Let's Get Through It Together - Month Ten

Help! My best friend was best friends with three other girls who recently told her they don’t like her anymore. They asked me to take her place in their group, but she’s asked me to be friends just with her. I really want to say yes to the other girls (I’ve known them for a long time),but I don’t want to hurt my best friend’s feelings. Can you help me decide?

Natasha F.
Mountain View, CA

Natasha, stand back and look at your situation objectively! You have three other girls who choose temporary friends to benefit their own needs and their clique. No offense toward your relationship with these girls, but they USE PEOPLE! Your best friend needs you now, not just as a friend, but as someone to talk to about this group rejecting her. Be there for someone who’ll be there for you -- not for a group of people who will just trade you off the next time someone “better” comes along!


Jon, I need your help and advice, quick! I’m 13 years old and my parents are very overprotective. I’m not allowed to go out with my friends or to parties. My parents say I’m too young and I can do whatever I want when I’m 18. That’s five years away! What should I do to change their minds?

Jeanne W.
Silver Springs, MD

Boy, Jeanne, I can totally relate to this problem! My parents were just like this when I was 13. Try what I did. I introduced my parents to my friends so that they’d feel comfortable around them. I also talked with them about what the parties I wanted to go to were like. Another good idea is suggesting that your folks call the parents of the kid who is throwing the party and get the details from them. This should put your parents’ minds more at ease. One thing I’ve learned is that our parents are just afraid of what might happen to us. You have to help them not be afraid. Mainly, you have to show your parents that you are not a little kid anymore and that you can be responsible and trusted. It’s a step-by-step process that involves a lot of give-and-take between you and your parents. I’m sorry to tell you this problem will just take time to resolve. I’ve found that every year it gets easier!


I’m going out with this boy, and his ex-girlfriend is one of my best friends. The problem is, I don’t think she’s over him. Should I be a loyal friend and break up with him, or should I explain to her how much I really like him?

Jennifer K.
Westland, MI

Well, you know me, I think talking things out is the best medicine! First, have a pow-wow with your pal -- you have to find out for sure if she’s still hooked on your boyfriend. You may be worried about nothing! But if she’s not over him, Then you have to tell her exactly what he means to you and discuss how your relationship with him will affect the friendship between the two of you. I’d guess that a good friend wouldn’t stand in the way of you and true love and she’ll probably understand. But if she doesn’t, then you have to make that totally tough decision -- him or her! Weigh which relationship means more to you and get to it. Hope it all works out for the best!


I moved from Maine to Florida three years ago, and I promised my best friend I would write to her. Well, I didn’t do very well on my promise. She wrote to me a few months ago and I wrote back. In fact, I’ve written five letters since then! But she sent them all back in a big envelope that read, “Don’t write back!” I know she’s mad and I’m really sorry I hurt her feelings. What should I do?

Amanda S.
Deland, FL

Whew! Sounds like a huge misunderstanding to me! When people move away (especially 1,000 miles away!) keeping in touch is touchy. It’s easy to see how your friend would take it personally -- she probably thinks you’ve totally forgotten about her with new friends. Don’t give up yet! Write her a really nice apology (telling her how much her friendship means to you) on a postcard so she can’t send it back without reading what you have to say first. Hopefully, she won’t pursue that gung-ho negative attitude and will want to continue your friendship. But if not, I’d say you’ll just have to let her go and get on with your life in Florida.


I have a social problem. I’m friends with a real nerd. I used to be popular, but when I became close with her, my other buds dropped me. It really hurts my feelings! How can I show them I’m still the same person and that my other friend isn’t as bad as they might think?

Jessica G.
Slatersville, RI

Picking and keeping friends in school is very difficult, to say the least! What you have to do is get your values straight here. Who is more important to you -- so-called “friends” who are completely caught up in the popularity game, or someone who likes you because of who you are? Keep in mind that your old pals haven’t been all that worried about hurting your feelings. You also need to ask yourself, “Who do my buds think they are, judging my new friend?” My suggestion is to decide for yourself if they are worth the obligation of explaining anyone new you want to hang out with. Also, have you tried talking to them honestly about your feelings? Maybe if they gave your “nerdy” friend a chance, they might actually come to like her. After all, you like her, your “friends” like you, so maybe they’ll like her as well! Good luck!


Hi! I’m 10 years old and live with my older sister (who’s 13) and my mom and dad. I have problems falling asleep at night because I get afraid of the dark and what might happen when my family is already sleeping. What can I do?

Dana R.
Manahawkin, NJ

Hey, Dana! Well, I can’t tell you to stop worrying, but I can tell you that the fear of a dark room at night has scared me and a lot of other kids at one time or another. Basically, I got over it by occupying my mind right before I went to bed. Try reading a book or magazine, or doing your homework. Another good trick is listening to music you like. Just do whatever relaxes you and it may help you channel your thoughts toward something besides your fear. You also should talk to your parents about it and try to specify exactly what you fear. They may be able to eliminate whatever is scaring you. And last but not least, if your problem continues, you could consult a school counselor or teacher who could get to the root of it and work with you on a solution!


Hello. I’m really upset! My boyfriend broke up with me because his stepfather said he had to. We live across the street from each other, so I see him all the time. I like him so much and want to get him back. How can I?

Dawn S.
Somerville, NJ

There are a lot of questions that need answering before you can act on solving your problem. First of all, did your boyfriend’s father give him any reason why he wanted the two of you to break up? It might be a good idea to get to know his father better and discuss why he doesn’t want you together. He may want to keep you away from his son because he’s unsure of who you are and what you’re like. If you already know this man well, then you should have a conversation with him about your feelings for his son and why you think you should be together. Now remember to act the adult while talking to him -- no being defensive, getting all upset and losing your cool! The only way the discussion will go well is if you show him you are a reasonable person. It may not be easy, but if you really care for your (ex)boyfriend, you may be able to work something out. Let me know how it goes.


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