Dear Carol

"Dear Carol, How do I give my friend a hint that I want a little distance?"

Dear Carol,

I have this one friend that I don't know if I should even consider her as my friend anymore. She's been super mean to my other friend and swears a lot at school. I feel OK when I'm around her, but when I think about all the things she's done, it makes me angry. I don't know if I should keep being friends with her. If I choose not to, how can I give her the hint that I want a little distance? She is in two of my classes.

- Confused

Dear Confused,

It's good to be thinking about this. Since you don't like what this girl is saying or doing, it's smart to ask yourself if staying her so-called friend is worth your hours and energy. The best way to step away from this mean girl is to be extra friendly to other girls. Don't say, "I've decided I don't want to be friends anymore." (That could be like sticking your hand into a beehive.) Instead, hang out with others and try to discreetly avoid one-on-one time with her. In the meantime, if you are sitting next to her in class or lunch and she says something toxic like, "Did you hear what ______ did?" you can reply, "I didn't think that was so bad!" or defend the person she's trashing. After winter break, can you aim to join an extracurricular that she is not in so you can get to know a whole new group of potential pals?

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by GL | 12/19/2022