Hey, Tribelet! Welcome back to Wednesday Afternoons where we talk about everything having to do with bullying and Friendship Flubs.
Right now we’re working through a list of 16 questions YOU have asked, taking one each week and making room for even more as we go. If you’d like to look at that list, just click here — and feel free to add your own in a comment on THIS post.
Speaking of comments, yours on last week’s post about the on-again, off-again friend were awesome, amazing and, oh, can’t forget wonderful. In fact, you asked three MORE questions, which I’m going to try to answer for you now:
HALLE BELLE asked: “How do you tell your Ugly Friend he or she is the Ugly Friend without being totally rude?”
NANCY: Obviously you don’t go up to her and say, “Y’know what? You’re ugly to me when other people are around so, basically, that makes YOU ugly.” I mean, seriously? What you CAN do is talk to that not-much-of-a-friend when the two of you are alone (and she’s probably all ABOUT you, right?) and say: “I like hanging out with you, but when other people are around you totally ignore me. I’m thinking if we’re not friends all the time, we shouldn’t be friends any of the time. Right?” You’re clear and honest without being hateful. Just know that she may say, “Then we can’t be friends at all.” Be prepared to say, “Okay, then,” and walk away. It might hurt, but not as much as it will if you don’t.
KAYLEE: Can you help the ugly friend change? How?
NANCY: See that meme at the top of the post? It’s true. You really CAN’T change anybody else’s behavior. You CAN do two things, though:
(1) Change YOUR behavior. Don’t be available to her when she finally decides to pay attention to you (as in, when her other friends aren’t around) Don’t try to “fit in” in when she’s ignoring you; find something else to do, someone else to talk to. Don’t cry and throw a fit and say, “Don’t you like me anymore?” Just say, “I thought you were better than this,” and walk away.
(2) Let her know that what she’s doing is hurtful (see answer to HALLE’s question above, and that you aren’t going to stay and be bruised any more. That way she understands the consequences of her actions. That’s what nudges people to change.
EVE: How do you protect your friends from that “ugly girl?”
NANCY: That can be hard, but it’s do-able. When you observe one of your friends suffering at the hands of an on-again off-again “friend,” you don’t want to step right in and say, “Don’t be friends with her! She’s ugly!” (right?)
(1)The best first step is to take your friend aside and ask her if she’s okay with the way she’s being treated. THEN, if she says no, you can talk to her about all of this, and maybe even show her this post and last week’s.
(2) Second step? BE the best friend you can possibly be to your friend who has to leave “ugly girl” behind. Show her what a real pal is like.
I hope that helps, Mini-Women. Please let us know if it does by posting a comment. We want to know!
NEXT WEEK we’re going to talk about what to do when a close friend who is usually great suddenly stops talking to you and she won’t tell you why. If you want to comment between now and next Wednesday the 23rd — when you aren’t super-busy with Christmas preparations! — tell us if you’ve ever had that experience. We want to hear your story.
Oh, and ANA and EVE, email me to set up a Skype date after January 4.
See you then!
Blessings, Nancy Rue
The Eldest of the Elders