Just in time for the start of the new school year, here are some questions you might have about friends, school, and popularity.
Q: What should I do when I feel like I'm left out?
A: You could just dive in to whatever group event is going on -- your friends probably aren't leaving you out on purpose. If you have friends who always make you feel left out, talk with them and let them know how you feel. Once they understand, they can be more intentional about including you.
Q: Every day when I walk into school, my best friend points out something wrong with my appearance. What should I do?
A: Ask her why she points out the things that are "wrong" with you. It's not right for anyone to dish out put-downs, and it's especially hurtful coming from a friend. Let her know her comments bother you and ask her to stop. Be sensitive when you talk with her. She may be putting you down because she lacks self-confidence.
Q: Why do some adults (like coaches) lie to make me feel better?
A: Coaches, youth workers, teachers and parents want to help you become the best young woman you can be. They care about you and want to encourage you. When you're discouraged or having a hard day, it can be difficult to see the things you're good at. Your coach probably wasn't lying; he was probably helping you see your strengths. Receiving compliments can sometimes be more difficult than accepting criticism. Work on believing the good things people say to you.