Category Archives for "Growing Up"

How to handle slut shame for having had boyfriends

Loser asks: I’m from a very small and conservative country. Our society is very complicated. Here boys and girls even can’t talk properly. Our school isn’t combined. But apart from that we all contact with each other in social media. I had a boyfriend. At first everything was so good. We met secretly and those memories – gosh! I don’t know what love is but if it exists then I loved him a lot. He broke up with me a lot of times, but then when he came back and apologized I always forgave him. But a week ago suddenly he stopped talking to me. I thought he was in a depression, but 3 days ago he compared me with his ex. And yesterday he hurt me by his words. I want to forget him, but I can’t. I love him so much. And he was my 3rd boyfriend. It was my last attempt. If I fail this time, our so called conservative school and those girls and boys will slut-shame me. I can’t find anyone good. I don’t know what to do.

Hi Loser –


Okay, so let me start by saying I hate   having said “Hi Loser!”  That sounds like I’m insulting you, and I don’t feel that way toward you at all!  (Tell you what, how about, if you write me back, please say, just once, “Hello you stinking fleabag mutt!” Then I’ll feel much better!)


So onto your questions.


First of all, I’m sorry about this guy, but yes, these things do happen – especially on social media.  And especially when the people are young, which it sounds like you are.


So in terms of forgetting him, I know that won’t be easy, especially as you had such a great time with him and aren’t seeing other boys enough.  But my advice is to then do as many things as you can with your friends:  Hang out with the girls you go to school with, even ones you normally wouldn’t call your closest friends.  Watch movies, listen to music, just anything you can do that is fun.  You won’t forget him of course, but you will get other things into your mind, and hopefully meet more people, maybe even a better guy.


Now in terms of him being your third boyfriend, I can tell you that a lot of people (maybe more in other countries) would say that’s great!  They wouldn’t call you a “slut,” they’d call you popular!  So many girls who spend their nights alone wishing the phone would ring would do ANYTHING to have had three boyfriends before leaving high school!  Think of it like if someone told you they felt bad for having had three friends, or having read three books, or having visited three countries!


Now there might be questions about Continue reading

How to deal with gossip about you, even if it’s true

thelittleangel asks: There’s this guy who I’m attracted to, but I don’t know much about him. I’ve been wanting to get to know him, but also, there’s this girl who likes him and thinks I like him and she’s been telling people I like him and she’s been saying bad stuff about me behind my back. My friends think she only is saying this because she thinks I have a thing with him and she’s jealous. In addition, can I have some tips on how to deal with people gossiping about you and your business?

Hi thelittleangel –


Here’s the funny part about being a young human.   You guys are so worried about people talking about you, you don’t realize that it’s actually great!  She’s telling people you like him.  Okay, hopefully he’ll hear about it and think “Hmmm… I hadn’t really noticed her before, but I kind of like being liked by her!”


But now, you also say she’s talking trash about you.  That truly is a problem.


But you have an advantage – you know  that she’s doing it.  So the best thing to do with that is to confront her, ideally right in front of the friends she’s telling it to.  “Hey, I hear you’ve been telling people I have fleas.  Well, here are a bunch of my friends, and they’ve never seen me scratch, even once.  So why are you saying all these lies?”


Can you imagine  how powerful that is?  My guess is that she’ll immediately stop.  After all, the reason to spread that sort of gossip is to gain power, and you’ll have just taken that power right away from her!


And if a bunch of people are gossiping about you?  I’d do the same thing on a bigger level. I know this sounds terrifying, but imagine what would happen if you stood up in the school lunchroom, or at an assembly, and said “People here have been spreading lies about me.  And I wonder if you have the courage to admit it.  Like, who was the one who started telling people I have fleas?!  You don’t have the guts to admit it, do you?  Because you know it’s a lie.  So I’ll leave it to you all to figure out who it was who started it, but just know, they’re not only a liar, they’re a wussy coward too.”


And then sit down, and never bring it up again.  You’ll be amazed how that gossip just disappears.


So I guess what I’m suggesting, in both cases, is for you to find some courage.  The courage to start a conversation with that boy, and the courage to face this girl with the truth.


If you can do these things, you’ll suddenly feel a lot bigger and stronger, which will be amazing.


But don’t worry, you’ll always be thelittleangel to me!


Best of Luck!


How to choose between two abusive boyfriends

Jingle_jangle asks: I’m a 17 year-old girl. Once I was very confident and self-dependent, but last year I was cheated on by my boyfriend and ended my 3 year relationship. It affected me so much it broke my heart. After that I met a boy and now we have been together a year. He loves me so much but I can’t forget my past and my ex. My relationship with my boyfriend is not in a great state. I try to make things right but I can’t. First I thought he was a great guy but I don’t think now . He abuses me, humiliates me about my past, and he doesn’t understand me. After so many fights and humiliations, the feelings are deteriorating . I don’t want to end my relationship with him but i also want to get my self-respect back .I don’t have friends so I don’t have anyone to talk to and get advice. Please help me!

Hi Jingle_jangle –


I often get questions where someone is trying to choose between two romances – one who’s kind and supportive, and one who’s not as nice, but more exciting.  That’s a tough decision!


But you’re in a different situation.  You’ve got two guys, both who have been jerkish to you in some ways.  The first one cheated on you, and the current one’s abusive and humiliating.


I want you to form a new romance.  I want you to fall in love with someone way better…  I want you to fall in love with Continue reading

Do women and men have to obey different rules in life?

Soumyaguna asks: We have many small fights between us. I don’t want to fight but it’s like whatever he does is ok but if the same thing I do it’s not for him. And if I say that “you also did the same,” then he is like “so u want to do equal equal or what?” And whenever I cry he becomese very angry. He doesn’t want me to cry, but I cry because I can’t show my anger in front of him!

Hi Soumyaguna –


So there are two parts to your question.  One where he believes in a “double-standard,” where there are things he can do but not you.  And the other where he gets angry if you cry – and you cry because you don’t have the right to show you’re angry.


This is a drastic case of inequality.


Now I know what that feels like.  Handsome can get onto the couch, but I can’t.  Handsome can eat the good things on the table, and I’m not supposed to.  It’s not fair, but I love him so much I accept it.


But I’m not a human.  As a dog, I’m something that all of society says is not the equal to a person.  “Treat him like a dog” is a way of saying to take away a person’s rights and make them less than human.  So I’m not offended by this, just annoyed.


But you’re a human being!


Now all cultures have different roles for women and men.  In some, women should keep their heads covered.  In some, men should always walk ahead.  And I’m not here to say what’s right or wrong for those values.  But it sounds to me like you and this man have very different ideas about what you should or should not be able to do.  And this has to get Continue reading

Is it best to be strong or not?

PERFECTION asks: Shirelle what do you think about strong people? Not masculine but strong as a person, who handles problems by themselves. I consider myself one of them. I tend to solve everything by myself, endure pain, adapt and fight. But I heard this quote, strong people will have a lot of damage when they fall or somewhat give up. Or does that depend on the person himself?




Of course I want you as strong as you can be.  You’re a terrific person, I know from your letters, so the more you’re able to act on your values, the better the world will be (and the happier you will be).


And I suppose it’s true that the stronger a person is, the more others depend on them, so the more loss there is when they fail or lose heart.   But that’s no reason for them not to be out there doing their best.  Think of that super-hero rule, “With great power comes great responsibility.”  Okay, so take the responsibility and do some wonders!


After all, the “damage” that’s done, by their failing to do something good, is just that things go back to the way they’d be if that person had never done anything at all.


Just to pick three examples, Socrates, Jesus, and Gandhi all were enormously strong personalities, who were killed because of their strength.  And that meant that they weren’t able to do what they’d been doing before anymore.  But what they had done has affected the world enormously ever since.  (And of course, for those who believe, at least the second of those has been even more powerful since that death!).


And if you’re thinking, “Hey, I don’t mean THAT strong!  I mean, I’m nowhere near as great as they were!” then my response is simply… how do you know yet?!!


All my best,


How to appear confident when you don’t feel it.

Spiky 401 asks: I don’t know how to be confident around the boy I like. I’m confident in many ways, but I’m a nervous wreck around him. Please tell me what to do.

Hi Spiky 401 –


Fake it!


Have you ever seen a little dog take on a big dog like me?  They know perfectly well that they would lose a fight in a second, but they come at me, growling and barking, showing their teeth… and usually we big dogs back down.  Not because we think we’d lose the fight, but because it’s not worth it to us to get into it – that little dog is going to hurt us before we win!


I want you to get some of what those little dogs have.  I don’t want you snarling and barking, of course, but I do want you to pretend to be confident.  What do you think a confident woman looks like?  Standing tall?  Talking quietly and slowly?  Turning away with a half-smile when she’s done talking?  Maybe giving mild insults to the person who knows she’s interested?


I like all those, but you might have a different idea.  Whatever it is, you CAN do it.  What you can’t do, yet, is do it naturally.  So you need to fake it a little.  Or a lot!


If you meet with this guy in person, just act that way that seems confident to you, and you’ll be amazed to see you’ll actually feel more confident too, just from acting that way.


And if you get into a texting conversation with him, take your Continue reading

Should one date someone older?

Cielo asks: Is it okay to date a man older than me by 11 years?

Hi Cielo –


I have two different answers to your question.  The first is, in many places, a legal one.  At least where I live, it’s actually against the law for someone under eighteen years of age to have any sort of sexual contact with someone that much older than them.  And while you’re only asking about dating, I know you humans, and one thing often leads to another…!  So when you ask if it’s “okay,” in this regard it’s definitely not.  (Though of course I have no idea how old you are; if you’re even eighteen years and five minutes, then it’s just fine legally).


But my second answer comes more from the idea of “okay” meaning “a good idea.”  And here, I’m going to get way more mathematical than dogs usually do!


Let’s say that a person usually isn’t really interested in “dating,” in the sense of romance that can lead to something physical or committed, until they’re at least twelve years old (I realize that might not always be true, but just for the sake of argument, I’ll pick that number).  So a thirteen-year-old boy is just one-year-old as a “Dater.”  Does that make sense?


What I’m getting at is that we don’t want to have too gigantic an age difference in a romance, in terms of “dating years.”  I’m going to suggest we try to keep it to Continue reading

How to choose between the unloving person you’re more drawn to and the loving one you’re not.

Baby girl asks: I’m already engaged to a man, and had a child with him, but I’m really in love with another guy, who doesn’t love me as I do him, though it seems he is not capable to love. Despite the new guy’s promise to love me, to care for me and to marry me in two years, his actions don’t match his sweet words. He used to hurt me often, tells me it’s over between us and then comes back to me for apologies again. He seems to talk without thinking of my emotions. And I don’t think I can live without this guy! Please advise me what can I do to make him love me, and what can I about to the other guy whose daughter I have.

Hi Baby girl –


So I have to admit, my mind first goes to two people here – this fiancée of yours, and the child you two have.  While I’m all for the joys of love, I don’t see you thinking much about how all this will affect them.  And how it would be for you to leave your daughter, or have to share her with him.


But even if it weren’t for those issues, I’m very concerned about this new guy.  There’s an old line “Actions speak louder than words.”  That means that people show who they truly are by what they do, not what they say.  And this guy is showing a lot of things that are just rotten!  So much so that I can imagine a lot of readers here saying “What in the world does she want him for?!”


Well, I have a thought.  Have you ever learned about Behavioral Psychology?  That’s the stuff where they put a rat or a dog in a cage, and train it to do things by feeding or shocking it?  One thing they’ve learned well is that an animal will do what you want a lot of the time if you always reward it in a nice way for the behavior you want, and punish it for the behavior you don’t want; but it will do what you want much more if you DON’T always reward them, if you get them a little crazed.  This is why slot machines do so well at gambling casinos – people will spend hours, and all their money, trying to get a jackpot out of a box that only occasionally gives them anything back!


Well it sounds to me like this guy has mastered this.  He leaves you, hurts you, then comes back, and you’re here saying you can’t live without him.


My friend, I’m here to tell you… Continue reading

How to handle jealous feelings when your girlfriend or boyfriend talks to others

Free one asks: My girlfriend is loyal to me but she’s talking very freely with other guys? And I’m feeling very possessive and even having anger problems, so what should I do?

Hi Free one –


I can really see both sides of this issue.  On one hand, if my human friend Handsome comes home and I can smell that he’s been petting other dogs, I find that exciting!  I sniff him all over, lick him a lot – he’s just more interesting than he is other days.

But if I’m with him and he pets another dog, I get very jealous.  I don’t get mad at him, though – I just let that other dog know, in no uncertain terms, that that man is MINE!

Have you ever heard that old Beatles song “You Can’t Do That?”  It expresses just what you’re saying.  That (you’re saying) she can’t talk to other guys.


But I think you’re actually in the wrong on this issue (and it sounds like you agree with me).  Because it’s almost impossible for a woman to not talk to other men.  And if she’s friendly, that talk can look like flirting, or even cheating, to you, if you let it.


The only solution I can come up with is for you to talk with her about these feelings, and arrive at an agreement.  Like, say, she can talk to other guys, but she always needs to come back to you afterward, or needs to make sure they know about you.


Jealousy is a strange thing.  It’s all about insecurity.  Although you know she’s loyal to you, when she talks to other guys, it makes you feel like something’s wrong – that she’s cheating, or they look down on you.  If you can make yourself feel more secure, you won’t mind her doing this anymore.


And again, the best way to make yourself feel that, I’m sure, is for you to talk with her about it.  Even if you two come up with some silly signal (like, say, whenever she’s talking with another guy, she waves to you), whatever works.


It’s great that you care this much about her, and hopefully she takes it as a compliment.  Now if we can just get you two to feel happy and secure, everything will be great.


All my best,


What to do when people judge you for your past

Bart asks: I have done things a long time ago, but I have changed! Years later people bring up these things and it makes me very angry. Here I am interviewing for an important job and people keep throwing my mistakes at me. Why do they do this, and how should I respond!

Hi Bart –


I certainly understand your frustration.  People are always mistrusting me because of something I did months ago, or maybe last night.  But hey, in dog days that’s a week, right? But it’s even worse for them to mistrust me because of something I did, or something they think  I did, years ago.


What I’m always trying to convince them of is to judge me the way I am now.  And that’s what you need to do.  You say you’ve changed, but do you show that?  If you used to bite people on the ankle all the time, do you lick their hands now, and only bite your chew toys (yes, that’s my story)?  Or maybe you used to have a drinking problem, and now you’re sober, or only drink a little.  Or maybe you used to do some really mean things to people, and now you’re far more moral than that.


Well, if so, how do you show it?  Do you act in a ladylike or gentlemanly way all the time now?  Do you work extra hard to be kind and calm?


Maybe that’s what you need to do.  And, although it doesn’t seem fair, maybe you Continue reading

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