Category Archives: African Teenagers’ social issues.

How to Make Friends Easily if You’re a Teen

Many people find it hard to make friends. It really is not! All it takes is for you to get out of your shell and remember that if you love yourself, others will too. Especially being a teen, making friends  can be hard or easy depending upon several factors.

Relax. It’s all about confidence – if you are nervous or try too hard to look cool you’ll just act weird, so you won’t make many friends. You will stand out as overdoing something. You have to act like you have had plenty of friends in the past so even the ‘cool’ ones will want to speak to you. You have to think of good reasons of why someone would like to meet you, think of the virtues you have. So relax, people will like you for passing a peaceful energy.

Make the first move. Don’t be shy, it won’t help you in anything. Look around for someone that seems interesting, then relax and go up to talk to them. Say hello, give them your name if they don’t know your name already, ask how they are and just meet them. If you know a bit about them, for example, the person likes crafts, you can talk about that. A good subject to talk about to anyone is music, because almost everybody likes music, you can ask someone what kind of music they like and start a cool conversation with them and even find things in common. Sitting shy in a corner distances you from everyone else. Become more outgoing. Other topics could be movies or sports. Try not to get deep when you are first meeting somebody. Steer clear from stuff like politics, religion, relationship problems and drama, etc.

Be nice. How do you expect them to like you if you are not nice? Put a calm smile on your face and find out what you and the person you are trying to befriend have in common. You’ll be able to be more comfortable if you find out that other person has things in common with you.

Be a good listener. Give attention to what they say, look straight in their eyes and show you’re paying attention. Nod, agree, show you find that is interesting. It’s important to be a good listener, because everyone likes to be heard, and if this person feels like you’re listening to them, your new friend will enjoy your company more

Be yourself. I know you’ve heard it a lot of times, but no one really likes a poseur – people would like the real you better for your virtues, not a fake person no one really knows. For example, if you really lived the “thug life” and had it tough, you can easily be a gangsta. But if you are just trying to act a certain way or to be tougher than you really are, you should give it up. So just be you, speak your mind, that way people will enjoy being around you a lot more and feel comfortable that you’re not trying to deceive them or are moving so fast that they can’t keep up (being fake, trying to change what you truly are in a short period of time). Be yourself and you will get people that like you for you. If they don’t like you for being yourself, then it is time to move on to someone else. Be natural, be the way that you were born to be… You were put on Earth for some purpose and to show it off.

Develop friendships. You may talk to someone now but soon they’ll forget you if you stop. You better take a time to say hi to them everyday and ask how are they doing. Say their name as often as you can, like every once every 3-5 sentences you say, unless you know it’d seem awkward. When you greet them, say things like, “Hey Alex!”, “What you doing, Sarah?”, “What’s up, Miranda?” If you do that everyday, they’ll be happy that you care about them and remembered them, so they won’t forget you and you guys will be good friends.

Include those friends in your social life. Invite your new friends to go out together with you, go to mall or hang out at a cool place. You guys must have fun together, so you can introduce your new friends to old friends and build your social circle from there, with people that accept each other.

Tips .

  • Don’t try too hard, relax and be yourself – they will like you.
  • Get your new friend’s phone number, e-mail addresses and give them yours; keep in touch.
  • Have fun with your new friends; but don’t forget old friends.
  • Smile! People are drawn to happy, positive people!
  • Make eye contact.
  • Stop thinking you are not cool enough to talk to them. They will have good reasons to want to talk to you after they meet you – think of your virtues!


  • Remember that not everyone is a true friend! So watch your back and don’t trust everyone you meet.
  • Take time to make sure they are true friends, not ones that would blab out all your secrets, things that can embarrass you, or draw unwanted kinds of attention towards you.
  • Be friendly, but don’t be too friendly. Not all people are nice and some can try to take advantage of you. Don’t be afraid to show your decisions, don’t pity time over time for the same person. It’s a sign that they may be trying to make you their pet.
  • Don’t spread rumours. This will just break friendships and make people think you’re a jerk.
  • Don’t try too hard to impress a certain group only because they have high status – it’s a lot better to meet people for who they are, not for what they have.
  • Take it slowly; friendships normally do not form overnight.
  • Don’t just walk up to someone and start telling them all your problems. Some people will think it is weird. Just give them enough information to contact you and consider you as a friend.
  • With friends, it’s quality over quantity. Making one or two best friends is usually enough.
  • If one friendship doesn’t work out don’t be afraid to start a new one. Over time you should be involved in an awesome friendship. If you fall just try, try, and try again

Busy Teens Stay Out of Trouble

This week, I’d like to share some thoughts on how to keep high school students safe. The short answer is, “Keep them busy.”

Both physical activity and extracurricular activity have been proven to improve academic achievement. Crime statistics show that the highest risk for a teenager becoming a victim of a violent crime is the hours immediately following the end of the school day. Studies also show that teenagers are more likely to engage in risky behaviors – smoke, drink, or do drugs – during these after school hours.

Common sense tells us that if teens are busy with productive activities, they are less likely to become a victim of a crime, or engage in dangerous activities.

Sometimes I hear people say there’s nothing to do in my area.  I can’t disagree more!

There are more opportunities in in every area  than I can describe. There are school-sponsored activities like sports, performing arts, clubs, and academic tutoring.

The main idea is to get involved with something:

Sports (individual and team-based), Martial Arts, Performing Arts (dance, chorus, theater), Boys & Girls Club, learn to play an instrument (individual or part of a band/group), tutoring, ), organized high school clubs, Photography, Art (ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture), and volunteering/service projects – lots of non-profits could use good help.

Each of these activities will help a teenager later, in getting a job, creating a resume’ or completing a college application.

While many teens with time on their hands make good choices, some don’t. We’d all like to think our teens won’t succumb to peer pressure or curiosity, but filling their time with positive activities reduces those opportunities for risky behavior. Studies show that teens who do not participate in after school activities are nearly three times more likely to skip classes or use marijuana or other drugs; they are also more likely to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes and engage in unsafe sexual activity.

After school programs can also offer other intangibles – the opportunity to engage in activities that help young people realize they have something to contribute to the group; the opportunity to work with diverse peers and adults to create projects, performances, and presentations that receive accolades from their families and the larger community; and the opportunity to develop a vision of life’s possibilities that with commitment and persistence, are attainable.

Finding a path as a teenager can be difficult; sometimes that path can be unsafe or destructive. Finding productive paths for the future is extremely important for teens. To start, “Keep them busy.”

The data is clear – after school activities help prevent young people from committing, or becoming victims of a crime.