… the occasional advice column that’s taking the world by storm, one sovereign individual at a time.
This week’s question comes from a troubled teen, who wrote to us on the recommendation of long-time reader Chris Acheson. She wrote because she needs help with a question is about relationships and boundaries. How do you know when a concerned friend really has your best interests at heart–and how do you know when that concern crosses a line and endangers the friendship?
Dear Dr. Anarchy,
I have a friend who says he’s really worried about some of the bad decisions I’ve made in the last few years. He thinks that I’macting out.I know I haven’t always made the smartest decisions, but now he’s following me around all the time to try and make sure I’m not getting into trouble! He even says he wants me wear a shackle around my ankle with a G.P.S. unit, so that he’ll always know where I am! I told him that sounded too much like Big Brother for me! But he says:You can paint this thing as either Big Brother, or this is a device that connects you to a buddy who wants to keep you safe and help you graduate.. I know he’s just trying to look out for me, but this makes me really nervous! Is he right? What should I say?
Truant in Texas
If this guy were really your
buddy, then he would respect your boundaries, and he would try to support you instead of trying to make you do what he thinks you should do. I know that he tries to cover up his controlling behavior by using euphemisms and acting superficially friendly. And I know that you want to believe that after all these years, he really does want what’s best for you. But you need to take an honest look at this relationship. The truth is that your
buddy is acting like a control freak, even a stalker, and you deserve much better than
buddies like that. You need to break off this relationship as soon as you possibly can.
Thatâ€™s all for today. Just remember, folks: people are more important than power. And everything is easier when you reject the State as such.
Next week: Dr. Anarchy answers your romance and marriage questions!