When a Friendship Is Over

Asher April Hello, my Tribelet of amazing Mini-Women.

Is there anything much sadder than the end of a friendship? When you’ve shared giggles and tears and growing-up stuff with another girl — and then it all goes away?

SO many thoughts and emotions, right?

     Did I do something wrong?

     Should I have stayed and tried harder? inner-critic-asher

    Is there something wrong with me? Am I, like, friendship challenged?

    Will I ever have a friend like that again?

That can all be pretty tough to manage, but we’re here to help.

(1) If your friendship is floundering, first make sure it’s time for a break-off and not just a case of a friendship flub that can actually be fixed. You definitely need to part ways with a toxic friend, one who often leaves you feeling bad about yourself . Asher girlsBut if there’s still a lot of good in your relationship, see if the suggestions we’ve made in this series of posts can help you.

(2) If you’ve tried to solve the problems and it isn’t working, tell your friend good-bye without turning it into a drama queen scene. Here’s what no-drama might look like:

      “The way you treat me (or other people) just doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried to talk to you about it but nothing’s  changed. So I think we should take a break from each other. I don’t hate you. I just think this is the right thing to do.”  ashtons-october-13-pic

      The same goes if your friend says something like that to you — or just dumps you without an explanation. If you’re willing to try to work it out, say so. And if she says it’s too late, leave as gracefully as you can. That might look like this:

     “I’m sorry you don’t want to be my friend any more. I’ll leave you alone. But it would sure be helpful if you could tell me why.   Then I can make other friends.”

(3) Give yourself time and space to be sad. No matter how bad things have gotten, at one time you had hopes of being in each other’s weddings, for Pete’s sake, so it’s hard to watch a friendship go away. Asher's tween girlTalk to your mom or dad or another adult you trust.  Go ahead and cry and, of course, talk to God about it in your Talking To God Journal — but do that alone or with that adult. Feel the feelings all the way through.

(4) Do NOT put down your ex-friend to other kids, even if she was heinous to you. You can talk to another friend about how bad YOU feel but leave your former friend out of it. Asher's gossip drawingIf she spreads bad stuff about you, let it go. Things like that die down. Don’t lower yourself to her tactics.

(5) Make a fresh start by doing things like –

     * avoiding her without making a big thing out of it

     * letting adults like teachers or coaches know things have gone sour between you so they’ll know not to throw you together

    * start to look for other people to hang out with, people who like the same things you do for openers.Ashers health drawing

   * going back to the post on making new friends: Friendless in Tween World

This time, don’t settle for anything less than a friend who doesn’t pull you down or hold you back; who loves you because you’re you; and who helps you to be your true, fabulous self. No friend will be flawless, so just look for one whose flaws you can smile at.

If your friend left you, talk to an adult you trust about what happened and see if you can figure out what mistakes you might have made that you can not do with new friends. aSHER'S FRIENDS DRAWINGWe’re not saying a break-up is your “fault,” but why not learn from experience, yes?

If you want to talk to God about this, get out your journal and write about one or more of these things:

Asher tween you and me logo

  * a friend who’s not really being a good one right now

 * any feelings you have that you might be getting on a friend’s nerves

  * a friendship that’s ended that you feel bad about

Just talking to God about it will help soothe those feelings and even give you ideas. This I know from experience. Do you trust me?

If you’d like to comment — and we hope you do! — tell us comment

   * Do you have a friendship that isn’t going to make it? 

   * Have you recently ended a friendship and don’t know what to do now?

    * Do you have experience with ending a friendship without a lot of funkiness?

Share with us. We can help. This is a place where friendships don’t end.

And don’t forget to send me submissions for Mini-Makers by tomorrow for Wednesday’s post. We have some awesome stuff already so be sure to come by and see.

Blessings,

Nancy Rue

This Week’s Mini-Women Schedule!

cafe nudge picture Hello, Amazing Tribelet of Mini-Women! I missed you last week, but Hannah and I are making up for it THIS week with a full schedule of good stuff for you. Here’s what it looks like so you’ll know when to check in:

LATER TODAY (June 26): A post from me on “When a Friendship Is Over.” Asher April

WEDNESDAY (June 28): the June Mini-Makers post — which means you have one more day to get your stories, poems, songs, photographs and drawings to me by email. Jenna May If you don’t know about Mini-Makers, just click here for more information.

FRIDAY (June 30): A post from me where you can find out what kind of friend you are. Not “good or bad”, but “Cheerleader or Silent Partner,” that kind of thing. I think it’s going to be fun. Veronica march 1

SO … we’ll see you later this afternoon. Can’t wait!

Blessings,

Nancy Rue

RMGs: Really Mean Girls

SO not ok cover high-res Hi mini-women! Hannah here. Welcome back to our When Friendships Flounder series, (which you’ve really been responding to in your comments, and that rocks.)

We’re diving into a topic this week that isn’t so fun, but it just HAS to be dealt with.  We’re talking about Really Mean Girls – Bullies. It’s so important that Nancy wrote a whole series of books about it, called The Mean Girl Makeover trilogy, as well as a section in her non-fiction book, Girl Politics (just in case you want more info.)

I remember the first time I ran into some really mean girls.  I was only four years old!  I danced into my preschool room, so excited to go cut down a Christmas tree with my class, and sat happily in my assigned seat.  I turned to the girls next to me and said, “We’re getting a Christmas tree today!”  The one girl glared at me and the other one curled her lip.  “Umm I think we know that,” they answered.  tattling And then turned away from me.  I was so crushed!  Who is that mean at four years old?  Anyway, I’m ranting, but as you can see, it’s decades later, and I can still remember it.  Not cool!

But out of that experience, I also tried to be a very nice person – always.  I remembered what it was like to have someone treat me like I was weird, and I tried my hardest to not do that to other people.  girls talking 2 So I will chalk that up as a good thing.  God can make a lot of good come out of bad things that happen to us.  Remember that, girls.

But back to the topic.  So what does a bully look like?

A bully is a girl who excludes people from her friend group for being different.  Or talks bad about someone behind her back – or maybe right to her face!  A bully will tease about someone’s clothes, or the way she talks, or the hobbies she likes.  A bully is not someone that we want to be. SNS-2

We may all be guilty from time to time of taking teasing too far, or making a hurtful comment that we didn’t mean to, but a bully is usually TRYING to be how they are.

One thing about bullies is they are usually pretty sad people on the inside.  They just don’t want anyone to know it.  So the easiest way for them to feel like they’re in charge and their life ISN’T falling apart, is for them to go after somebody else’s life! SNS-4 It’s not the right thing to do, but I only point that out to make sure we don’t say that bullies are 100% horrible people.  They’re usually very sad, hurting people.

That being said, it’s hard to feel bad for them when you’re at the other end!  When they make fun of who you hang out with, or the type of food you eat, or that you have a crush on a boy, you don’t really feel bad for their sad life do you?  SNS-7And sometimes bullying can get even worse than that.  Taking other friends from you, and making sure you’re alone is a big one.  A bully can also make physical threats or tell you to harm yourself.  These are some BIG signs that you’re being bullied.

Now, just one thing.  I hate to go all extreme on you, mini-women, but let’s remember when the soldiers were literally killing Jesus, He prayed for them.  So, there’s that.

Fine, you say.  But Jesus got to be raised from the dead and go back to heaven.  He didn’t have to go to school with the soldiers the next day!

Fair enough.  So what to do if someone is bullying us?

First, pray for her.  I don’t mean pray for months while the bullying continues.  I mean pray right there in your head, the first time it happens.  Then move on to Step 2.

SNS-5

Step 2 – Try to ignore it if you can.  A lot of bullies want a reaction out of you, and if you give them one, oh boy let the games begin.  Find a way to walk away like you didn’t hear it, or find a way to change the subject.

Step 3 would be to stand up to the bully.  Not in a mean, tease-them-right-back way, but something like, “I’m sorry you don’t like who I am,” or maybe “I think you’re better than all this teasing you’re doing.”  These are things you can say to take back the power to be yourself.  YCSWU-5

If Step 3 doesn’t work, you feel physically threatened, or you can’t focus on your schoolwork anymore, go tell an adult that this person is being hurtful to you (Step 4).  I know sometimes we think tattling is lame, but you know what’s more lame?  Someone treating you rotten.  So there.  reportalert Besides, tattling is when you’re actually TRYING to get someone in trouble.  Telling an adult in this case is actually getting YOU out of trouble, and harm’s way.

And I would say Step 5 is to surround yourself with great friends who don’t act that way.  There are great girls out there, and I know this because I’m writing this blog post for them!  YCSWU-7 If you don’t have a whole group of new friends, at least ask a few of your friends to come with you wherever it is you’re being picked on.  Bullies usually back away from a pack of nice girls.

We know that God calls us to love those who are hard to love.  And if we cut every difficult person out of our lives, we’d probably end up with no one at the end of the day.  SNO-4[1] But there are also things we can do to set healthy boundaries, and I hope you girls will give me some more good ideas for how you’ve handled this in the comments!

In your Talking to God journals this week, first definitely ask God if you have any bullying tendencies that He wants you to work on.  We can’t all be perfect all the time, and He would love us to come talk to Him about it.  SNO-9[1]

And if you’ve been on the bullying end of things, pray to God about forgiving this person (and ask Him to help you remember they’re probably hurting inside too) and finding a way to create a healthy boundary for yourself.

I just have to close with one more thing.  Girls, you are so valuable and worthy of respect.  I know the term ‘princess’ can get thrown around a lot, but honestly girls?  SNS-1 You and I and everyone who believes in Christ is so royal.  I don’t say this so you can be prissy, but so you can be confident.  You can ignore the bullies, you can tell an adult, you can find a better group of friends – all with your head held high.

If you want a LOT more information about Really Mean Girls, just click here to go to Nancy’s Join The Tribelet website.

Blessings,

Hannah

OH, and Nancy asked me to remind you that submissions for the June Mini-Makers Post need to be  emailed to her by June 23. For more information click here: Calling All Mini-Writers!

Friendless in Tween World

Meet the Elders Hello, precious Tribelet of Mini-Women. We’re loving your responses to our Floundering Friendships series, especially when you tell us the issues you want to talk about. JENNA, ASHER and MIAH have already given us some topics we hadn’t thought of, and we will absolutely get to those as the summer moves forward. Anybody else have one?

One of the things I’ve realized in thinking about friendship stuff is that the WORST problem is when you feel like you don’t have any friends at ALL. new girlI mean, right? Finding yourself friend-less can happen for a number of reasons:

     * You move to a new town or school and it seems like all the friendship slots have been filled. Doesn’t anybody want to meet anyone new? What are the friend groups … closed clubs? clique2

   * Your Best Friend moves away and you realize she was the only person you trusted. alone in a crowdNow it’s like you’re all alone, even when there are a bunch of people around.

  * Suddenly it seems like everybody is leaving you out — even the people you thought you were friends with. You stop getting invited to birthday parties and sleepovers. left outNo one says, “Hey, sit at our lunch table.” The other girls seems to know jokes you’re not part of. It’s like you’re invisible.

  * You just had a big old fight with your CFFs and everybody is taking sides — only none of them are on yours. Members of a community welcoming a new member.Every day feels like you against them.

DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE!

Believe me when I tell you that there are friends out there for everybody. Every. Body. Okay, so maybe you aren’t or never will be THE most popular girl ever — but do you need to be? Asher girlsWhat we all want is to have at least one buddy we feel comfortable with, who we can count on, who helps us be our best selves.

AND EVERYONE CAN FIND THAT PERSON.

The way I know this is because God created friendship and meant for us to enjoy it. I mean, why else would there be examples in the Bible like Ruth and Naomi, David and Jonathan, Jesus and Mary M Mary and Elizabeth, Jesus and, well, a whole BUNCH of people (including Mary Magdalene; he didn’t just hang out with guys), Paul and his besties like Peter, Silas and Timothy?

And the need for people to travel through life with hasn’t disappeared since then. In fact Jesus said: “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. (Matthew 18:20)

Ya gotta love that. Knowing that it’s not only possible but something God wants for us, let’s look at some ways to allow friendships to form in YOUR journey:

1. Accept that it’s normal to be nervous when you try to make new friends.  Don’t wait for those butterflies-on-steroids in your stomach to go away. girl in troubleTake a deep breath and start slowly (this isn’t going to happen, like, right now).

2. Begin by just smiling and saying hi to kids who seem friendly and girls you’d like to get to know, especially if you’re the new kid. girl-smilingDon’t wait for people to come to you. NO, it won’t work to say, “Hey, wanna be BFFs?” Just let people know you’re open to friendship.

3. Without being all pushy, start conversations, and the best way to do that is to show an interest in the person you’re talking to — not by immediately jabbering about yourself. This is true even with kids you’ve been around but haven’t gotten to know. ashtons-october-13-pic Ask that girl where she got such a cool backpack. Comment on the cute kitty picture that girl has on the front of her binder. Compliment the girl on the bus for sticking up for her little sister. Ask someone you’d like to be friends with to help you with something — story problems in math, the boys to stay away from because they’re more absurd than most, how to French braid your hair.

4. Listen more than you talk. If you’re like me you probably jack your jaws about ninety miles an hour when you’re nervous, but again, take a deep breath, ask questions, and really pay attention to what the person says, listening 3without mentally trying to figure out what YOU are going to say next.  Everybody likes to be heard.

5. Be as close to the real you as possible while you’re doing all this. It’s never a good idea to pretend to like chasing boys or act like you have a huge interest in horses when that’s not actually true about you — just to get in with people. Instead, look for friends who like the things YOU like — whether that’s gymnastics or flute-playing, video games or writing poetry, playing soccer or reading every book an author ever wrote. Ashers health drawing You aren’t the only one who likes what you like, even if it seems like “everyone” is different from you. Sometimes people are just afraid to admit they enjoy something that isn’t considered “cool.” Be the brave one. Somebody will be so glad to find you.

If you’re reading all of this and thinking, “Huh. I don’t have that problem. I got lotsa friends,” yay for you. You’re blessed. And being blessed, you have a responsibility to spread that around. SO  if you see a girl who seems all alone —

  * Smile at her and say hi

  *  Ask her a question about something

  *  Find out what she likes and even if it isn’t something you’re into, suggest somebody for her to strike up a conversation with, someone who IS all about that unique tweenshobby or sport or quirk.  Better yet, introduce them.

Nobody should have to travel through Tween World alone. So if you really have that lonely feeling and none of this helps, will you email me? Maybe we can figure something out together. Meanwhile, you have a whole TRIBELET of friends here. So —

   If you want to post a comment, tell us what your next step is going to be to either try to make a friend or help a girl who seems to be floundering.

It’s always a good idea to talk to God about whatever is going on with you, so in your Talking To God Journal, ask God to show you that next step. Larissa' journal Pour out how hard it is, and by the time you’re  finished, it just won’t seem that hard any more. That’s how God works.

Blessings, Nancy Rue

 

What About Cliques?

aSHER'S FRIENDS DRAWING

Hi mini-women!  HANNAH here.  We’re sky-diving into a thorny subject today, so strap on your helmet and let’s jump, okay?

We’re talking about  … cliques. A clique is when a group of girls becomes pretty exclusive and closed off to others.  Gossiping and trying to be clones are pretty good signs of one!

I cannot. stand. cliques.

Wherever you see a group of girls dressing alike, talking alike, having all the SAME hobbies — with a Queen Bee leader who calls all the shots or you’re out — queen bee I can 100% guarantee you there is a girl standing off by herself somewhere, wishing she could go along to the movie too, or get that inside joke too, or just have fun with a bunch of girls too. inner-critic-asher

But nope.  For whatever reason, we girls like to travel in packs, and we get a little territorial about letting new members in. Kind of like a pride of lions.

But NEWS FLASH!  We’re not lions, ok?  We’re not animals who claw at each other and push the weaker ones out to die alone. pride of lions (Sorry about all the animal analogies.  I’ve been watching too many wilderness documentaries recently.)

We’re higher than the animals.  God made us so, and we’re called to act that way.  When we see someone who doesn’t fit in, we are supposed to call that person over.  We should ask how they’re doing, see what kind of movies they like, food they like, sports they like, to see if there’s a way we can connect with them.Asher girls

Now listen, I know we can’t be friends with everyone.  There are some people God knows you won’t click with, and that’s okay.  He’ll send other people their way.  He only asks that we try.  Smile at new people, say hello, and don’t act like they’re contagious with the flu!

Remember in the Bible when Jesus went and chatted with the Samaritan woman at the well?  She was in a rough place in life, and He knew that, and He wanted to connect with her. woman at the well So when He saw she was getting water to bring back to the house, He started talking about how people who call on Him never get thirsty.  And she asked him questions, and boom, we have a friendly conversation.

Now, she and Jesus probably didn’t go on to be best pals.  He had other places he needed to go, he had his best pals along with Him (they were the first FRIENDLY clique!) and He knew He needed to go on and reach more people.

But her life was changed forever.  See, Samaritans were used to being treated pretty badly.  They followed some of the Jewish teachings, but not all.  So the Jews really didn’t like them.  Bible womenAnd women were used to being ignored.  Their opinions counted for very little in the culture back then.

So a Samaritan AND a woman?  Let’s just say she was probably used to not getting invited to bowling night down at the arcade.  She was used to feeling like an outsider.

And Jesus wasn’t having that.  You shouldn’t either.  Neither should I. clique

My point in all this is:  Don’t be scared to reach out to someone.  I think sometimes we feel like we have all the friends we need, and this other person seems really different, and maybe we won’t hit it off.  And maybe we’re right.

But still, we need to try.  That act of kindness could change their sadness into a smile, and who knows?  You might start to like the person behind the smile.

So don’t be clique-y.  Cliques are just not Jesus-approved.  He talked to ANYone.

So what do you do when you are the one outside of the clique?  Well first of all, let’s try and remember that Jesus calls us to be kind to everyone no matter what.

Asher's bad influence friends

If there’s a bossy mean popular girl who is shutting you out of things, don’t turn around and start bad-mouthing her.  That gets you nowhere.  You just become crabby and who wants to be crabby?

Second, remember that these girls aren’t the only girls on the planet.  You don’t need mean friends.  Go search for others, for people who are going to smile back when you talk to them, who are excited to spend time with you and hear about your day.  You may not find them right away, but you WILL find them!  Trust me!

ashers-girl-writing-in-journal

In your Talking to God journals this week, ask God if there have been times that you’ve excluded others because they were just too different than you – OR have had it happen to you.

 And we can talk about that in the comments too! I know I definitely have done it!  I’m a naturally shy person so it takes me a little bit to work up the courage to go talk to someone new.  girl on computerBut as a shy person, I also know what it’s like to be left out of things.  So I have to try and do my part. Can you tell us about YOUR experience?

Love you mini women!  You’re the best example of a healthy group of girls, instead of a clique!  I can’t wait to hear your thoughts and see you rally around each other — like you do!

Blessings,

Hannah Hannah doing research

New Series: When Friendships Flounder

 Hello, amazing Tribelet of Mini-Women! And welcome to our newest member, ESMERELDA. We’re glad you’ve joined us — and let’s make sure Esmerelda knows she’s one of us. welcome

Today is the beginning of our next series of posts about friendships. In our last series we talked about Friendship Flubs — those annoying sort-of-little but can-get-bigger things that happen in just about every CFF group (that’s Close Friends Forever) from time to time.

NOW we’re going to go just a little deeper, into the stuff that’s more disturbing. The things that make our friendships flounder. If angry fishyou’re not familiar with that expression, it means when your relationship is like a fish (a flounder is a kind of fish) that gets caught out of the water and flops all around gasping for air on the ground.

Not a pretty image, is it? But it definitely describes what it feels like when these kinds of issues happen:

      *  When a friend group becomes an exclusive clique

clique

      *  When all your friends dump you — or you never had any in the first place 

sad girl

    *   When really mean girls turn on you 

kaelyns-inner-critic

    *    When it’s time for a friendship to be over

CM-930

ASHER came up with that last one in a comment, which gave Hannah and me the idea to let YOU make some suggestions for any friendship issues we haven’t mentioned. In the series we just finished we’ve covered THESE flubs, so you won’t want to include them in your suggestions:

      * Rumors and gossip  *  One friend always being the boss * Expecting friends to read your mind  * Jealousy  * Drama Queens  * The clone thing

Here’s what we suggest:

     (1) In your Talking To God journal, journaltell God about the worst friendship issues you’ve had lately. Pour it all out. God isn’t going to judge you or tell anybody else what you say (best kind of friend!)

    (2) If there is anything that comes up in your journal that isn’t on either list above (pink or green), tell us in a comment so we can include it.  OR tell us which comment from the green list you’re looking forward to the most. Our first one will be next Wednesday.

  Meanwhile, know that friendships don’t flounder here on Tween You and Me. We’ve always got your back.  Veronica May By VERONICA

Blessings,  Nancy Rue

  PS — Entries for our June Mini-Makers Showcase are due June 23! For more information, just click here: Calling All Mini-Writers!

From the Pens and Sketchbooks and Cameras of the Mini-Makers!

  Asher April

Hello, my amazing Tribelet of Mini-Women. Today’s a pretty huge day for us: the day we showcase your creative work from BOTH April AND May. You rock, Mini-Makers.

And what better way to start than with ASHER’S awesome drawing? We’ve seen a lot of Asher’s work here on Tween You and Me — some of it over and over because it works so well. In this latest drawing I think you’ll see Asher experimenting more and growing as an artist.

    What do you see different in the above drawing than in her past work?  Asher girls 

KAELYN wrote a poem for us this time …

                                                           My Rock

                                        I have a rock who is mighty and strong

                                        My rock will stay with me my whole life long

                                        My rock will serve and protect as a mighty shield

                                        My rock will protect me on the chaotic battle field

                                        My rock I will cherish with all my heart

                                        My rock will not let me fall apart

                                        My rock will protect me from the mighty waves

                                        My rock will hide me from the enemy’s gaze

                                        My rock is there when I can’t find my way

                                        My rock will always be my stay

 I love Kaelyn’s metaphor of the rock, which of course stands for _____

SAVANNAH’S photograph gives us another metaphor:

Savannah April Why is the way Savannah placed the steeple so perfect?

We have a lot of tributes to God this time. Here’s one from GRACE:

I Love God

 

I love God because his love shines through.

When I worship him in song and in prayer too!

His love is redeeming, graceful and kind.

And it’s always reassuring to have him by my side!

 

One thing I love about EVE are her delightful wildlife photos. Look at that BABY!

eve may

What do you want to do when you look at Eve’s photograph?

I don’t know about you but I’ve been waiting for the next installment of THIRZAH’S story. And here it is!

I searched box after box with no luck. then in a dusty corner (I knew it was dusty because I couldn’t stop sneezing), I came across an old trunk, it was made out of sturdy oak and had two bands of brass supporting the hinges. I tried to open it but it was locked, I searched the attic from top to bottom trying to find the key but couldn’t find it anywhere! I realized I had a bobby-pin in my hair, so I thought I’d pick the lock. I took out my bobby-pin to pick the lock, and there was the key, in the lock.

Needless to say, I spent about 30 seconds silently yelling at myself for not noticing the big golden key right-smack-in-the-middle of the keyhole. Once I finished scolding myself, I turned the key in the lock and opened the trunk.

Mystery and humor make a great combination. Were you expecting that solution to the problem?

I HAD to showcase OLIVIA’S kitty photos as a series.

Olivia April 3Olivia April

OIlivia AprilOlivia APRIL 4

  What do you think Gray Kitty is saying in each of the pictures?

 KAELYN gave us this acrostic, which shows you can say a lot in a few words:

Jehovah

Emmanuel

Savior

Unconditional Love

Son of God

And the first letter of each line spells ___________________

JENNA is doing some really imaginative things with her photos.

Jenna April And some daring things too. Jenna May Which of the two is your favorite?

VERONICA’S  drawing is so good I plan to use it in one of our Friendship posts.

Veronica May What title would you give Veronica’s sketch?

HALLE has given us the perfect way to close out our Mini-Makers Showcase. Why do you think I say that?

Halle April

I’m so proud of all of you. Your work is so REAL, and I love putting it out here for you all to see. Now, help us out, will you?

     * I’ve tried to include everything you sent in for April and May, but with the surgery I may have missed something. Please email me by clicking here if I’ve left out something you submitted. I’ll fix that! 

   *  Be sure to comment on the items in red — and anything else you want to say about this great stuff. All positive — we’re not here to critique, right? This is a celebration of art. 

  *  If you want to share your drawings, photos, paintings, stories (200 words max), or poems for the June Mini-Makers Showcase, please get them to me (Nancy) by Friday, June 9. For more information, just click here: Calling All Mini-Writers!

Be sure to come back on Wednesday, May 24 for the first post in our next friendship series: When Friendship Goes Wrong. Hannah and I are here for you!

Blessings,

Nancy Rue