How to Deal with Backstabbing Friends
By Kate, age 16, New Hampshire
You walk down the crowded school hallway with your best friend, talking and laughing and planning for the fun weekend ahead of you. You part ways, each heading for your own class. As you walk, you remember all the fun times you had together. Besties from day one.
After class, you walk down the hall and notice your best friend talking to a group of girls, a group of girls you never really connected with.
"Yea, she thinks we're hanging out this weekend. I didn't want to say no. I'm too nice to do that," she said. The girls laugh. "She's so pathetic anyways. All she does is complain. Whatever ... I'll tell her something came up. Didn't want to hang out with her anyway."
What happened to the best friend you thought you had? The one you spent every weekend with at the mall. The friend you gossiped with. The friend you cried with when your boyfriend dumped you. After all these years, why would she do something like this?
Welcome to high school. Some say they're the best years of our lives; some say they're the worst.
No one wants to have bad experiences in high school, but how can it be helped? You're starting to look at colleges, and grades are becoming important so you can get to the college you want to get to. As if homework isn't enough, you have to deal with all the drama that goes around, boyfriends, schoolwork, family issues - but no one expects to have a backstabbing best friend. It's the last thing on your mind. But unfortunately it happens.
High school changes people. Girls can feel intimidated by friends and guys. Drugs and alcohol play an important role in being "cool." And even though you know you're doing the right thing ... you get punished.
So how do you deal with those backstabbing friends? Well, to start with, if they're backstabbing you, they're not your friends. I know you may not want to believe that. You've been friends since forever - best friends for life! No one wants to lose that. But if they're doing this to you obviously their views have changed.
But before dumping a friend, talk to her. Confront her. If she denies it, then is she really worth the trouble? If she can't be honest with you, then she doesn't care about your friendship anymore. She could be intimidated by other girls, but if she can't see where you're coming from, then it's not worth it. There's a saying: "Some people enter your life for a season." I know there's more to that quote, but you get the idea. Maybe it's time to move on. When one door closes, another one opens. Just think about all the other doors opening. You may be losing one friend, but you might gain another, someone closer and better.
Don't let it get you down. Keep your head up and think positive. Someone else will enter your life and make you realize why it didn't work out with her. You'll find someone who will accept you for who you are, no matter what other girls say.
But what if she doesn't stop? Sure, you moved on. You stopped talking to her. You realized she isn't worth the trouble. But she's still there. Except this time she's looking for revenge. You stopped hanging out with her, and now she feels a need to continue to use you for her enjoyment. She pretends to be your friend like nothing happened. What do you do?
If this is happening in the first place, why would you even try to talk to her about it? You already did before, and she denied it. Don't waste your breath. Continue to ignore her. Do not try to start a fight with her. If anything, let her start the fight. At least then you can honestly say, "She started it," and I'm pretty sure you won't get in as much trouble as she will.
The important thing is not to let it show that you're bothered by it. It will make you seem vulnerable and she may continue to do things to you. Things could get worse. Like I said, no one wants bad high school memories. High school should be fun and a good experience that you should learn from. It shouldn't be spoiled by high school drama and backstabbing friends.
Reading this, you're probably thinking, "This sounds like something my mother would say." And I'm pretty sure if you told her about your problems, she would say something very similar. Namely, to ignore the backstabbers. And you would most likely give her the "You don't understand!" excuse. But in reality, she does. She's been through the same problems as you. She was a teenager once too, you know. It may have been 25 years ago, but the problems are generally the same. So maybe now it's time to start listening to Mom's advice. She does know what she's talking about, and all she wants is for you to have a happy life. Thanks, Mom!