DEAR HARRIETTE: My friends and I went to a concert last Saturday night. While we were walking into the subway station, two of my friends stood next to the entrance and said they didn’t have metro cards. One of them said he didn’t have any money on him, and the other one refused to pay the $2.75 to get on the train. The rest of us swiped our metro cards and then watched our friends who refused to get metro cards hop the turnstile. Suddenly, two police officers rounded the corner and stopped all five of us. I stayed quiet the entire time and let my outgoing friends do all the talking. The next thing I know, all five of us were being handcuffed. I was so terrified that it prompted me to speak up and say that the situation was unfair. Why should all of us be held accountable for the actions of two people? Once I explained what happened the police, the three of us who paid for metro cards were let go.
Now I’m being looked at as a traitor and a tattletale for bailing out only two of my friends. How can I make the other two guys, who ended up getting in trouble with the police, see that I had the right intentions? -- Good Guy, Bronx, New York
DEAR GOOD GUY: Stop trying to convince them of anything. Your friends knowingly chose to break the law. You were right to speak up for yourself. Let this incident show you that this may not be the best group of friends for you. If you do stay connected to them, make it clear that you like them but that you are not willing to lie for them or break the law with them.