"My best friend convinced me and my other friend to all try out for the soccer team with her. I wasn't that into it, but I thought it would be fun for all of us to do it together. Well, my best friend didn't make the team and my other friend and I did, and now she's really mad at us. She keeps telling us to quit before we get involved with the team too much since we didn't even want it anyway, but I still want to participate! I don't want my friend to be mad at me though, it's not worth it. Please help!" -Kacey, 14
First of all, I believe congratulations is in order for making the soccer team! That is a really awesome accomplishment and you shouldn’t let anyone tell you otherwise. But, it is always difficult when the tables turn on you. What you should realize, is that there might be a hint of jealousy behind your friend’s reasoning in telling you that you should quit before you get too involved with the team because YOU didn’t want it in the first place. There are plenty of things that we don’t know we want for the sole purpose that we just haven’t tried them yet. If you really do enjoy soccer and think this would be a great way to not only make new friends but get some exercise and experience what it is like to be on a team then you should stay on the team!
On the other side of the argument, it is hard to make a decision like this when a friend is mad at you. But, because this isn’t just your opinion up against hers and you have another friend who made the team as well, this can help your friend who didn’t make it understand where you both are coming from. If both of you sit down with your friend and explain how your minds have changed and you are actually really excited about playing on the team she should be able to understand. There are plenty of other clubs and organizations that she can become involved with. And even though they may be new or unfamiliar to her, she may end up loving an activity she never knew she would – just like the way you came to enjoy the soccer team! Make sure to give her that example so she is more likely to get out of her comfort zone and try something else.
One other idea I had was asking your coach if your friend could still participate on the team even though she wasn't selected as a player. Sports teams need lots of help especially keeping the scorebook and records straight. Maybe your friend could be a manager of the team and that way she could still come to the games and feel included in the team’s activities! Just make sure you ask your coach if this is an option before you talk to your friend about it. You wouldn’t want to get her hopes up before even knowing if the coach will allow this!
Just remember, whatever you decide to do, make sure it is your decision. Don’t let anyone influence you to do something you really don’t want to do. You will end up regretting it later on. And chances are, your friend won’t stay mad at you forever if you decide to stay on the team. She will come to her senses and realize that the value of your friendship is more important and should be cherished whether you are both on the soccer team or not.
If you need advice, send your questions along to firstname.lastname@example.org!