Dear American Girl,
Singing is my favorite thing to do in the world. But whenever I tell my friends about singing a solo or doing well at a tryout, they roll their eyes and tell me to stop bragging. I don't mean to be a bragger—I just want to share my accomplishments with my friends. Is there any way I can do that without sounding as if I'm bragging?
-Not a bragger!
Here's your advice:
Before you tell your friends about singing a solo or doing well at a tryout, ask them what they've been up to. If they know that you care about what they've been doing, they might be more willing to listen to what you're doing.
-An American Girl fan, age 13, Delaware
Maybe you're talking about singing more often than you think. Try not to bring it up as much in conversations. That doesn't mean that you can't share your accomplishments—just bring it up less often so that you and your friends can talk about other things, too.
-Lauren, age 10, Missouri
Don't start a conversation by telling your friends about singing. Let everyone else have a chance to talk, and work in singing if you see an opportunity in the conversation.
-Kathryn, age 12, Indiana
Your friends might not like hearing about the special things that happen to you because it makes them wonder when special things will happen to them. Encourage your friends when they do great things, and they might do the same for you.
-Bethany, age 11, Michigan
Even though it's great to share your accomplishments with your pals, you should trust them enough to share your shortcomings, too. If you feel nervous about singing a solo, tell them. If you have stage fright sometimes, ask them for advice. Don't be afraid to look less than perfect in front of your friends.
-Isabelle, age 12, Vermont
If you were to say something such as, "I'm a great singer, and you're not," then that would be bragging. As long as you don't compare yourself to anyone else and just stick to your accomplishments, don't worry—you're probably not bragging.
-Nicole, age 11, Massachusetts
Be sure to ask your friends questions, such as, "Did you make the soccer team?" or, "How's that poem going?" Asking questions will show your friends that you're interested in their lives.
-An American Girl fan, age 12, South Carolina
Maybe your friends just aren't as interested in singing as you are. Keep your old friends, but try to find a few new friends who love to sing as much as you do.
-Lexi, age 9, Wisconsin
Do you feel as if you can be yourself around these girls? Do you have to act a certain way around them or live up to their standards? If the answer to these questions is yes, they might not be the right friends for you.
-Stephanie, age 12, California
If your friends start to look annoyed, say something such as, "Well, that's what's happening with me. What have all of you been doing lately?"
-Baylee, age 11, Ohio
When a friend shares her accomplishment, show your support. Say, "Wow, good for you!" or, "I knew you could do it." Your pals might learn from your example and support you when you've got something to share.
-Emma, age 10, Virginia
Don't go on and on about a solo or tryout—just mention it briefly and move on to a new subject.
-Allison, age 13, Georgia
Instead of sharing every little bit of singing news with your friends, just tell them about the really big accomplishments. If they know something is a big deal to you, they might be more likely to share in your happiness.
-Zoe, age 11, California
Have a heart-to-heart with your friends. Say that the reason you tell them about singing is that you thought they would be happy for you and your achievements. Honesty is the first step to great friendships.
-An American Girl fan, age 13, Connecticut
Instead of focusing on yourself, you can also talk about people who have helped you. You could say something such as, "I'm grateful to have such an awesome music teacher!"
-Lainey, age 12, North Carolina
The next time your friends roll their eyes or call you a bragger, say, "I'm not bragging, I'm just talking. It's not a bad thing to share my exciting moments with my friends."
-An American Girl fan, age 10, California
If you have an upcoming concert, ask your friends to come. Say, "I'm singing a solo, and I'd appreciate it if you guys could come and support me. I would feel less nervous if you're in the crowd." That way, they might see that you need their encouragement.
-Syd, age 12, Indiana
I've been a singer for four years and have had the same problem. When I share my achievements with my friends, they always say, "You're bragging." Instead, talk about your singing accomplishments with your family and closest friends. Embrace your awesomeness and keep singing, girl!
-Hannah, age 10, Pennsylvania