DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a sophomore in college, and I feel like I’m still getting tested by my peers. This past April Fools' Day, my friends dragged my mattress out onto the street, filled my blow-dryer with baby powder and put mayonnaise in my shoes. I enjoy a good prank, but I seriously believe this went too far. My shoes are ruined, my blow-dryer is not back to normal and I had to haul my mattress back upstairs all alone. Do I have the right to be upset, or should I ease up in the spirit of the holiday? -- Too Much, Atlanta
DEAR TOO MUCH: You have every right to be upset by your friends’ behavior. Indeed, these are not the kind of friends you really want -- meaning people who would go to such lengths to embarrass you and damage your property. You should absolutely speak up and let them know, in no equivocal terms, that you think they went too far and that you do not appreciate it.
Further, you have to think about how they behave normally. College is the time when you must make choices about how you spend your time, and with whom. I recommend that you reconsider these friends to determine how much positive engagement you have with them and whether you honestly think they are worth your time.
Extricating yourself from friendships isn’t easy, no matter how old you are. Evaluate your own behavior and that of your friends and peers. What do you value, and who shares your values? Based upon your answers, edit your friend group to those who would most likely choose to treat you with respect, even when they are teasing you.