Sometimes, when people are disrespectful to a person it can be because they think their own wants/ desires or beliefs are more important than others’. When we think we are more important than others, it can turn into behaviour that belittles the others, or even behaviour that is disrespectful and harmful to the others. You haven’t mentioned what they are doing that is disrespectful, so it’s hard to answer in a very specific way, but well done for wanting to stand up for your girlfriend and your relationship.
In Junior RespectMe, we have a session where we go over our Rights and Responsibilities in relationships, but all of these things are HUMAN rights – we should expect to be treated with respect by everyone, and to stand up for ourselves and others if those rights are not respected. These rights include:
- I have the right to say no to things I don’t want to do
- I have the right to express my opinion.
- I have the right to respectfully disagree with my friend
- I have the right to be treated as an equal
- I have the right to never be threatened or controlled – to feel safe.
- I have the right to recognise my culture and spiritual beliefs.
- I have the right to hang out with my friends and family without my boy/girlfriend
- I have the right to be spoken to and treated respectfully at all times, even during an argument or in a break up.
- I have the right not to be physically abused- hit, pushed or poked
Don’t forget that you also have the responsibility to treat others’ with respect as well! When you see someone not respecting your girlfriend, you can speak up by calling it out and saying that is disrespectful but make sure that you do it in a respectful and safe way. It the behaviour is constant and serious, you may need to talk to a trusted adult to get some more specific advice and support about what it best to do.
There is no magical age that tells you when you can and cannot be in a relationship. Although, regardless of age, it is important that if you do decide that you want to start dating someone, that you ask for their consent and communicate this with them.
Some people become interested in having a special friend at an early age, others are not interested until they are well into being an adult. One of the greatest things about being a human being is friendship. Having others around to share things with and have fun together makes life more interesting. Don't feel pressured into looking for a special friend just because it seems to be the 'in thing' to do. You could end up losing someone as a good friend and that would be sad, as good friends are hard to find.
It’s also a really good idea to talk to your parents about this as well – they may have rules that they’d like to talk to you about, but they can also help make sure you are safe in relationships and be there for you.
It can be really hard if you feel like your feelings aren’t being taken seriously and accepted as they are. We all have some control over our thoughts and behaviour, but sometimes no control over our feelings, so it’s not really very helpful to be told to ‘be happy’ is it? On the other hand, it can be really worrying for people who love and care about you to see you unhappy, and sometimes these people don’t really know what to do to help. They may be trying to find ways to help you feel better, but it may end up sounding and feeling to you like they are just telling you what to do.
Sometimes, being sad for a while can be okay, but if these sad feelings are starting to affect your day-to-day life and you stop doing your normal activities or hobbies, it is important to talk to someone like your parents, carer, a Guidance Officer, teacher, chaplain or other trusted adult. You could also ring Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, where you can talk to someone a bit more specifically about what is going on for you. They also have information on their website specifically about this question. Check it out here https://kidshelpline.com.au/kids/issues/why-am-i-so-sad
As we have mentioned in in other answers, one really important thing to keep in mind is that very sad, overwhelming feelings tend to come and go in waves, so if the sadness gets really bad, you will likely feel better in the future. It can be helpful to remember that and keep it in your mind, even if it doesn’t feel that way right now.
That is a tough one! It can be really sad when we have friends that we really like, but we fall out of touch. If you don’t have social media accounts to stay in touch and you don’t have their phone number, maybe try asking a parent or carer if they can try to get in touch with your friend’s parent/carer. Aside from that, you might have to hope you run into them again and exchange phone numbers next time!