FYI: For Your Information


When dealing with members of the opposite sex, there’s nothing like a good friend. At this point in your life, there’s a good chance that romance will fade, but a strong friendship with a girl or guy can last forever. Here are some helps for the care and feeding of a fantastic friendship uninhibited by gender.

Fantastic Friendships

People Are Talking

Mastering the art of conversation is essential when dealing with friends of the opposite sex, or dealing with anyone, for that matter. You might try to—

  • Keep your conversations positive. Don’t be caught complaining, tearing people down, or talking about your problems all the time. There is a time for intense conversation, but not perpetually.

  • Talk about interesting ideas rather than about people you know and what they’re doing. In other words, try to substitute meaningful conversation for gossip.

  • Listen. Let your friends do some talking, and learn how to convey the fact that you care and are interested in what they have to say.

  • Ask good questions. Learn how to detect when your friends want to elaborate and when they want to leave things brief. Ask questions that will accommodate those wishes.

  • Learn a little about a lot. The more you read and become familiar with a variety of things, the better conversationalist you’ll be, since you’ll be able to ask intelligent questions and be truly interested in the responses.

  • Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. You might get some added perspective by asking yourself, “Where is he/she coming from?”

  • Don’t judge! Listen to acquire information, not necessarily to critique other people or their views.

  • Focus. When your friend is talking to you, don’t let yourself be distracted by what’s going on around you or by your own thoughts.

  • Express appreciation. Let your friends know that you’re glad they’re sharing with you and that their conversation is valuable to you.

A Friend Indeed

Here are a few dos and don’ts for lasting friendships with members of the opposite sex.

  • Don’t look at everyone you meet as a potential boyfriend or girlfriend. Think of them as a friend first.

  • Do be loyal. Don’t push your friends out of the way every time a potential romantic situation comes along.

  • Don’t play games. Friendship is not for flirtation, manipulation, or jealousy.

  • Do develop a sense of humor. Private jokes will bond you, and humor will get you through tough times.

  • Don’t crowd your friend. Allow enough space for other relationships to develop.

  • Do be supportive. Help your friend whenever you can, and attend the events your bud is involved in.

  • Don’t keep track. Forget about who did what for whom last. Be more interested in what you’re giving, rather than what you’re getting.

  • Do lighten up and enjoy the friendship. Too much intensity can be smothering.

Test of Friendship

Whether you grew up next door to each other or your friendship is relatively new, it takes certain traits and behaviors to make a friendship last forever. Take this test to see if you’ve got what it takes.

  1. 1.

    You’re sitting there at lunch when the people at your table start tearing down your friend, who is not there. You—

    1. a.

      Laugh along with them but don’t participate.

    2. b.

      Change the subject.

    3. c.

      Tell them that the things they’re saying aren’t true, and tell them what your friend is really like.

  2. 2.

    Your friend says something that hurts your feelings. You—

    1. a.

      Vow never to speak to that friend again.

    2. b.

      Say something equally stinging in return.

    3. c.

      Tell your friend that what they said hurt.

  3. 3.

    Your friend got his hair cut and he looks like a mushroom head. He asks you how it looks. You—

    1. a.

      Tactfully say you wouldn’t cut yours that way, but if he likes it, that’s fine.

    2. b.

      Tell him he looks like a mushroom head.

    3. c.

      Tell him it looks cool.

  4. 4.

    Your friend is experimenting with drugs. You—

    1. a.

      Don’t want to lose the friendship, so you join in.

    2. b.

      Cover for your friend so no one else will know.

    3. c.

      Tell your friend that it’s dangerous and you’ll have to inform parents or teachers.

  5. 5.

    Your friend wants you to tell her parents she was at your house when she was really at a club that is off-limits. You—

    1. a.

      Do as you’re asked.

    2. b.

      Tell your friend you can’t lie and not to use you as an excuse.

    3. c.

      Have your parents call her parents.

  6. 6.

    Your friend took another friend on a ski trip with his family. You’re disappointed, so you—

    1. a.

      Fill the weekend with about a hundred activities with about a hundred other people.

    2. b.

      Invite them both to go to a movie you want to see when they get back.

    3. c.

      Throw a party and exclude them.

  7. 7.

    You need to team up with another person for a biology lab. You choose—

    1. a.

      Someone you don’t even know.

    2. b.

      The class clown.

    3. c.

      Your best friend.

  8. 8.

    Your best friend is going to a college nearby. You want to go to another college because it has a better music program. You want to be near your friend, and you want to study music. You—

    1. a.

      Decide to go to the same college. It will be more fun.

    2. b.

      Go to the college with the good music program.

    3. c.

      Take a year off to decide.

Answers:

  1. 1.

    a. Some friend. Where’s your courage?

    b. Not bad, but you could do even better.

    c. Way to go! That’s what a loyal friend would do.

  2. 2.

    a. Kiss this friendship good-bye.

    b. Ditto.

    c. That’s it. Be open and honest. Maybe your friend had good intentions.

  3. 3.

    a. If he really does look like a mushroom head, this is about the best you can do.

    b. That’s better than a lie, but not very sensitive.

    c. What? You mean you’d lie?

  4. 4.

    a. Worst thing you could do. Your safety is more important than the friendship.

    b. An enabler is not a friend.

    c. It may sound severe, but intervention can be a high form of love.

  5. 5.

    a. Say good-bye to your integrity.

    b. A true friend would understand that you don’t want to compromise your standards.

    c. That’s passing the buck, don’t you think?

  6. 6.

    a. That’s a bit reactionary, but better than moping around.

    b. Perfect! This way you make more friends.

    c. Temper, temper.

  7. 7.

    a. Actually this is great because both you and your best friend will be able to make new friends by teaming up with others.

    b. It would probably be fun, but would you two ever get any work done?

    c. You two already do everything together. Why not try something new?

  8. 8.

    a. There comes a time when you have to think of yourself. This is it.

    b. Yes! To thine own self be true.

    c. Why waste time if you already know what you want to do?

Service with a Smile

Kasi Genereux of the Rohnert Park Third Ward, San Rafael California Stake, has been known for a lot of things around her high school, like a 4.0 GPA and her enthusiasm as the spirit squad assistant head. But the accomplishment that means the most to her is her 100+ hours of service given through her school’s Student/Community Involvement program.

She served in the peer helping group, and was on the Safe Rides Steering Committee. She also spends her summers working with handicapped children. In addition, she served as Laurel class president and took time to share the gospel with a friend who was eventually baptized.

Kasi’s dream is to become a pediatric nurse.

Happy Anniversary!

It’s been a year now since Igor Szabados, 15, joined the Church in Debrecen, Hungary. He’s the only member in his family, but he wants New Era readers to know that he never felt better.

Igor learned from his friend, a Transylvanian, who is also a convert, that it doesn’t necessarily take money to have happiness. “With the scriptures, he has a richness you cannot see, only feel,” said Igor. “I felt great affection from Heavenly Father in the chilly garret room where my friend lives with his wife and two children.”

He also wants to tell New Era readers, “I wish you the best!”

Kelly Conquers

As she accepted her crown, no one would ever have guessed what the smiling blond homecoming queen who played the piano flawlessly had overcome. Her hair covered the hearing aids she wore in both ears—she’d barely been able to hear her name announced. But there was more to it than that.

Kelly Ann Paulson, of the Duchesne Fourth Ward, Duchesne Stake, is lucky to be alive. She is diabetic and treats herself with daily blood tests and injections. On top of that, she has suffered from giardia, and ulcerative colitis forced her to have her large intestine removed.

When talking with her today, you’d never know of the months she’s spent in the hospital. She studies piano, is vice-president of her school and seminary classes, is in the Laurel presidency, and is secretary of her local FHA. She’s the first to tell you that she doesn’t consider herself handicapped.

Young Women in Jeopardy

Here’s a novel idea for a New Beginnings night. The Middleburg Ward, Jacksonville Florida West Stake, gave it a new twist by adding a Young Women Jeopardy game, with categories covering each of the Young Women values.

Of course, the evening included traditional aspects like a program and awards presentation, but the Jeopardy game gave both parents and young women a chance to have fun together while learning about the values. The Mia Maids liked it best—they won.

Believing in Music

You’d have a hard time walking into the Thomas house in the Ankeny Ward, Des Moines Iowa Stake, without hearing some sort of music floating through the air. Both Beth, 18, and Mike, 16, are award-winning musicians.

Beth sings, plays the french horn and oboe, and uses her musical talent to serve as ward chorister. She played mallet percussion in her high school’s much-acclaimed band.

Matt has won many awards with his trumpet playing and is an Eagle Scout. Both have been involved in drama productions and all-state musical groups, and they were members of the Ankeny Ward scripture bowl team, which won first in the home-study division of stake competition.

Big Band Bonding

Jennifer and Melissa Peterson and Shawn Edwards, of the Council Bluffs Iowa Ward, Papillon Nebraska Stake were in the mood to win a contest, so they produced a video called “Glenn Miller: A Master Showperson and Arranger.” It won first place in their division of the International Student Media Festival.

Jennifer, Melissa, and Shawn wrote the narration for the video, mixed the music and narration, recorded still photos and film on video, and combined the video and sound. Glenn Miller might seem like an unusual subject for teenagers to pick, but they explained it this way: “We picked Glenn Miller because he was from Iowa and we like his music.” Their film won them the right to attend the International Student Media Festival Awards Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Nuts about Nets

Whether he’s playing with a volleyball or a basketball, you can find Albert Nihipali of the Laie Eighth Ward, Laie Hawaii North Stake, on all-state rosters. He’s been featured on TV and in USA Today for his athletic feats.

But Albert doesn’t only excel in sports. He’s earned his Eagle Scout and Duty to God awards and has served as secretary of his priests quorum.

[photos] Utah’s Kelly Ann Paulson, shown above in 1986 with nurse Kriss Bowman, worked against severely debilitating diseases to achieve the success she has today.

[photo] Florida Young Women found that the answer is: Make a Jeopardy game out of New Beginnings night.

[photo] Iowa’s Melissa Peterson, Shawn Edwards, and Jennifer Peterson had a swinging time making a Glenn Miller documentary.