Dear Auntie Betty, I have a very good friend but people do not like her and she feels bad about it.
Also, she does not like answering questions because the class will laugh at her and that will make her cry.
What can I do to help my friend?
Dear Worried Girl, Have a chat with your friend and let her know that in life it is not everyone who will like you. As difficult as that may be, she would have to accept it and be herself.
All she needs to do is to study hard, be nice to everyone she comes across, offer a helping hand when the need arises and engage in extra curricular activities. Getting involved in other activities outside the classroom could also help her meet new people and broaden her horizon.
So she should look for activities she is interested and get involved. It could be joining a reading, dance or debate club in school, community or church.
It is possible this is a phase and as time goes on, people will warm up to her. She has you as a friend and I’m sure there are a few people who are nice to her as well. That is alright because she does not need thousands of friends to prove anything.
It is important for her to improve her self-esteem and confidence. She should replace the negative thoughts about her with positive ones. She should celebrate her strengths and be around people who make her feel good.
Whether her mates laugh at her or not, she should muster courage and answer questions in class. That is the only way to learn because we learn from our mistakes. I understand how she feels but she must hold her head high and not bother about the reaction of her mates. It is also necessary for her to read ahead so that she can make meaningful contribution in class. When her mates realise that she is not bothered by their taunts, it is likely they will stop.
All the best.