Dear Annie: I have three best friends. We are juniors in high school and like sisters. Two weeks ago, “Jessica” and “Lucy” got into a fight because Jessica didn’t like Lucy’s driving. When I suggested that most people don’t take well to criticism, Jessica refused to talk to me. The next day, she sent a long text message to Lucy and me, saying we are “always mean and heartless” to her. She sent me a separate text listing all the little things I do that bother her.
I apologized to Jessica, saying it was not intentional and that I would try to be more aware of my responses to her. We are in a lot of classes together and eventually, she started being sugary sweet to me. Meanwhile, Lucy confided that her parents are having horrible problems and then she swore me to secrecy. I felt loyal to Lucy, and didn’t really warm up to Jessica’s overtures.
Today, a classmate informed me that Lucy is dating my ex-boyfriend. Lucy claims she didn’t tell me because she thought I’d be angry. Annie, I don’t care about my ex and it doesn’t bother me if they date. What bothers me is that Lucy hid it instead of telling me and asking if it was OK. After the way I’ve tried to be loyal to her, this is like a stab in the back. Are these friendships over? – Kylie
Dear Kylie: Maybe. You sound like a sensible person with some difficult friends. One seems oversensitive and the other self-involved. But this is not unusual during high school. With the normal ups and downs of adolescence, along with hormonal changes, relationships can be challenging. These changes are indications of personal growth and maturity, and not all friendships survive the transition.
We recommend you be as tolerant as possible while Jessica and Lucy sort out their own struggles. Be supportive and kind, but you shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells. And please find people you can count on to be supportive and kind to you, even if it means broadening your circle of friends.
Dear Annie: I thought you offered good advice to “Just Wondering,” who came home after a week away to find that her house sitters had used all her stuff, including food, laundry supplies, shampoo and hand lotion.
I have need of a house/pet sitter from time to time and here is how I adjust my attitude: When someone stays in your home and takes care of your pet, your pet does not have to cope with the stress of being moved to an unfamiliar location. Your pet also doesn’t have to sleep in a crate. Additionally, kennels run around $200 per week for cats, plus additional fees for exercise, treats, etc. It is also much safer to have the house occupied than empty, not only to discourage burglars, but also to catch a burst pipe or broken furnace early enough to save thousands.
Next time, she should put most supplies in a locked closet. Leave some food and necessities for the house sitters, but don’t go overboard. Be grateful you have friends so willing to look out for you. Granted, using all of your stuff is weird, but it’s not worth losing a friendship. – A Different Perspective
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies.
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