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Tricky, Sticky Friendship Stiches.

When faced with a situation that might make or break your best bud bond, would you make the right decision?

You're Best Friends Forever (BFFs) and, as far as you're concerned, you guys rule Friendship Paradise. But your friendship has weathered some tropical storms, too. Maybe hormonal mood swings have had you bickering over the dumbest things. Or perhaps you don't get as much hang time since you go to separate schools now. Stressful stuff you can't control can be tough on a friendship. But what if something came up that could affect your friendship and you could control it? Would you make the right choice for you and your friendship? Would you spill if you saw her boyfriend holding hands with another girl? Would you let the teacher know you saw her cheating during finals? What's a girl to do when faced with a major BFF dilemma?

A GROUP OF GIRLS WANTS YOU TO HANG OUT, BUT THEY DON'T DIG YOUR BFF. DO YOU DISS HER FOR THE CHANCE TO MAKE NEW FRIENDS?

Tough spot. You want to preserve your relationship with your BFF, who is clearly not on your new friends' radar screen, but it's OK to want to hang out with new gals. It's just unfortunate the invite wasn't extended to your BFF--which puts you in the hot seat.

"It feels lousy to be dropped by a BFF. I know. If the new girls don't like her, split your time," says Lindsay, 13. If you two always hit the mall on Fridays, get with your new friends another night. It's perfectly cool to have friends other than your BFF. So, on occasion, hang out separately and encourage your BFF to make other friends, too.

Kristi and Tanya, both 15, were pals for four years until Kristi made the cheerleading squad. "I started chillin' with the girls on the squad because they were so fun and cool. I'd break plans with Tanya to hang out with them instead," says Kristi. "The next time I asked Tanya to go to the movies, she told me to go with my other friends. We haven't been friends since. I miss her."

In this case, Kristi left Tanya in the dust, forcing Tanya to make a clear choice about their friendship. Could you figure out a way to include your BFF? When the girls invite you for pizza, tell them you have plans with your BFF and suggest bringing her along. Or invite the new girls to join you and your BFF for a videofest. Maybe they'll learn to like her. If they decline because of your BFF, do you really want to be friends with them?

YOU AND YOUR BFF ARE TRYING OUT FOR THE LEAD IN THE SCHOOL PLAY. YOU DON'T WANT HER TO BUM OUT IF YOU GET IT, BUT YOU DON'T WANT TO BE LET DOWN EITHER.

"I was in this situation. My friend and I made a pact that, no matter what the outcome, we'd stay friends. It worked! We rehearsed together and, even though I got the part, there were no hard feelings. After all, we both have our strengths and weaknesses, and sometimes she ends up on top," says Alexis, 12. Resist the urge to compete, and be a source of support for each other instead.

If it gets to be too much of a contest, talk it out. Tell her how badly you want the part, but also emphasize how important your friendship is. Then, she might not be so devastated if you get the lead. If she is cast, be the first to congratulate her. Sure, you're gonna be bummed that you didn't get top billing. But deal.

Caitlin, 14, has a slightly different take: "I love competing with my BFF because we're both extremely competitive! I would never try to hurt her audition, but I wouldn't back out or mess up purposely." Yes, it is possible to be true to your friendship and to yourself.

YOU LIKE YOUR BFF'S EX, AND HE ASKS YOU OUT. WHAT DO YOU DO?

He's your dream guy--and your worst nightmare. He dated your BFF for two months. Now, they've called it quits--and he's interested in you. Should you go for it?

Girls, it's a big ol' world with plenty of guys. If you can avoid your BFF's ex, please do. He's truly the only decent guy at school? Even though they split, your BFF might harbor feelings for him. Or maybe she can't stand the sight of him and certainly doesn't want him hanging around. Perhaps she won't care if you go out with him. But get the 411 before you accept his invite to the skating rink.

Mandy, 15, made that mistake. "I always liked my friend's BF. They broke up, and she seemed OK. We started dating, and she got really mad. Turns out, she was putting on a front that she was over him. I should've asked her first."

Michelle, 13, on the other hand, waited patiently until her BFF found a new boyfriend and stopped talking about her ex: "I knew from experience she would get bored and move on to the next boy. I was right!"

YOUR BFF IS GOING TO A PARTY WITH DRINKING AND OLDER GUYS. SHE WANTS YOU TO COVER FOR HER, BUT YOU FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE.

If you feel uncomfortable, don't do it. Covering for a friend spells trouble. "My friend Casey asked me to cover for her when she went to a party at this senior's house. Casey told her parents she was sleeping at my house. Her mother called in the middle of the night because her brother broke his arm," says Madison, 15. "Boy, were we in trouble when they realized Casey wasn't at my house!"

What if something more severe were to happen next time? You can't make decisions for your BFF, but you can choose the extent you'll go to protect her. Be a friend--but when she's being reckless, draw the line. Try to convince your friend to go bowling with you instead. If she still insists on hitting the party, consider telling your parents. That way, at least an adult knows her whereabouts in the event of an emergency.

YOU CAUGHT YOUR BFF CHEATING ON A SPANISH EXAM. SHOULD YOU TELL THE TEACHER?

Since first grade, you've known cheating is wrong. But do you want your new nickname to be "Rat"? Could you deal with the fallout if she discovered you're the the fink who told?

"I don't think you should rat her out, but let her know you saw her cheating and that it could get her in a lot of trouble," suggests Lindsay. It's not your place to be class cop, but maybe she'll think twice about doing it in the future. Kate, 12, suggests offering to help her study next time. Rachel, 11, says, "Let her know you saw, but don't tell on her. It's not worth ruining a friendship."

If your school has an honor code, your decision should be a little clearer. Most schools with honor codes take cheating very seriously. It's also serious if a teacher finds out you knew someone was cheating--even if it was your BFF. In such a situation, you know the Eight thing to do. We'll leave it at that.

SOME KIDS ARE SAYING RUDE STUFF ABOUT YOUR BFF. SHE HAS NO IDEA. DO YOU FILL HER IN?

Rumors stink. They're nasty, unfair and, most of the time, totally untrue. But they can hurt. If it's just childish name-calling, like "Pimple Faced Peg," decide if telling her will hurt her or help her. It's probably best to keep your lips zipped when it's a one-time comment.

Or, you could do the most admirable thing and jump to her defense. Say some boys at lunch are saying your BFF kissed the school bully? Stick up for her and say, "Hey! She's never even talked to him. She wouldn't kiss him!" Often, one rational voice can silence a crowd. Catherine, 12, says, "I'd tell the rumor spreaders exactly what I thought of them. Then, I'd tell my friend what they said. She'd be heartbroken if she knew I knew and didn't tell her."

If you do choose to tell, make sure you put it to her gently. No need to ham it up or make it sound worse than it really is. You could say, "You know how we promised we'd tell each other everything? I have something to tell you." Be prepared for your BFF to be bummed--or even angry with you. Often the bearer of bad news takes a little abuse at first. Be patient. Once she realizes you told her out of loyalty to the friendship, she'll definitely be thankful you had the guts to do it. "I hope she'd do the same for me," says Alexis, 13.

YOU SAW YOUR BFF'S BOYFRIEND KISSING ANOTHER GIRL. SHOULD YOU TELL HER?

Boy, this is a doozy. If you tell her, he could deny it and your friend might accuse you of lying. Still, it's best to come clean. She'll only be upset if she finds out you knew all along.

"I saw my best friend's boyfriend at the movies with his arm around another girl. After the movie, they walked out holding hands. I didn't know if I should tell my BFE I wanted her to find out on her own," says Jonie, 15. "Big mistake. She found out weeks later. By then, the whole school knew. She asked me if I had any idea about it. I 'fessed up. She was furious because I could have spared her lots of embarrassment.

Feel uncomfortable breaking the bad news? Approach the jerk-of-a-boyfriend yourself. Say, "I saw you kissing that girl. It may be none of my business, but I think (insert BFF's name) should know. Either you tell her, or I will." Hopefully he'll tell her. If not, well, you may have to make good on your promise to him.

YOU NOTICE DEEP CUTS AND SCRATCHES ON YOUR BFF'S ARMS. YOU SUSPECT SHE'S CUTTING HERSELF.

Suddenly, the issue of ratting out your BFF becomes a lot more serious. If she's physically hurting herself--cutting, abusing drugs or showing signs of an eating disorder--your actions should be different than if she's just doing something you don't approve of. Don't ignore this, and don't try to handle it alone.

If you suspect she's cutting herself with scissors, razors, knives, paperclips or fingernails, you must tell an adult. She's likely depressed. She may feel so crummy inside, the only way she feels better is hurting herself on the outside.

Let her know you've seen the scars and cuts, and that you're concerned. Be caring but firm. If she denies it or promises to stop, she still needs help. Offer to talk to her parents with her about seeing a professional. Suggest she go to the school counselor, or tell her you'll call a teen hotline (SAFE, 1-800-366-8288). If she won't go for it, tell a teacher or parent. She might be angry, but it's better than letting her suffer.

Quite simply, Alexis states, "I would never rat my BFF out for anything, except something life-threatening--like if she were suicidal, anorexic or cutting." Helping a friend in trouble is never disloyal. You'll feel better knowing she's getting the help she needs and that you did the right thing.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

If you're caught in a major friendship stumper, put yourself in the driver's seat. Take control, but be careful not to wreck the friendship. You have choices in these situations and, with the right actions, you can prevent your friendship from coming to a grinding halt.

Avoid losing a bud by confronting dilemmas as soon as they appear. You usually won't go wrong by trusting your gut instincts. On the path to Friendship Paradise, you'll face plenty of roadblocks, but you'll both come out ahead if you just keep loyalty on your side.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Monarch Avalon, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:friendship advice for teenaged girls
Author:Cordi, Sarah
Publication:Girls' Life
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2001
Words:1997
Previous Article:VERTICAL LIMIT.
Next Article:"I'm Not You!".
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