Dear Ms. Loper,
There’s this girl in my class that I like to play with. But every time I try to play with her, she won’t play with me. She doesn’t even really talk to me. Is she bullying me? What should I do?
First off, I don’t really think you’re clueless – I think you just might need a couple of tips on how to handle this.
Based on the situation you described, you are not being bullied. It sounds like this girl in your class is just someone who is not a good friend for you. Good friends are those who want to play with you and get to know you. Since you have tried to play with her and talk to her, but it hasn’t worked, I suggest you try to find someone else who would be a better friend.
If this girl in your class is calling you names, hurting your body or gossiping about you, then that would be a different story. That would be bullying. If those things are happening, then you need to report it to your teacher right away. However, if she is simply choosing not be your friend by not playing with you and talking with you, that is her choice. (It is a sad choice for her because you are wonderful! But it’s still her choice.)
I think you should continue to be kind and respectful to this young lady, but work on putting your time and energy into making friends with people who want to be with you and who make you feel good.
Clueless, it’s hard when we try to be someone’s friend, but it just doesn’t work out. I think it’s time to find a different friend – I know you can do because you are one amazing kiddo!
Dear Ms. Loper,
When I ask my friends if I can play with them they always say they are too busy, but I don’t know if they are telling the truth. I really want to play with them. What do I do?
I can tell it hurts your feelings when your friends always say they are too busy to play. Here’s the hard thing to understand. Just like you can’t make your friends play with you, you also can’t make them tell the truth. It’s really not up to you to figure out if they’re telling the truth. That’s something that their conscience can determine for themselves.
You can ask your friends to play, but if they tell you they are too busy, find someone else to play with. You can even ask your friends to play every day, but if they tell you every day they are too busy, then you need to find others who have plenty of time to play with you. I want you to play with friends who are kind, enjoy being with you and make you feel good.
Since you know how it feels for others to tell you they can’t play with you, I encourage you to be accepting and kind when others want to play with you. I know you have great friendship skills, so I know you can choose friends who will make you feel great! And always remember, you are one amazing kiddo!
It sounds like your feelings are getting hurt by the two girls in your class who don’t ask you to play. Whenever your feelings are hurt, I think the first thing to do is to let them know. You could use an I-message. You might say, “I feel ignored when you don’t ask me to play because it makes me feel left out. I would like to play with you.” When you say your I-message, replace the underlined words with your own words.
If the girls in your class choose to stop ignoring you after you say your I-message, that’s wonderful! A couple of Porter Panthers left comments about your letter on my blog. They suggested that if the girls in your class choose to continue to ignore you and say false things about you, then you can choose to play with someone who is kind to you. Lauren Aswad left a reminder that you must be kind and respectful to everyone, but you don’t have to play with people who are unkind.
Ignored, talk to the girls in your class and let them know how you feel. Then remember that YOU get to choose your friends. Choose those people who uplift you and make you feel good. Always remember, you are one amazing young lady!
You are exactly right. It shows good manners when you graciously accept a gift that is given to you. That means, when someone gives you a gift, you tell them thank you, even if there was something else you wanted more. It is not polite to tell the person giving you a gift that you don’t like what was received. It is also impolite to take a gift from someone else.
You have a couple of choices in your circumstance. You could choose to accept the gift that you ended up with, even though it is not the one your friend intended to give you. If this is something you’re willing to live with, then you can come away with the knowledge that you did the right thing by being gracious.
If you simply cannot overcome your frustrations about your other friend taking the gift intended for you, then you can talk to her about it. You could use an I-message to explain how you felt. It’s also an option to tell her that you’d like to exchange the gifts. However, I would like to caution you that this option might not go as you want it to. Your other friend will most likely not want to exchange the gifts. If this happens, what will you choose to do? I encourage you to really think through this choice before you go ahead with it.
Un-gifted, I’m proud of you for being gracious and accepting a gift from your friend with good manners. I know your friend appreciated that. You have to decide what you’re willing to live with – can you live with the gift you end up with or do you feel like you need to talk to your other friend about what she did? I know you’ll really think through what you want to do, because you are one amazing kiddo!
Dear Worried Friend,
You are a very kind and caring friend – you show that by being concerned about your friend’s feelings.
Samantha in Mrs. Scott’s class read your letter and posted an excellent response on my blog. She said, “Whenever you get to see that person again, you should just ask him how he’s doing and if he felt comfortable with that game. Then try to help him whenever possible and show some empathy!”
That’s great advice, Samantha! Worried, remember that you can’t solve any problems by worrying and feeling anxious. However, by showing empathy and listening to friends, you can let them know you care.
Keep being kind, but don’t worry. And always remember, you are one amazing kiddo!
Dear Ms. Loper,
I have two good friends. They are both really great friends and I like hanging around both of them. But they don't like each other. Whenever I play with one friend, the other friend says mean things about the other one and then asks, "What did she say about me?" The same thing happens when I play with my other friend. It makes me feel really stressed out and I don't know what to do! Can you help me?
Torn Between Friends
Dear Ms. Loper,
My friend told me that two of my others friends said something mean about me behind my back. It hurt my feelings. I don’t know what to do. Please help!