Dear Dr. Wallace:
Two years ago, I was a shy 15-year-old girl freshly enrolled at a new high school. I knew no one at the school, but in a short time, I met a girl who seemed to have similar interests as me. We quickly became good girlfriends. At first it was very nice, but eventually, she started saying bad things about me around our school. Finally, to my utter shock, she became violent with me! Once that happened, I stopped hanging around with her entirely. For the past year and a half, she has stayed away from me entirely. I hadn’t heard a word from her for so long that I honestly thought I’d never hear from her again.
Lately, to my great surprise, this girl has been leaving me voicemails and sending me text messages saying she’s really sorry for her past behavior and wants us to hang out again. I personally think this is because she doesn’t have many (if any!) other friends, and since we are all quarantined with this COVID-19 virus, she’s lonesome being locked away in her family’s home.
My mom doesn’t want me to be her friend and refuses to let me call her back. Do you agree with my mom, or do you think I should give this girl another chance?
— Former Friend,
Dear Former Friend: My instincts tell me this former “friend” of yours is not to be trusted. She needs counseling, not a second chance simply because she’s lonesome now. She has already had several chances to be your friend and has failed miserably. She has proved herself to be not only fickle, disloyal and deceitful but also physically violent. I suggest you do not call her or encourage a renewed “friendship” in any way.
If you’re lonely and without other close friends, become more active at your school once it restarts — hopefully, this fall. Join clubs, and participate in after-school activities, once that time comes. I’m sure you’ll begin to meet other teens that share common interests with you and would enjoy being your friend.
For now, if you’d like to venture out a bit and meet new people, seek out volunteer opportunities that exist to help others during this pandemic. Be sure you take all safety precautions and get approval from your parents before you begin these activities.