Dear American Girl,
I've been dancing for many years, and everyone always tells me that I'm the best dancer in my class. That was always really good to hear, or at least it was until a new girl joined our class who's a better dancer than I am. I don't want to feel jealous of her, but I don't want to be second best either. How can I feel better about this?
-Sharing the spotlight
Here's your advice:
It might be difficult, but try to be happy for this girl. She has probably worked hard, like you, to become a good dancer. Ask her for some tips, and maybe even invite her to your house to practice and have a sleepover. Your jealousy could disappear once you get to know her.
-Elizabeth, age 11, Alabama
Think of this girl as giving you motivation to become an even better dancer than you already are. No matter how good a dancer you are, there always can be room for improvement. This is a good chance to work on your skills.
-Rebecca, age 13, Virginia
Instead of being the best, concentrate on doing your best. Have a great time dancing in the spotlight, even if you have to share it with someone else.
-Stephanie, age 11, Florida
Don't compare yourself to anyone else—just be you. You're both good at dancing in your own ways. Jealousy will prevent you from letting your true self shine.
-Jordan, age 10, North Carolina
When this girl does something well, compliment her, and she might send some compliments back to you. It could be the start of a friendship.
-Sarah, age 11, Texas
If you're struggling with a dance move, don't be afraid to ask this girl for advice. After class, you could say, "Hey, you really seem to have your pirouettes down. Would you mind sharing a couple of pointers?"
-Taryn, age 9, Connecticut
When the green-eyed monster rears its ugly head, say these words to yourself: Try your best—it's not a contest. Whenever I have jealous feelings, these words remind that everyone works at her own level.
-Lynessa, age 11, New York
Every person has strengths and weaknesses. Maybe your strength is doing amazing spins, and this girl has a talent for high jumps. Whatever your strength is, be proud of yourself for it.
-Sarah, age 12, Oregon
Even though you're envious of this girl, try not to get mad or make things hard for her. She hasn't done anything wrong, so just keep focusing on your own dancing.
-Marzipan, age 10, New Jersey
Whenever I feel jealous of another girl in my dance class, I remember that I'm gifted in my own ways. I tell myself, She may be able to leap higher, but I can leap with grace and confidence.
-Melissa, age 13, Illinois
Here's a trick that can boost good feelings about yourself: Stand in front of a mirror and list all of your awesome qualities and talents, either out loud or to yourself. You'll remind yourself how great you really are.
-Angela, age 12, Georgia
Who said there has to be a "best" dancer in your class? Just tell yourself that you are both good dancers.
-Riya, age 10, New York
I had been doing tumbling for years, and then a new girl joined my class who was better then me. But one day I realized that I was making tumbling harder for myself because I was always trying to beat her. It's OK if someone is better than you—just do your very best.
-Claire, age 11, Kentucky
Treat this girl as you would any other girl in your class. Be nice and encouraging, and polite—don't be rude. Thinking of her as just another girl will remind you that she isn't so different from you.
-Anna, age 13, Washington
A girl in my acting class was better than I was. I felt jealous because she joined our class after I did. I was so green with envy that I actually ended up quitting the class. My point is, you know that you're a good dancer who puts in lots of hard work, and that's all that counts. Don't make the same mistake I did and let envy get in the way of doing what you love.
-Nadia, age 11, Florida