I have a friend, Let's call him "Jack" and the problem I have is that ever since he has started watching some YouTubers, he has now wanted to act like them.

If I was to walk down in street he will sometimes yell out stupid words to be "cool" and maybe do stupid actions as well, trying to get attention on him and sometimes he talks about stuff I don't find comfortable, for example, he likes to say "rape" a lot, and I don't really feel happy about that.

I have told him to stop (kinda). When I told him to stop he kinda like, shrugged it off and this happened near the mall and I told him to stop because he was attracting way too much attention for me and my other friends liking. I said...

"Jack, you got to quiet down dude, people are looking at us and well I don't like that" The very next day he was quite calm but within 3 days, he became the attention seeking person I didn't like. I did speak to my mother about this but she did not know what to do, I asked my brother and he just told me to grow up.

I just don't want to sound rude to him or to feel like I am forcing him to change, but ever since he has watched those YouTubers, he has become an attention-seeking person who talks about topics that make me feel uncomfortable.

How can I tell him that he is making me uncomfortable and that he should stop being an attention-seeker in public (because that also brings attention to me in public and I don't like being a scene)?

(BTW Jack and I are around 13 and in high school in NZ).

up vote 24 down vote accepted

I feel you. It must be uncomfortable to hang out with someone like that. Keep in mind, however, that throughout life our own personalities change, and it seems to me that your friend is discovering his extroverted being, and though the process of discovery can be awkward, if you give space for your friend to be, in time he will become more adept at it.

Having an extrovert among a group of introverted friends is a blessing (and vice verse), but the challenge is giving each other space to be.

I would tell him:

Jack, you're a cool fool but sometimes your antics are off the charts. If you don't mind I will walk away when this happens because it makes me uncomfortable.

Then really make an effort on being there through his antics, don't automatically roll your eyes because he's seeking attention, cheer on when he's doing good and skulk away when he's embarrassing. Then he has feedback when he's doing good or bad.

Trying to change a friend is something we all go through, and I suppose everyone who had tried it will say it's better to either accept people as they are or to walk away if you are unwilling to accept.

By trying to change people you just damage the relationship and then things drift in different directions.

Good luck!

  • 1
    +1 This is great, it made me think of it in another way and how he may feel when i'm telling him to stop and how changing people to fit your liking is being kinda rude on my part. Thank you, you made me think of it in another pov – Nfagie Yansaneh Jul 31 '17 at 8:37
  • I will listen to your advice about cheering him on and being patient – Nfagie Yansaneh Jul 31 '17 at 8:38

You might sometimes take Jack aside and say something like,

"What you did sounds great on Youtube, but it doesn't always work in the real-world."

Don't do this "all" the time. Specifically, don't do this when he is getting "cheers" from others, and probably not when the results are "neutral." But pull him aside at the times he embarrasses himself (and perhaps you). For instance, when he yells "rape".

Your goal is not to get him to "quit," but to use discretion when he does so. It's most likely a "phase" that he (and other teens) are going through, but an occasional hint might speed up the process.

You've already discussed this with him, next "Get Angry". You are fully within your right to disapprove of your associate's behavior and within your right to let them know how you feel about it.

I have found people will usually go with their default mode of behavior UNLESS there is a reason not to. The problem comes when you compound this with the fact that often, particularly if you are a tolerant person, your annoyances may go unnoticed. It is YOUR duty to let someone know when they are annoying you. You don't have to be mean or nasty about it, but letting people know you are angry, and being impacted by their actions, can have positive results. A Simple "Dammit, Jack!", or even more politely "Jack! Please!", in an angry tone of voice will probably suffice. If queried, tone it down immediately with something like "Common bud, we've talked about this before."

It is important, with this tactic, to NOT let it escalate. While you certainly have the right to be annoyed with Jack's behavior, (and his lack of consideration for how you feel about it), keep in mind he certainly has the right to engage in it ANYWAY.

Indeed, this advice will NOT work in all circumstances. It requires that the person you are interacting with A) actually cares about your feelings B) is NOT the kind of person that just gets angry BACK as an automatic defense (immediate escalation).

Be warned: this tactic DOES have the potential for a negative outcome, particularly when used excessively or without careful consideration.

protected by Community Mar 8 at 8:31

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.