How Do I Help My Friend?
Dear BeingGirl Experts, My best friend just started hanging out with an older girl who is about 18. She has been taking my friend to parties with guys that are in their early to mid-twenties and getting her drunk. I am very afraid for my friend, but I don't know what to do. I've tried talking to her and telling her how dangerous this is, but she won't listen to me. I'm actually afraid she's becoming addicted because she told me that she feels she can be her real self and say what she feels when she's drunk. I have no idea what to do. Can you please give me some advice? Do I just give up on her or do I continue to try and help her? Allie --- Dear Allie, When friends go in two directions it is difficult. Sometimes a person will use alcohol to bolster self-esteem or attention. Emotional needs and physical maturity are two separate things, and one doesn't necessarily guarantee the other. Instead of coming across as judgmental use a more sensitive, caring approach with your friend. This will help her understand that you are worried and not angry. You can't really tell your friend what to do/what not to do, but you can let her know her behavior affects you. What I mean is you can use "I" statements to let her know how her actions affect you. For example, "When I hear you are doing XYZ, I worry because I don't want you to get a bad reputation". Or, "I know what a terrific person you are and how much you have to offer. It makes me sad that you don't value yourself as much as others value you." Do you see what I mean? There is a difference in how you say it. You can't harp on this all the time either. Try this approach to see if she opens up to you about what is going on. If you are afraid that what she is doing is going to cause problems in her life, perhaps you should tell your parents. Her parents should know what is happening and your mom or dad may be able to intervene for you. Good luck, Your BeingGirl Experts
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