Dear American Girl,
My friend and I fight all the time. Her bad attitude is getting me down, and I've decided that I want to walk away from this friendship. I should spend time with friends who treat me well and are fun to be around. But every time I gently try to tell this girl that I need to move on, she gets upset. I wind up feeling bad and change the subject. I'm stuck! How can I put an end to this friendship?
Here's your advice:
Picture telling your friend that you've decided to move on from this friendship. Imagine things that your friend might say when she's upset, and come up with responses ahead of time. Visualizing this conversation might help you feel more prepared.
-Nicole, age 12, Nebraska
Instead of ending the friendship, why don't you tell this girl that you just need a break for a little while? Spend time with friends who make you feel good. After the break, you can decide if you want to continue a friendship with her.
-Mary, age 11, New York
Try to limit your time with this girl. If she starts a conversation, be friendly and have a short chat. And if you're about to start fighting, change the subject.
-Gwendolyn, age 10, California
It's possible to not be friends and not be enemies either. Even if you no longer have a friendship, you should continue to be nice and polite to her.
-Olivia, age 12, Florida
Maybe this girl is having a hard time with something. Instead of saying you want to move on, you could talk to her about why she's always down and how you can help. Who knows? Maybe she's actually a good friend hidden beneath sadness and anger.
-Maren, age 11, Connecticut
Don't get caught up in the drama this girl is creating. If she's not treating you well, don't be afraid to move on to friends who make you feel good.
-Hermione, age 12, Michigan
I had this problem with a friend, too. Whenever her bad attitude got to me, I just walked away and talked to another friend. It made my friend think twice about her behavior.
-Amla, age 10, California
Don't just stop talking to her—that's unkind and it could cause bigger problems. When you talk to this girl, say, "I don't think we're the best fit as friends. That doesn't mean I don't like you, but our fights are starting to make me feel bad."
-Paige, age 11, Washington
If you bring up the subject and she starts to get angry again, say, "Please let me continue. This is important." Then get through what you need to say in a gentle way.
-An American Girl fan, age 12, California
Pick the right moment to talk to this girl. Have a heart-to-heart in a quiet place, just the two of you. And try to have this conversation on a day when she doesn't seem stressed or upset.
-Alison, age 10, Ohio
Instead of telling this girl that you aren't friends anymore, gradually try hanging out with other people. Maybe join a club to make new friends or sit by someone new at lunch. Invite other friends to come to your house. If you do it slowly, your friend might not get as upset. But remember to be kind to her. You can treat her in a friendly way even if you aren't friends.
-Meghan, age 12, Georgia
Tell this girl, "I think that you haven't been very respectful of my feelings lately. It's making me second-guess our friendship." That might make her consider the way she's been treating you.
-Shree, age 9, Minnesota
Ask your friend if you can put your friendship on hold for week. Try to avoid talking to one another and see how you feel after that. She may end up feeling better, too.
-Cambry, age 12, Michigan
Even if this girl gets upset, you need to tell her the truth. It may hurt at first, but speaking up about how you feel will help you both in the end. As they say, honesty is the best policy.
-Corinne, age 13, Virginia
Before you talk to this girl, take a few deep breaths and think about what you're going to say. It might help you keep your cool when she starts to get upset.
-Anna, age 12, Missouri
Talk about this problem with a parent or guidance counselor. This could turn into a bullying situation.
-Olivia, age 9, Minnesota
Find the courage to be honest with this girl. Say, "We need to talk. We're not getting along very well, and our fights are upsetting me. Our friendship can't continue like this. What can we do?" Be kind but firm.
-Jackie, age 12, Maine