Dear Carol

"Dear Carol, These two girls at school don't like me and I don't know why"

Dear Carol,

There are two girls in my class that I heard don’t like me, so I thought “OK, I’ll just stay out of their way, and maybe they will warm up to me somehow.” Now, a month later, I heard they think I don’t like them! I wish we could just be friends, but every time we are together, there’s just this awkward silence. By the way, I tend to overthink things.

- Awkward

Dear Awkward,

You can try to fill an awkward silence with a casual compliment or question: “Great sweater.” “I love your earrings.” “So are you going to the hockey game?” Being friendly is never a bad idea, but if it’s too much work to be buddies with these two, why force it? You might be better off staying polite but reaching out to different kids. As for overthinking things, keep tabs on this, but don’t berate yourself. A little reflection is a good thing. As Socrates put it: “An unexamined life is not worth living.” And overthinking beats underthinking.

Carol Weston is the author of 16 books including Speed of Life, her novel (and audiobook) about a 14-year-old girl who writes to an advice columnist. Learn more at, and follow her on Instagram @carolwestonnyc.

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by GL | 2/23/2024