I know I'm late, but it couldn't really be helped. But anyway, if you remember, I did a review of The Whole Guy Thing by Nancy Rue a some time back (was it two weeks ago?). Anyway, I had the fantastic opportunity to interview Nancy and her are her answers:
Me: Thank you for letting me ask you a few questions! I loved reading the Lily series growing up (still do :D) But anyway, here are the questions
I used to be teased really badly by some of my Church mates; in fact, I felt like I was being bullied. But when I asked them about it, they claimed to be “just joking” (this is when we were around 17). The issue was sort of resolved when I changed to another youth group, where I feel that the teasing is good-natured but how should I have handled it?
Nancy: Bullying is hard enough, but when it happens in the church it’s particularly heinous. Here’s the thing: whether comments are intended to be good-natured or not, if they hurt, they aren’t okay. I advise girls in this situation to do one of two things
a. If the people making the rude comments are friends of yours, explain to them that what they’re doing is hurting your feelings. It’s okay to say, “I know I might be more sensitive than most people, but in the interest of our friendship, could you back off a little?” After all, teasing is only fun when it’s fun for BOTH sides
b. If the people doing it are not your friends and never will be because they are, in fact, bullies, the last thing you want to do is let them know how they’re making you feel. That only encourages them to do it more, since their intention is to mess with your head in the first place. Hold that head high, look them straight in the eye, and say, “You know, seriously, I thought you were better than this.” What are they going to say, “No, I am NOT better than this?” While they’re trying to figuring out what just hit them, walk away. Staying as far away from people like that as possible really is the best solution. It doesn’t make you a wimp. It makes you smart
Me: I know that The Whole Guy Thing is for young teens, but what advice do you have to share with older teens/young adults? We’ve kind of reached the stage where we can all talk normally to guys, but there are still plenty of the “does he like me?” moments happening.
Nancy: I think the same principle applies no matter how old you are. As long as you don’t measure your own worth by whether a guy likes you, you can relax and enjoy relationships and let them develop without a whole lot of angst. Besides, if you have to wonder for weeks whether he likes you, he probably isn’t that into you, as they say. If he isn’t, move on because there’s somebody out there who will appreciate the real you. I also want to say, “Be the best you that you can be, always growing and evolving, but do not try to change the core of who you are for a guy. It never works and I promise you that you won’t be happy.”
Me: One of my friends right now has 2 crushes on non-Christians (we’re both overseas students in Japan), so what should she do? We always read in the Bible about not being “unequally yoked” so we’re confused as to how to deal with it
Nancy: I think we have to be careful about applying Paul’s advice in his letters to specific groups of people too literally. For us in the twenty-first century, there are several things to consider
1. Are you just hanging out together for fun, because these guys are interesting and a delight to be with? If so, why not? We shouldn’t completely cut ourselves off from people who don’t believe as we do or we become rigid and narrow and miss out on some great people.
2. Are you shopping for a husband? If so, and you want to marry a Christian, then why go there? If it develops into something serious, you have tough decisions to make. Just keep it friendly and enjoy their company as friends
3. Are you confused about whether a Christian should consider marrying a non-Christian? Give it a lot of thought and prayer. Journal about it. Talk to couples who don’t share a faith. I personally don’t believe you’re going to lose your salvation if you marry someone who’s not a Christian, but if you’re committed to a life with God and your partner isn’t, the going can get rough. Just give the relationship LOTS of time before you make any long-term decisions.
Me: And um, my friend has another question. She wants to know how to approach guys as friends only. We actually have very little in common with the people we’ve just made friends with (different cultures and language barriers), so she feels that she always ends up saying something stupid. It’s quite awkward for us since in kendo (our new club), most of them are guys. She’s tried what you said in “Can We Just Be Friends” but she thinks that the differences are too big
Nancy: You definitely can’t force a friendship, right? The only thing that comes to me for your situation is to take a genuine interest in what’s different about them. Ask them to introduce you to the foods they love. Get them to play their favorite music for you. Ask questions about how they grew up and what challenges they face. Of course, if cultural differences prohibit guys from making friends with girls, all bets are off! Again, if it isn’t there, it isn’t there.
Nancy: I’m thinking learn as much as you can about the culture, figure out what you CAN do to fit in and what you CAN’T, and most of all don’t make them feel like your way is the only right way. A sense of humor is absolutely essential. I think a blog about “Where to look when you walk in on naked bodies” would be hilarious!
Me: Thanks so much for answering my (our) questions! I really appreciate it(:
Nancy: My pleasure. These were definitely challenging!