DEAR ABBY: I am a 13-year-old girl in the eighth grade. My problem is a girl in my class. "Angie" thinks she's my best friend. We met in fourth grade, and I felt sorry for her because she didn't have any friends, so I let her hang out with me.
It didn't take long to learn why no one liked her. Angie is insulting, rude, lies, and can't have a conversation without saying something negative about someone else. Avoiding her isn't an option. We live within walking distance of each other, ride the same bus and are involved in many of the same after-school activities.
I have come right out and told Angie to leave me alone, but she thought I was kidding, and I couldn't convince her I was serious. She knows other kids, so I don't see why she can't leave me alone. My friends think it would be a good idea to get her to stop following me around, but no one knows how to tell her to buzz off without being mean.
Please help me, Abby. I want to make the rest of my school year a good one. -- SUPER-ANNOYED EIGHTH GRADER
DEAR SUPER-ANNOYED: Talk to Angie privately. She lacks good judgment. You will be doing her a favor to tell her exactly what you have written me. First list the characteristics you LIKE about her, then list the ones that have made you withdraw. Angie needs to understand so she can modify her behavior. You seem to be a nice young lady. Remember that we all have our faults, and give her room -- and time -- to mature.