Shefar asks: Hey Shirelle! I’m 12 and go to a private school. I’ve had a best friend before, but we broke up. I think that’s because of a new girl who she hangs out with a lot these days. She’s a lot better than I am. But I don’t think it’s appropriate for her to forget someone who’s close with her. I mean we can hang out together. Do you know why she left me?
Well, Shefar, of course I first have to answer your question by saying that I have no idea why she left you. I’m a pretty insightful puppy, but I’m not a psychic, and so have no way of knowing what she was thinking.
It’s always very tough when friends want to stop hanging around us, and prefer the company of others. It could be for a lot of reasons that are perfectly innocent. One of the most common, especially around your age, is that kids grow at different rates. There’s a really good chance that your former best friend is hanging around with that other girl just because they share interests that you and she don’t share. Imagine if you had a great friend who you loved to play Pokemon with, and then you got kind of bored with Pokemon, and wanted to play Mario games instead. You might start spending time with kids who liked Mario games more, and let that friend play Pokemon with other kids. It wouldn’t really be a rejection at all.
So it could be for any reason. But I want to concentrate more on something you said that really bothers me. You said “She’s a lot better than I am.” Now maybe that was just a typing error, and you meant to say “she’s a lot better at math than I am” or “She’s a lot better-looking in a bathing suit” or something like that. But if you wrote it right, then I’m here to bark right in your face and say “No She’s Not!” She’s not “a lot better” than you, because you are the best you that’s ever been! She’s perfectly good at being her, sure, but she’s not you! She doesn’t have your heart, your sense of humor, your looks, your mind, your anything! Maybe these days she’s better at being friends with your former best friend. Okay, that’s too bad but I can accept that. But is she as good at being in your family? Is she as good at being friends with the really cool person you’re going to meet tomorrow?
And is she as good at being a member of the Pack at AskShirelle?!?!?!
So Shefar, I want you to look into a mirror, and say this: “I am the best me that’s ever been, and I’m only getting better!” And say it till you believe it, because it’s absolutely true.
And then get out there and find some other kids who will appreciate you for being that great you that you are.
And who knows, maybe in a little while, that former friend of yours will show up in your life again, and become a great friend to the new, even better, you!
Thanks, and good luck!