I Want Lots of Friends

Question:

My best friend is really awesome. Let’s call her Joy. We have sooo much fun together, and I love hanging out with her. Problem is, she’s not the prettiest, or skinniest of people, and she tends to give off a bad vibe to people who don’t know her very well. Well I’m in highschool, and people are always telling me, ‘You know, you could be pretty cool if you stopped hanging out with Joy. And started hanging with us.’ and if i’m texting Joy, the few other friends that I have will say, ‘Why are you texting her?’ Well, while everyone in highschool is trying to grow up so fast, me and Joy can still jump into a river without worrying about our hair. I want to have lots of friends too, though, and I really am giving the wrong impression on people by hanging out with her. I don’t know what to do. Should I ditch Joy and start hanging with people that could make me ‘popular’ or should I stay with my best friend?
P.S. Your Alice books are fantastic!

Phyllis replied:

Joy is your best friend and you’d give up on her because she’s not pretty and is overweight?   You’re beginning to set your standards for life, remember–not that you can’t change–but there will be times you would give anything for a good and faithful friend, no matter how she looks.  Of course you want lots of friends.  That’s natural.  But remember there are other people watching you who will be comforted by the fact that they don’t have to be perfect or beautiful or handsome to be your friend.  You don’t have to include Joy in everything you do. You’re entitled to go some places with some friends and not others.   To people who suggest you give up on her to be cool, you might just say, “Hey, I’m a “39 flavors” when it comes to friends.  Keeps life interesting.”

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