Q: I’m twelve and have a question. My friend is always cutting me down around other friends. He especially says mean things about me when we are around girls. What can I do to make him stop?
A: I had a friend in school who was much like the person e you describe. To give you an idea of what he was like, notice how he signed my yearbook: «Dear Karl. You are a stupid schmuck. A real dork face idiot. Nothing personal! Your friend, Loren. »
I remember being afraid to be around other people (especially girls!) when my «friend» was near because I never knew how he might publicly embarrass me. I realize now he never was a friend, but rather someone who used me to feel better about himself. Usually kids who are always ragging on friends don’t like themselves, so they have to dog others.
In your case, I would suggest you talk firmly with your friend and let him know you won’t tolerate the cutting comments any longer. If you don’t see any change, stick with your promise and hang out with other friends. You won’t be losing a friend—you’ll be gaining self-confidence.