Dear Carol

"Dear Carol, I switched schools and now my BFF has changed"

Dear Carol,

I had a best friend. She was amazing, fun, smart, funny and kind. We clicked in fifth grade and became instant best friends. But then she started hanging out with the popular girls. She said they randomly invited her into their group chat. We both hung out with them for a while, but I felt so uncomfortable. New drama happened so often, it was hard to remember who was mad at who. I drifted away from the group, but she stuck with them.

Then in sixth grade, I switched schools. We said we would be together for life. At first, we still hung out all the time. It was great! She was still that kind and smart person I knew. She was changing a little (like the clothes she wore and swearing), but she was never rude.

Then seventh grade rolled around. She was swearing almost every sentence, talking about things I didn't want to hear at all and saying how she got voted "best body" in her friend group. Now I don't want to hang out with her anymore, but she still thinks we're best friends. On her phone I'm her only friend out of the dozens of popular ones she has who is pinned and has the name "4lifer" on her messages. 

The problem is I can't stand to hang out with her when all she talks about is her friends and how pretty she is. But she is still nice and fun. What do I tell her? Please help me. This has brought me to tears.

- Venting

Dear Venting,

Some middle school and "instant" friendships last forever. Most don't, and that makes sense—because we all keep making more friends as we discover what we're interested in and who we really are. If you two part ways, that's not the end of the world.

Since you want more space, reply less quickly to her texts and say you're busy when she asks to get together. Want to be more direct? Gently say, "We've been close for so long, and I love how funny and kind and smart you are. But I don't like when you swear so much or talk about girls I'm not friends with. I'm being honest because I care about you."

No need to decide if she's In or Out. But give yourself permission to step away from her, despite your vows of loyalty—and keep clicking with other girls and guys, including ones who share more of your current interests and values. 

Carol Weston is the author of 16 books including GirltalkSpeed of Life and Ava and Pip. Follow her on Insta @carolwestonnyc and visit

Still need friendship advice? Read more Dear Carol below:
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💌 Dear Carol, I'm struggling with a two-sided friend

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by GL | 6/8/2023