Q: My buddy bosses me around. It’s as if he has to be the one in charge all the time. I like my friend, but his «big shot» attitude bugs me. What can I do? I’m a twelve-year-old boy.
A: Sounds as though you and your buddy need to have a talk. It could be that he doesn’t even realize what he’s doing.
The next time he starts bossing you around, find a place where nobody else can hear, and tell him calmly but honestly how you feel. Let him know in a nice way that you really appreciate his friendship, but that you can’t stand being bossed around. Be careful not just to make a blanket statement, such as «You really are bossy!» Instead, try to give a specific example of what he’s doing. For instance, you might say, «I really felt embarrassed when you told me—in front of the other kids—to get lost.» Ask him if he’s willing to change his style of communication, and get his permission to remind him when he’s getting out of line. Above all, let him know that despite everything, you still accept him as he is—faults and all.