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Your bud's got the blues: you have a bud who's just not herself lately? Give her a break by showing her you care.

Suddenly, your BFF seems invisible. She doesn't want to hang out, and you haven't heard from her in days. What's going on?

Before you get all hurt and decide matter-of-factly that she's dissing you, consider the possibility that your pal might be going through a tough time and doesn't feel like talking to you (or even anyone) about it. Maybe her cell phone session with her BF the other night ended in a breakup. Or perhaps she's worried about her parents' constant fighting and fears they're headed for divorce court. It could be her grandma is really sick and in the hospital.

Any of these scenarios might be the reason for your friend's silence. Difficult sitches can cause a person to feel way depressed--and depression can lead to withdrawal. She's shutting you out because she's shutting down. While it may feel like she doesn't want anything to do with you, she needs your BFFness right about now. We have pointers for helping your pal through a rough patch.

Listen Up If your friend is not ready to talk, you should respect that. But you can make sure she knows you're ready to listen. Saying something as simple as, "Call me anytime you need to talk," lets her know you're all ears when she is ready to spill her guts.

Open 24/7 Continue inviting your in-a-funk friend to hang out with you and the rest of your group, even if she turns you down. At least she'll know you guys are there for her--even when things aren't so peachy in her world. Waiting for her to come around can be hard, but be patient and don't press her. Give her all the time and space she needs to deal in Downerville.

Keep it on the DL A little down time might be just what your friend needs to reflect on her current situation. When your bud does feel comfy confiding in you, be a true-blue and keep your pal's personal biz under wraps.

She trusted you like a sis by sharing the details of her sad sitch, so don't you dare blab her secrets. That is not the morale boost your hurting pal needs, and it could permanently damage the friendship. So listen with zipped lips!

Be a Believer It may be difficult to understand why your pal is struggling with, say, not making chorus. It seems like no big deal to you, so you just can't relate. And that's all right.

Her feelings are very real to her, and that's all you need to understand. Saying things like, "Oh, just get over it!" never help. It's pretty much impossible to flip an "off" switch when dealing with real depression. So just be a super-supportive pal until she pulls out of this low point.

Tough Love If you are seriously worried about your friend's safety (she's suicidal or cutting herself), it's important to tell a trusted adult. Yes, we know we told you to keep her secrets, but this is different. Your friend may feel betrayed at first but, eventually, she will be grateful that you cared enough to get her help. Your friendship will survive--and be all the stronger for it.
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Title Annotation:Friends
Author:Roberts, Kathryn
Publication:Girls' Life
Date:Feb 1, 2005
Previous Article:BFF Dilemma of the month: this one girl is very hyper and clingy. Is it mean to leave her out, or should we just deal with it?
Next Article:Spread the love.

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