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by Abigail Van Buren

Popularity Changes Girls' Friendship

DEAR ABBY: I have a friend who is really popular. We have been best friends since third grade, but when we started ninth grade, she really changed. She started hanging out with the "cool" kids and acting weird. She told me that because I was her friend, I had the automatic right to hang out with them.

I don't like to hang out with large groups of people because I'm afraid of big groups, but I still want to be friends with her. When I told her I'd think about it, she suddenly turned cold. I'm confused. I don't know what I should do. She was there for me since third grade, and I was there for her, and now she seems to be fading really fast -- six years of friendship just forgotten. Please give me some advice. -- FRIEND DRAMA IN MICHIGAN

DEAR FRIEND DRAMA: Sometimes when a person says "I'll think about it," it comes across as a negative reply. Your friend's feelings may have been hurt because she interpreted it as a rejection. It would have been better if you had explained that you are uncomfortable in large groups and would prefer to see her one-on-one if she was willing. It may not be too late to get that message across to her. If the price of her company is that you will have to learn to be more social, you will then have to decide which is more important.

Read more in: Friends & Neighbors | Teens