily, because I have experienced these situations, I have

Letter to my Freshman Self

Arts & Entertainment

some tips to help you through this transition.

Toxic friends are di ff icult, especially during freshman year when it is tough to make new friends. But, no matter how tough it gets, remember to respect yourself. You are in control of your hap- piness. If there are people in the way of that, don't let them control you. In or- der to respect yourself, you need to find people who respect you as well. Stay strong, and remember that things will get better. No matter what, always be true to yourself.

By Kaitlyn Niedfeldt

Dear Freshman Year Kaitlyn,

Begin by talking directly to the toxic friend. Try to do this in a calm, safe, and controlled location. If you think that the situation is going to get out of hand or possibly violent, have a trust- ed adult nearby or in close contact. This is important to establish a sense of safety for both yourself and the oth- er person. Nobody wants to feel unsafe in this situation, especially since it is al- ready stressful from the start. Come into the conversation with a few talk- ing points. These can be behaviors that you've been noticing, situations with this person where you felt unsafe or in- valid, or even times when they've threatened you or made you feel un- comfortable. Pointing out these behav- iors is vital in these situations. Some- times toxic friends are unaware that their behavior is toxic or hurtful. During this conversation, speak clearly and calmly about what you've been notic- ing. If you notice them starting to get defensive or irrational, o ff er them a chance to take a break for them to cool o ff . Confronting someone is tough for both parties and the toxic friend can easily get overwhelmed. If you notice that the other person is veering o ff course, return to your talk- ing points and try to get back on track. The most important thing for both par- ties is to remain calm and collected. Whatever you do, don't try to argue with them. They may try to start drama with you or get you worked up. If you feel overwhelmed, do not force your- self to stay in the room. Remember that you are in control of the situation, not the toxic friend. As you get towards the end of your con- versation, try to talk about ways that you can work with the other person to fix the problems in your friendship. Ex- plain to them that you will not tolerate being manipulated. Tell them that they will not get multiple chances to contin- ue being toxic. Help them to under- stand that you see their toxic personal- ity and that you don't want to be con- trolled by it. A t er the conversation, things may fix themselves but unfortu- nately, a majority of the time toxic friends will go back to their old ways. If they go back to their old ways, it may be time to dump them. Don't feel oblig- ated to stay friends with them. Regard- less of how long you've known them or how close they are to you, remember that at the end of the day your mental health and self-respect come first.

Welcome to the maze that we call Hon- onegah Community High School! By this time, you have completed your first few weeks of high school. You've semi-learned where your classes are, what side of the hallway to walk on, and most importantly, that the passing period bell is NOT a fire alarm. You've also started to make new friends. Some of them will come and go; others will stick with you until senior year. Learning who these good-quality friends are will be di ff icult. You will make a lot of friends but also lose many. In this letter, you will learn how to identify what is known as a "toxic friendship." A toxic friend is someone who will of- ten put you down and immediately ex- pect you to pick them up. They will try to drain your energy from you for their own gain. As you read this, you may start to notice that you have a few peo- ple in your life who behave like this. If not, here are 5 more signs that your friend is toxic. 1. They o t en cause drama. Some p e o p l e m a y c a l l t h i s "gaslighting" which occurs when a person purposely manipulates you or your friend group in order to cause you to question your own reality, memory, or percep- tions. The result of gaslighting is o t en conflict or drama in a friend circle.

Love, Senior Year Kaitlyn ∎

Student Submitted Poetry

Hononegah Highlights requested poet- ry submissions from students. Below are some of the selected pieces. Thank you to Jocelyn Fetting for organizing the submission process.

Untitled Cole Gerhardt, 9th grad e

There's a storm coming, I feel my inner thunder rumbling, rain frommy brain dripping, ice in my heart forming, I'm running for shelter, seeking for something I can never find, gears going keeping me alive, tears flowing but I'm alright, and I'll be damned if there is time where I just give up on the night and refuse to fight, darkness taking over the light, my head's in the sky, about to crash this flight at any given second, this is the start of something bad yet I'm the pilot and I'm still in the sky, both wings are attached, so I have to pull up and aim for the stars, because there's no falling back, no plan-B or back up plan, I was dealt this one hand, but the cards were o t en bland, useless like a clear crayon, or the mirror man, or like six-hundred-grand when you feel like the fakest man, when nobody likes you and you're not even your own biggest fan, I got some views on the gram, but it makes no di ff erence when I just feel bad, you could see all my happiness in just one glance, That's why I told everyone I was going to make a di ff erence for myself,

Kaitlyn compares her freshman and senior portraits.

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