Dear American Girl,

Sometimes, my best friend can be very bossy. Whenever we play a game or do homework together, she points out something she thinks I'm doing wrong and tells me what to do. She used to be a lot more fun to hang out with! I'd like to try to solve the problem before walking away from our friendship. What should I do?
-Bossed around

Here's your advice:

You should start by talking with your friend and telling her how her bossiness is hurting you and your friendship. Explain that you need to be treated with respect and that your ideas and opinions are valuable. It's great that you want to give your friendship another try.
-Rosalyn, age 13, Texas

Stick up for yourself. If your friend says, "Do it like this," say, "No, thanks, I like it the way it is." Just make sure you say it nicely. If your friend feels as if she isn't getting anywhere, she might stop bossing you around.
-Ellie, age 11, Illinois

A girl in my class was being bossy to me. She did it over and over, but when I told her she was being bossy, she had no idea. Your friend might be totally unaware that she's bossing you around. Talk about this with her before you jump to any conclusions.
-Abigail, age 10, North Carolina

Maybe you should take a break from your friend. If you've been seeing her a lot, it could be time to step back and see other friends. When you feel ready, you can return to the friendship.
-Miley, age 13, Colorado

It might be hard, but you need to talk to your friend. Say, "I love being friends with you, but sometimes when you correct me, it makes me feel bad." Your friend might think she's just helping and doesn't realize that it's a problem for you.
-Emma, age 11, Massachusetts

Don't be mean to your friend or say, "You're not the boss of me!" Giving her a taste of her own medicine will just make things worse.
-Madeleine, age 10, Washington

You should have a heart-to-heart with this girl. Say that you like her when she's being herself; she doesn't need to be bossy to prove her smarts to you.
-Haylee, age 9, California

The next time your friend tells you to do something in a different way, tell her, "Thanks, but I like the way I'm doing it now," or, "This works better for me." Make sure you're firm about it, but in a nice way.
-Dakota, age 11, Pennsylvania

When your friend starts to get bossy, say, "It's OK if we have different ideas," or, "Can we agree to disagree?"
-Sarah, age 12, Oregon

Try your best to ignore the bossiness. But if it starts to feel like bullying, talk to your parents or meet with your school's guidance counselor.
-Ruby, age 8, New Jersey

If your friend says you're doing something wrong, simply shrug it off and say, "Well, that's your way of doing it. I like doing it this way."
-Leia, age 12, Oregon

I have a bossy friend, too. When she says something bossy, I think of something else to do. I'll say, "How about we play a different game?" or, "Let's take a break from studying."
-Susanna, age 11, Alabama

Invite your friend over for a sleepover or to get some ice cream together, and talk things out with her.
-Hannah, age 9, New York

If you and your friend are working on homework together and she tells you what to do, you could say, "Thanks for pointing that out, but I would rather find the mistakes on my own. It's my work."
-Kenzie, age 13, Virginia

Since this girl is your best friend, ask her if something is wrong. Maybe something going on in her life that you don't know about is making her seem not as much fun as she used to be.
-Gianna, age 11, Iowa

When your friend says something bossy, confront her gently and say, "Hey, I know you probably didn't mean that comment to hurt or annoy me, but it bothers me when you tell me what to do." If she continues to boss you around and doesn't correct herself, start hanging out with people who make you feel good.
-Sophie, age 13, South Carolina

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