Q I told my friend I had a crush on them and they told everyone. Why would they do that? If a friend shares something with other people that you shared in confidence with them, I’d suggest having a talk to them about what being a good friend means to you/them. Being trustworthy is an important part of being a friend. Often in schools people talk a LOT about who likes who and who asked out who. Remember that you can’t believe everything you hear and thing about the impact of the gossip on the person it is about.
Q What should you do if a friend avoids talking to you and talks behind your back, and lies to others about you? Sometimes friends can act in not very nice ways. If they are lying about you and talking about you behind your back, it doesn’t sound like they’re being a good friend. You can let them know that this is hurting you and you want them to stop. Being left out and spoken about behind your back can cause you to feel lots of different negative emotions. You might feel sad at first and then become angry and jealous. These emotions are normal, but they will pass. Instead of denying your emotions, give yourself some time to feel them. Sharing your feelings with someone who cares about you can be helpful. Try talking to a parent, carer, a good friend, or someone else who you feel that you can trust. Explain what happened and be honest about how it made you feel. The person who you share with may be able to give you some advice about how to deal with your situation. If the behaviour was intentional by your friend, then it is best to avoid showing your emotions to them. Bullies often use exclusion to get a rise out of people, so even if you are upset about being talked about and left out, try not to show it. You may be giving a bully what they want by showing that you are upset. Instead, try to act like you are not bothered by it. If they continue to exclude you, consider finding a new group of friends – once who don’t leave you out, who enjoy your company and respect you.
Q Why are girls and boys judged by the way they dress? Sometimes people are judged by how they dress because of silly stereotypes. A stereotype is an overly simple belief about a particular group of people and is often negative. By stereotyping we assume that a person is, thinks, or acts like all members of a certain group. For example, a stereotype is that all girls like dressing up and wearing makeup and that all boys like sport. They make us ignore differences between individuals and think things about people that might not be true. They also make us believe that people should act in certain ways which can make us treat others badly because they don’t ‘fit’ a particular stereotype. So, we need to be really careful when we make assumptions about other people just because they are a girl, a boy, short, tall, skinny, overweight, living with a disability, have different cultural backgrounds to ourselves or any other factor.
Q Is it okay if you don’t want to be in a relationship? This is totally normal! Some people become interested in having a special friend at an early age, others are not interested until they are well into being an adult. One of the greatest things about being a human being is friendship. Having others around to share things with and have fun together makes life more interesting. Don't feel pressured into looking for a special friend just because it seems to be the 'in thing' to do. You could end up losing someone as a good friend and that would be sad, as good friends are hard to find.