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My friend comes off as mean to new people- What do I do?

Hi Brave Friends,

This last week in The Brave Girl Tribe, my virtual online community for girls in 5th to 8th grade, one of my girls asked for tips on how to handle if you have a friend that is nice to you but mean to other people and you are starting middle school together in the fall.

It can be a challenging situation to navigate. Here is the advice that I shared with her to help her manage this situation:

1. Recognize their behavior: Acknowledge that your friend might struggle with social skills or feel insecure around new people. This can help you approach the situation with empathy and understanding.

2. Discuss their behavior privately: Find an appropriate time to talk to your friend privately. Express your observations about how they come across to others and how it might affect their ability to form new friendships. Be gentle and non-judgmental in your approach.

3. Offer constructive feedback: Provide specific examples of situations where their behavior may have seemed mean to others. Encourage them to reflect on their actions and consider how they would feel if they were in the other person's shoes.

4. Help them practice empathy: Encourage your friend to try to understand the feelings and perspectives of new people they meet. Remind them that making others feel welcome and appreciated is a valuable skill that can lead to meaningful friendships.

5. Be a positive role model: Show your friend how to interact with new people in a kind and inclusive manner. Lead by example and demonstrate empathy, respect, and openness in your own interactions.

6. Support their efforts: If your friend makes an effort to change their behavior, be supportive and encouraging. Recognize and praise their positive actions, even if it's just a small step forward.

7. Include new people in group activities: When introducing your friend to new people, try to create inclusive group settings where everyone feels welcome. This can help your friend become more comfortable and less defensive around unfamiliar faces.

8. Encourage involvement in group activities: Suggest participating in group activities or clubs where your friend can meet new people in a relaxed and structured environment. This can help them build social skills and form new connections.

9. Patience is key: Changing behavior takes time and effort. Be patient with your friend as they work on improving how they interact with new people. Offer your support and understanding throughout the process.

10. Be mindful of your own boundaries: While it's essential to support and help your friend, remember to prioritize your well-being. If their behavior continues to be hurtful or negatively impacts your relationships with others, it might be necessary to set some boundaries and communicate your feelings honestly.

Remember, you are not responsible for your friend's behavior. Keep being yourself, making new friends, and embracing new experiences in Middle School. It's a great time to meet different people and create wonderful memories. Stay true to who you are, and always treat others with kindness and respect.

Wishing you an amazing time in Middle School!

If your daughter would benefit from a safe place to ask questions like this, we would love to have her join The Brave Girl Tribe. This is an online virtual program for girls in 5th to 8th grade. Your daughter will have access to lots of tools and resources, and she can participate in our weekly coaching call, or she can listen to the recording.

Schedule a chat with me to see If the Brave Tribe is a good fit for your daughter!

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