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Friendship is golden: are you an A+ gal pal? Stop guessing, and learn the Six Sacred Rules of Friendship. (GL Friends).

Suddenly, Lisa was ignored and shunned by all her best buds. She had broken the first of Six Sacred Rules of Friendship--don't blab. Lisa's BFF Marcy's parents were divorcing, and Lisa was the only one Marcy had told. Marcy confided in her because she wanted Lisa to know why she'd been down in the dumps. Lisa didn't intend for Marcy's troubles to become fodder for caf convos. She thought she was helping by telling their friends what was up. But her "helpfulness" backfired. By lunch, everyone knew. Understandably, Marcy felt betrayed. The whole group turned on Lisa, and she went from trusted pal to ostracized outcast overnight. If only she had known... the Six Sacred Rules of Friendship.

1 KEEP YOUR LIPS ZIPPED. There's nothing worse than friends who spill secrets. When a bud shares private stuff, whether it's whispers of a new crush or personal info about a family matter, don't tell others--no matter how tempting. (After all, you wouldn't want her to blab your shaving fiasco.) She trusted you, so don't trash that trust-it will surely hurt your friendship.

2 MAKE HER FEEL LIKE A MILLION BUCKS. Always point out the good stuff--her stylin' peasant blouse, that choppy new 'do or the sweet way she looks after her baby bro. Create a fuss over her making the JV field hockey team (even if you didn't). Help her cover up that big ol' zit, and remind her about her killer baby blues. Good buds dole out lots of compliments and cheer each other on. Good buds also remember birthdays, dance recitals and sentimental anniversaries.

3 KEEP YOURSELF IN CHECK. No doubt, you're important. Still, you need to stay grounded because (newsflash!) the world doesn't revolve around you. Keep the drama and drag-down diatribes to a minimum. Friends should be mutually supportive, so save the self-serving monologue for that Oscar acceptance speech.

4 BE THERE WITH KLEENEX. You're always there for a good time and rip-roaring laugh, so don't pull a Houdini when stuff gets tough. Whether it's a minor or major catastrophe, let her know you have a shoulder to cry on and a box of tissues. Even if she's not ready to talk, just knowing you care makes a difference. Take her a funny vid and some Cherry Garcia. If she wants to laugh, laugh with her; if she wants to cry, let her. Put your listening skills to use, and be generous with the TLC.

5 STICK BY YOUR FRIEND. This is a two-parter. 1) Never fuel a fire. Even if the "cool" girls are picking on your BFF, don't join in. Put the kabosh on the bash session. Change the subject, or just walk away. 2) Don't be a firestarter. Your BFF was ultra-friendly with your crush? Instead of circling up the girls and calling her a no-good BF stealer, tell her you're upset. Having your bud's back makes you a real friend, and others might even follow your example.

6 BE AS DEPENDABLE AS THE RISING SUN. Your buds aren't sweat socks, so don't go changing them daily. One perk of friendship is knowing you have someone to count on every day, not every other day. Presto change-o in the bud department makes you a fair weather friend--you're around when things are good and disappear when something (a party at the most popular girl's house) or someone "more important" (a crush) comes along. And that is so not cool! Be a friend, not a flake.

Now you know the Six Sacred Rules of Friendship. Learn them. Practice them. And try not to break them.
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Author:Singer-Klein, Raquel
Publication:Girls' Life
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Aug 1, 2002
Words:599
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