Dear American Girl,
I love hanging out with my best friend. She lives next door, and we do lots of things together. But lately, she's been getting on my nerves—texting constantly, bragging, and wearing lots of makeup. She never asks how I'm doing or what I'd like to do. Deep down, I know she's still the same down-to-earth girl. What can I do to save this friendship?
Here's your advice:
Invite your friend over for a sleepover and share your feelings with her. She might want to be noticed more or is feeling confused about growing up. Remember, you can't change someone's behavior, but you can tell her how it makes you feel.
-Nadia, age 11, Florida
If your friend texts while the two of you are hanging out, say, "Do you think we could turn off our phones and talk face-to-face?"
-Meghan, age 13, Georgia
Try to wait out this problem. Sometimes friends go through phases like this. Continue to be nice to her, and if she starts bragging, change the subject.
-Alayna, age 11, Texas
The next time you see your friend, suggest an activity that you used to love to do together, such as playing a board game or watching a favorite movie. Your friend might be reminded of the fun you two have had.
-Allison, age 12, Kansas
Gently tell your friend, "I care about you a lot, and lately, I've noticed you haven't been acting like yourself. Is there anything you'd like to talk about?"
-Sarah, age 9, North Carolina
Chances are, your friend doesn't know that she's getting on your nerves. Be direct and have a heart-to-heart with her.
-Jessica, age 12, Michigan
Your friend might be going through a difficult time right now. Continue to be her friend and don't give up on her.
-Mandie, age 13, California
Whenever I feel as if a friend is drifting away, I talk about fun memories and the great times we've had. Usually we end up talking and laughing for hours, and we feel a lot closer.
-An American Girl fan, age 11, California
Your friend might be feeling insecure. Tell her that you like her for who she is and that she doesn't need to brag around you—you already think she's awesome! Let her know that if anything is bothering her, she can come to you. Doing this could help her realize that you're a true friend, and she'll start acting like herself again.
-Rebecca, age 12, Alabama
When my older sister got a cell phone, I felt as if she was ignoring me. Talking to her about it helped, and she realized that she should make more time for me. If this girl is a true friend, she might listen to what you have to say.
-Allison, age 11, Missouri
My best friend started trying to be like the popular, unkind girls in my school. I decided that wasn't who I was, so I met some girls who were more like me. I'm still friends with this girl, but we're not best friends.
-Brooke, age 12, Wyoming
Whatever you do, don't feel pressured to match her behavior. Stay true to who you are. If you're feeling influenced by her, perhaps you should spend time with other friends.
-Hannah, age 9, California
Be patient with your friend until the novelty of her cell phone and makeup wears off. Also, try not to judge her or get upset with her. Worry more about yourself instead of your friend's problems.
-Rebekah, age 12, New York
Sometimes friends grow up at different rates, and that's OK. Talk to your friend and ask why things seem different between the two of you. If she doesn't seem interested in talking, it might be time to take a break. Hang out with your other friends and spend more quality time with your family. After a while, you might see how much your friend has changed and decide that it was good to move on.
-Lana, age 13, Hawaii