Dear Ms. Starr,
I have this friend who keeps making fun of my clip-on earrings. She says mean things like how I am wasting money on clip-on earrings and that I should just get my ears pierced like everyone else. The other day we got in a fight when she took my seat at lunch. Then she ignored me at recess and the entire next day. Now she is talking to me again, but she never said she was sorry. What should I do?
~ Keep My Clip-Ons?
Dear Keep Your Clip-Ons,
Just so you know, I rocked clip-on earrings until I was twelve years-old and loved them! There is nothing wrong with not having your ears pierced and, if I were you, I would ask this friend to please stop teasing you about your fun jewelry choices.
Now onto your question.
I am sorry to hear that your friend is not being very nice to you. Sometimes when our friends don’t apologize, it can feel even worse than whatever it was they did to upset us in the first place. When someone is a true friend, they:
1) Don’t try to be mean to us,
2) Apologize for their mistakes, and
3) Do their best to change their behavior when they know they are hurting us.
So although it would have felt better if your friend apologized to you on her own, there are a few things you can do in this situation to express how you feel and hopefully solve the problem.
Find a time to talk to your friend when you and she can be alone (without a bunch of other people around). You can try asking her questions about why she is ignoring you at recess, and you can let her know how it makes you feel when she makes fun of your earrings.
At GLI we say that friendships are like science experiments: one reason why sharing our feelings is so cool is because it gives us a chance to discover more about our friends! Will your friend take care of your feelings by listening to you and saying she is sorry? Or will she make fun of you and not apologize?
Either way, you get to discover if this friend is really a true friend. If she keeps being a meanie, she probably isn’t someone you want to be super close to or spend a lot of time hanging out with.
As your personal cheerleader, I am rooting for you to stand up for your needs! If your friend still doesn’t say she’s sorry, you might need to ask her directly to apologize. And remember, when we tell others what we need, we don’t want to be aggressive or scary. Instead, we want to be kind, clear and confident, making strong eye contact with the other person so they know we are serious about what we are saying.
Gooooooooo you (and clip-on earrings)!