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Does Your BFF need a one way ticket to Dumpsville?

YOU THOUGHT YOU'D BE BEST FRIENDS FOREVER? IT'S TOUGH BUT

It's the first day of school, and summer was kind of a drag. But rather than being totally jazzed about how amazing this year is going to be, you're bumming all the way to the bus stop. Your BFF is waiting, like she's done every single school day since pre-K. She'll talk your ear off about all the cool classes you have together this semester. She'll rattle off which afterschool clubs you two should join, like, immediately.

As for you? The only thing going through your head is, "How am I going to tell her I don't want to be friends with her anymore?"

It's tough but true--not all friendships last forever. You might grow apart because of changes you go through, like one of you matures faster than the other. Outside pressures, like popularity could rear their ugly little heads. Maybe your BFF has turned into a trash-talking, back-stabbing monster. Or perhaps she's fallen under the influence of a not-so-slick clique. Whatever the sitch, there are right and wrong ways--and reasons--to end a friendship.

One thing's for sure, though. If you find you must absolutely break ties with a BFF, be diplomatic, especially if she's done nothing to hurt you. On the other hand, don't feel guilty about letting go of people who aren't good for you. That's part of growing up. When you boot a bad bud out of your life, you make room for an awesome new friend worthy of your coolness.

Read on for several possible dumping scenarios, plus some important stuff to consider before making that big move to Dumpsville.

1 You've been thinking long and hard, and you know it's time to branch out from your friendship with Lindsay. You're in junior high at last, and you're looking forward to meeting lots of new kids this year. Lindsay, on the other hand, is completely freaked over the fact that she's facing seventh grade. She's always been shy...and slightly possessive of you. When you suggested each of you expand your social circles, Lindsay wigged and insisted you're the only bud she needs or wants. You need some breathing room, but you don't want to totally ditch Lindsay.

STUFF TO THINK ABOUT Obviously, you and Lindsay are maturing at two totally different speeds. It's great you want to branch out in the bud department! At the same time, it's understandable Lindsay is scared of change--lots of people are.

Yet, her fear and insecurity make her clingy--and you feel like you're suffocating. But you are not responsible for Lindsay and the choices she makes, like avoiding a full social life. Your feelings and needs count as much as hers do. Friendships survive only when both people accept that new pals and experiences come along. If Lindsay can't handle that, you might have to move ahead--with or without her approval.

HOW TO HANDLE IT Ask Lindsay to spill, in detail, why she wigs when it comes to making new buds. If she admits she's terrified of you two drifting apart, assure her that wanting to meet more people doesn't mean you're over her.

Suggest ways you and Lindsay could meet some new kids together. Eat at a different lunch table every day for the first week of school. This might help Lindsay feel more comfy putting herself out there in the social scene.

If Lindsay spazzes, calmly explain that you're still her friend but that you're spreading your wings this year. Then do just that. Maybe you can talk stuff over again after things chill out. If Lindsay won't agree to some cool-off time, you may have to let her go. Don't bog yourself down with guilt. Just make peace with the situation by knowing you tried your best to be reasonable.

2 Your BFF Angelina was always a tomboy and not too into her looks. Over the summer, though, she cut her hair like Jennifer Aniston's, started wearing makeup and got a raging new wardrobe. Now that school's in session, she's the shining star of eighth grade. All the most popular girls (the ones you heard are super snobby and mean) invited her to hit the mall with them. You're worried she's about to dump you. Should you save face and dump her first?

STUFF TO THINK ABOUT The results of your friend's rockin' summer makeover is probably blowing her mind just as much as it is yours. Before you assume Angelina will trash you in favor of her hip new friends, figure out what's behind her eagerness to hang with the cool crew. It could be she digs showing off her new look and feeling accepted by other people (even people you fear might not be worth her time).

Don't worry so much about how she acts toward them but how she acts toward you. If Angelina is just stoked to have new sistah friends, she'll likely try to include you in the mix. Once you've clocked some time with the "in" bunch, you both may pick up that their vibe is as stuck-up as you'd imagined. Or maybe you'll find out these girls aren't so bad after all.

But if Angelina doesn't call like she used to or acts like you're invisible in front of her popular pals, then you have a problem. She's probably trying to back out of your friendship.

HOW TO HANDLE IT You might want to catch Angelina alone, when her cool buds aren't around, and ask her what's going on. It's worth a shot only if she's still participating in your friendship--you still do stuff together after school, though not as often. If you decide to go for the heart-to-heart, listen to Angelina's side. If she seems truly sorry that you are feeling insignificant, you could give her another chance.

If Angelina is totally dissing you, it's time to say, "Adios!" Don't feel like a reject--you're not! You guys are just going in different directions, an you're probably better off without her. Angelina's the one who's losing a really great friend, not you. It's OK to say "hi" at lunch when you run into her, but now's the time to focus on forging new friendships.

3. Your BFF Carrie is nice to your face. But you discover that, behind your back, she's trying to destroy you! The day you got your first period, you were so psyched that you emailed her right away. Turns out she forwarded your e-mail to the entire universe--well, at least half the kids in your homeroom! And, as if that weren't horrifying enough, your BF just broke up with you--and locker dirt has it that she asked him to the Fall Ball! And let's not forget that she's been copycatting your every move. From wearing the same Tommy hip-huggers to carrying the same Kate Spade knockoff, she's your spooky twin.

STUFF TO THINK ABOUT Seems to us that Carrie's so jealous she can't see straight. Carrie wants to be you because she's unhappy with who she is. You just have to pity anyone who feels that bad about herself, true?

Well, don't pity her too much because her insecurities and jealousy are no excuse for such malicious behavior. Face it--you can't trust this girl. A true-blue bud makes your life easier, not more confusing and painful.

HOW TO HANDLE IT OK. Let's be blunt. Drop-kick her right out of your life! You're better off by yourself than with a deceitful "friend." Calmly tell Carrie you know what she's up to and that you're ending the friendship. She may deny her actions, but you have proof (e-mail doesn't lie).

Don't stress if Carrie's reaction is retaliation, like spreading heinous gossip about you. People are probably already on to her game anyway. Ignore her possible attempts to bring you down. Soon, she'll get sick of not getting a rise out of you and search for a new victim to hassle. And if the ex-BF goes to the Fall Ball with Carrie? So what? They deserve each other.

4. Over the summer, you didn't see a whole lot of your closest friend Amber. Instead of hanging with you and the rest of your usual poolside posse, she's been hanging with a trio of girls who aren't exactly Josie and the Pussycats. More like the scariest tigers in the jungle--claws and all. They shoplift, cuss like sailors, drink beer, smoke cigs and date downright creepy guys. And now Amber acts just like them. You've made up your mind--you do NOT want to be buds with her anymore! But you'll see her around school for sure, and you're plenty worried about the safest way to call it quits. If you bolt too abruptly, you're worried Amber will bare her teeth and turn her grrrls loose on you.

STUFF TO THINK ABOUT Good call getting away from Amber! Doesn't sound like she's going to suddenly snap out of it and swear off the juvenile delinquency act. People change, sometimes for the worse, and there's not a darn thing you can do about it. Amber needs to see the light on her own. Maybe she will; maybe she won't. But that's not your problem.

HOW TO HANDLE IT No confrontation with Amber, please. Don't bother telling her how bad she is. It's time to turn your back and walk away. Just get really busy with other stuff. Join some new clubs, pile on some extra-credit work to ace history class, take up soccer. Anything to keep from crossing paths with Amber and the chain gang. Plus, it'll keep your mind off the loss of an old friend and help you find some new ones. Be cool and calm with Amber when you do see her. Just keep a safe distance and you shouldn't make an enemy, just a distant memory.

WHEN YOU HAVE TO DUMP YOUR BFF

"My friend started hanging with the wrong crowd--a crowd that is very mean. She always acted nice when she was around me, but I found out she was talking behind my back. So I told her we should stay away from each other."

Marianna

"I was best friends with this girl since kindergarten. As we got older, I began making new friends, and we drifted apart. We just didn't have much in common anymore. We broke up for good when one of my friends threw a Christmas party and she wasn't invited. She cried about it at our basketball game, and she was so upset that she cried the rest of the weekend. I wish our friendship hadn't ended that way, but I guess that's just how life is sometimes."

Bridget

"I had to break up with my best friend. I knew that in the pat she had had trouble with her friends--this little clan of girls who always followed her around. Since we could both tell each other everything, she always told me about the problems she had in her group. I listened, but none of the problems ever seemed to be her fault--she never took responsibility for the things she did. When I figured this out, I really didn't like being around her anymore. It bothered me. All I have to say is this: You should be careful who you become friends with.

Alina

"I put all the work into my friendship with my BFF. If I didn't plan a trip to the mall and the movies or find something fun for us to do, we did nothing."

Madeleine

"My BFF stuck tome like Elmer s glue. She always wanted to be partners in everything and never wanted me to hang out with anyone else I didn't want to break her heart because she didn't have very many friends. So I just kind of avoided her. I said "hi" when I saw her and no more. If you want to break a friend off, think about how many friends she has or how she will take it."

Laura

"My 8FF was hanging out with all the wrong people--the kids who don't care about anything and mistreat everyone no matter what. I told her what thought about them, but I could tell she didn't care. Now, she spreads evil rumors behind my back. Luckily, a lot of people stick up for me when she does this! I dumped her, and now I live a much better life without her."

Amanda

"She stopped inviting me to parties. When she went to movies with other kids in our class, I wasn't invited. It's gotten so bad that I don't want to talk to her in the halls when I see her with her new friends."

Courtney
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Title Annotation:best friend forever relationships
Publication:Girls' Life
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2001
Words:2111
Previous Article:The Glamorous Life.
Next Article:COUNT DOWN TO CLASS.
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