Mean girl friend

Dear Luna,

My mom says that mean girls don’t get mean they just get meaner. I know who the popular girls are and one of them is my friend. I’ve known her since I was five and I’m afraid she is going to get mean,selfish, and ditch me forever. She was my first school friend and I don’t want to lose her.

Confused and Scared

Dear Confused and Scared,

I’m feeling a bit confused myself: confused that your mum would choose to highlight a negative situation that may never happen rather than to encourage your friendship. To be fair, your mum isn’t entirely wrong: sometimes people do get mean and friendships can end that way. However, that is not inevitable. Besides, not all popular girls are mean (and not all mean girls are popular–look at Millicent Bulstrode).

If you feel your friend IS becoming a “mean girl”, talk to her about it. Nobody really wants to be known as the “mean” person. Usually people are mean out of fear of being left out, or to show that they have confidence or power. (Here’s a hint: these people don’t usually feel very confident or powerful at all.) In fact, I would say that the “mean girls” are the ones who probably need a real friend the most. Continue to look for opportunities to be a good, true friend, C&S.

Friendships do end sometimes, but not always for nasty reasons. And that’s all right, too. Sometimes people grow apart naturally, without fighting or meanness; sometimes distance or different interests cause friendships to fade. It can happen so slowly and subtly that we don’t realize it for many months. Maybe you would feel sad about it, but maybe you would accept that it was the natural order of things. Or you might choose to reconnect with your friend and try to rekindle that closeness. Above all, you should cherish the memories you had with her, whether you stay the best of friends for your whole lives or not.

Most of all, don’t be scared, C&S. You have a good heart, and that will take you far.