38% of girls ages 8 to 12 told us they’re jealous of the way other girls look.
Your best friend broke your trust…should you end the friendship?
How could she do that to me? You’re steaming mad, hurt, and—at the same time—confused. Your best friend has just totally betrayed your trust. How can you possibly stay friends now? But then you remember what a cool friend she’s been in the past. What if she’s sorry? What if she says she’ll never do it again? Should you forgive her, or forget her? Every girl has one or two friendship “deal-breakers”—actions she’d end a friendship over. Problem is, it’s a whole lot easier to say you’d never stay pals with someone who lies or spreads rumors than it is to follow through…especially when following through means losing a close friend. We asked readers to tell us about times when they had to draw the line. Here’s what they had to say…
“I told my best friend my dad might quit his job and we’d have to move. My best friend then told this really snobby girl that my family is poor. That girl told people I moved to a neighborhood with gangs and that I wore clothes made from potato sacks. I ended the friendship with my best friend. I should be able tell her something important and not have her tell.” -Rachel, age 12, Texas
You expect your friends to keep your secrets, but as many readers discovered, not all friends are worthy of that trust: “My friend said private things about me to everybody.” “She told people about my crush and a rumor got started that I was going out with him.” “I thought I could trust her with my secret, but the next thing you know, it’s all over the whole grade!” Most girls said they were quick to back away from friends who spread rumors often or with the clear intention of causing hurt, like this one: “My friend and I had this journal where we wrote all our secrets,” one reader said. “When it was full, she posted my side on the school bulletin board.” Yet many were willing to forgive a friend who slipped up once—after all, it’s a rare person who can honestly claim she’s never gossiped. Still, if you swore her to secrecy and she blabbed, it will take time and effort to rebuild that broken trust.
“When I was taking off my sweatshirt, my friend said, ‘Keep it on, no one wants to see all your blubber.’ Then she said, ‘How much do you weigh…180, 190? The reason I’m guessing so high is…well, look at your stomach!’” -Molly, age 10, Wis.
“You’re so stupid!” “You need to go on a diet!” Our readers said “See ya!” to the “friends” who uttered those insults, and they were smart to do so. A friend who puts you down is a huge threat to your self-esteem. As one reader put it, “I ended the friendship because she made me feel bad about myself.” Another notes, “She made me feel the opposite of confident.” Still another said, “My friend always spoke her mind and, most of the time, what she spoke was criticism.” Bottom line: If she’s cruel, you don’t have to stick around. Friends are supposed to lift you up, not crush you!
“A friend borrowed one of my video games without asking. When I asked her to return it, she said she lost it, and I ended up getting in trouble for losing a $50 video game when it wasn’t my fault in the first place. We are still friends, but not best friends.” -Amanda, age 9, Mich.
Ever had a friend who left your room a gigantic mess every time she came over? Or who borrowed your favorite top and stained it? No one is a model of responsibility 24/7, but what if your friend’s so irresponsible she often forgets to consider your feelings? That’s grounds for pulling back from the friendship…or ending it altogether. After all, it’s hard to be tight with someone who doesn’t put as much care into the friendship as you do. Worse yet, a friend who acts without thinking can get you into trouble: “My friend really wanted me to go with her to the school basketball game, so she said my mom had told her we could go. Actually my mom had told her no. My parents came looking for us and we got in trouble.”
“My BFF was on the Internet chatting with me and some friends. We all put on our video cameras. My BFF zoomed in on my dresser filled with bras. The next day at school, I saw a picture on my desk that said “padded bras”—and it was my bra! The whole class was laughing at me. I felt better after I ended that friendship.” -Morgan, age 11, Ill.
We all make mistakes, but when someone tries to hurt you, that’s not a mistake—that’s betrayal. Consider this reader’s experience: “My friends took me to the counselor’s office, and said I punched and kicked one of them. I never did anything like that.” Backstabbing was the one deal-breaker all of our readers agreed on: A girl who goes out of her way to harm you is not your friend. And they’re right. The sooner you stop thinking of her as one, the sooner you can move on to kinder, more caring friendships.
What do you consider grounds for ending a friendship? The next time you’re faced with a situation that might be a deal-breaker, look at it as a wake-up call. Consider how your friend has treated people in the past. Has she done anything like this before—to you or someone else? Did she have reasons—even bad ones—for acting the way she did? And is she truly sorry she hurt you, or is she just going through the motions with her apologies? When you know the answers to those questions, ask yourself the most important one: Is this friendship worth it? You’ll know the answer…and only you can decide.
Originally printed in Discovery Girls magazine. Share this with your daughter.