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Freaking out about a crush problem? Major drama in school? Bratty little sister driving you crazy? No worries! I’m here to help! Tell me what’s up and I’ll give you the best advice I can. Just ask Chloe and Zoey…I’m awesome at giving advice!! You can send your question to AskNikki@dorkdiaries.com. I’ll try to answer a couple each week, depending on how much homework I have!

WHEN YOU’RE MAD AT YOUR FRIEND AND SHE WON’T LEAVE YOU ALONE

Mad At Your Friend

Today’s question comes from Payton, who writes:

My friend won’t leave me alone! She was my friend, but now she’s a total jerk. She blurted out my deepest, darkest secret ever. Now I don’t trust her.

She cuts lunch lines to sit with me and wants to play with me at recess, but she blurts out all my secrets and acts like my mother. I don’t want to be friends with her anymore. Can you please help?

My Advice:

Hi Payton! I’m not going to sugarcoat it: it sounds like this girl is kind of clueless about what it means to be a good friend.

I mean, anyone who’s ever had a friend before knows it’s SO not cool to blab each other’s secrets (unless they only had an imaginary friend…imaginary friends never get mad when you tell their secrets since, well, you have to be real to feel!).

I totally get why you feel upset and don’t want to hang around her anymore. And I bet it’s even more annoying that she keeps trying to be your BFF, even though she’s acting more like a MacKenzie than a Chloe or a Zoey.

Still, there may be some explanation for why she did what she did.

I know, I know, it’s highly unlikely that she received an anonymous letter that reads, “Tell Payton’s secrets, or you’ll never see your family again!” And anything that wasn’t as serious as that might seem like a super lame excuse to share your personal business.

But maybe it just slipped out and she feels really bad about it. Or maybe she didn’t realize it was a secret.

Or maybe she was actually trying to be a good friend. You mentioned she’s been acting like your mom, so that made me wonder if maybe the secret was something kind of dangerous, and she only told someone else because she was worried about you.

I’m not trying to convince you to save her a swing tomorrow at recess. (It’s probably not a good idea, anyway, since trying to save a swing is like calling dibs on the last two pieces of birthday cake…it can REALLY tick people off!)

I’m just saying that maybe it’s not as black and white as it seems. If I’m totally off base and you’re just completely over being her friend, then I say be honest with her, but try to be nice when you break it to her.

Telling other people’s secrets is TOTALLY wrong, so maybe she could use a lesson in doing things right!

You could say something like: “I can’t sit with you anymore because I don’t feel as comfortable around you since you told _________ my secret about ____________. Maybe I’ll get over it, but that could take time, and for now, I just need a little space.”

This way, it’s no secret: your friendship is on pause until you feel ready to press play!

What do you guys think? Do you have any advice for Payton?

Posted in Ask Nikki | 405 Comments

WHEN YOUR BFF IS OBSESSED WITH HER CRUSH

Advice Column April 4

Today’s question comes from Abigail, who writes:

My friend Roni has a big crush on this guy named Jonathan, and she talks about him non-stop! She even started dressing fancy and putting on makeup for him to notice her.

I miss the old Roni, the one who played in mud and trees and didn’t care about getting dirty, but now she’s a totally different person! What should I do?

My Advice:

Hi Abigail! I have some super helpful advice for you, but first, Brandon’s awesome, huh?

Just kidding! Now that I got that out of my system…

I get how annoying it can be when you feel like you’ve lost your friend, for any reason, whether it’s because of a new school, a new hobby, or a new guy.

It’s even tougher when you can tell she’s totally excited, but you’re SO not on the same page.

I don’t know if you’ve had a lot of crushes, so maybe I should start by filling you in on the super mysterious stuff that happens in the human brain when a girl first falls for a guy.

If her brain were a TV network, the line-up would probably go like this:

6:00 JonathanBob Square Pants

6:30 Jonathan’s Dog with a Blog

7:00 Teenage Mutant Ninja Jonathan

I think you get the point! He’s probably on her mind 24/7. And even though she still loves spending time with you, she’s trying to figure all this out…why she can’t stop thinking about him, how much she wants him to notice her, and what she can do to make that happen (like dressing up and wearing make-up).

I wish I could tell you that she might wake up tomorrow, snap out of it, and then jump in a big puddle of mud, but odds are, that’s not going to happen.

Even if she changes her brain line-up to different shows without him, there will probably be a new Jonathan at some point in the future. It’s just how crushes work!

So, I recommend the following two things:

1. As tough as this may be, try to understand that Roni’s growing up and changing, just like you will. But that doesn’t mean your friendship’s ending. It just means IT’S growing, too. She might not be into mud anymore, but she’s still totally into you!

2. Let her in. Trying to understand doesn’t mean you have to pretend this doesn’t bug you. Tell her, “I get that you’re totally into Jonathan, and I’m psyched that you’re happy about that. But I miss hanging out WITHOUT talking about boys. So maybe can we make some time crush-free and just do silly girl stuff?”

In case I didn’t make this SUPER clear, this won’t change that she has a crush. But maybe it will help her make a little room in that line-up for The Suite Life of Abigail and Roni!

What do you guys think? Do you have any advice for Abigail?

Posted in Ask Nikki | 1,050 Comments

WHEN YOUR MOM IS HAVING A BABY AND WANTS YOU TO HELP

Advice Column March 27th

Today’s question comes from Mickey Anne, who writes:

I have six siblings, and I’m the oldest. I’m in 7th grade.

I don’t have that many responsibilities at home since all my brothers and sisters are old enough to take care of themselves. But just yesterday my mom told us she’s having another baby and everyone is going to have to start helping out more.

I already have too much on my plate with basketball, art club, and school. How will I make time to help? What should I do?

My Advice:

Hi Mickey Anne! I would like to start by presenting you with the “Big Sister of the Year” award.

Even having just ONE little sibling is tough! I can’t imagine what it’s like to have six little people looking up to you and wanting stuff from you. And somehow, you still make time for basketball and art club. That’s pretty impressive!

I definitely get why you’re kind of freaked out about having another sibling. You probably thought you could FINALLY focus on yourself, now that all the other ones are old enough to do their own thing.

The good news is that there are six other kids to help out. That’s A LOT of people pitching in. I highly doubt you’re going to be on around-the-clock diaper duty, or that you’ll have to do your homework standing up at the counter while simultaneously washing the baby in the sink.

(You’ve seen Snow White, right? There’s a reason why the seven dwarfs whistle while they work…they’re not stressed out because there’s a TON of them to get stuff done, just like you guys!)

Your mom probably gets that you’re busy, and she probably won’t expect you to be Super Nanny just because you’re the oldest.

I bet she told you guys that stuff about helping out just because she doesn’t want to end up standing alone in the kitchen, with a baby on her hip and a sink full of dishes, while the seven of you run around the house screaming, with muddy shoes and leaky juice boxes.

(That’s probably a huge exaggeration since you’re not all four and obnoxious, but you know what I mean!)

If you’re really worried about what’s going to happen, you could sit your mom down and say, “I want to help when the baby comes, but I’m a little nervous because I have so many things going on. What specifically do you think I could help with?”

This way, you’ll know exactly what she expects, and she’ll know what you can handle without feeling totally overwhelmed.

I bet it will be a lot easier than you think, and maybe even a little fun. Who knows…nine months from now you could be fighting with your siblings over who gets to dress the baby!

What do you guys think? Do you have any advice for Mickey Anne?

Posted in Ask Nikki | 1,539 Comments

WHEN YOUR CRUSH MAKES FUN OF YOUR FRIEND

Advice Column March 21

Today’s question comes from Natasha, who writes:

I have a crush on a boy, but he makes fun of my best friend because she’s short. He calls her shrimp, shorty, and other mean names. He’s a bully, but I like him because he’s cute.

I try to stand up for her, but no words come out my mouth. I just look at the ground when he makes fun of her. And she tries to stand up for herself, but it comes out wrong.

I don’t know what to say to him or her. Should I tell my teacher, or just leave it alone and make my crush laugh at my best friend?

My Advice: 

Hi Natasha! This crush must make you FEEL crushed, literally! I mean, how totally inconsiderate can a guy get when he makes fun of your BFF? And on top of that, he’s your crush!

I know it’s tough to resist a cute boy, and I also know it can be hard to stand up for someone else.

It takes serious guts to say, “Hey you, big bully! You’re mean, it’s SO not cool, and we’re not gonna take it!”

But still, if we can’t trust our BFFs to stand by us and back us up, then really, who can we trust?

So, here’s what I think you should do:

Pull your best friend aside and say, “I feel pretty bad because I stared at my feet when I SHOULD have had your back! I’m so sorry I didn’t stick up for you, and I promise I’ll be a way better friend going forward!”

Then tell her you’ve come up with some clever things to say next time he gets mean. (That’s right…you can totally take credit for the stuff I’m about to write!)

Some of those things include:

  • Be a bigger person and stop laughing at smaller people!
  • Stop calling her shrimp. Good things come in small packages!
  • We can tell it makes you happy to put other people down, and really, that’s just sad!

I know it might feel like a bummer to stop liking your crush. But trust me, the world is full of cute boys. The ones worth crushing on also have cute hearts!

(Okay, so hearts are always kind of ugly, with all those valves and veins and stuff, but you know what I mean!)

What do you guys think? Do you have any advice for Natasha?

Posted in Ask Nikki | 1,505 Comments

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU LIED AND YOUR FRIEND IS ANGRY

Advice Column March 13

Today’s question came in anonymously. It reads:

My friend got angry with me because I didn’t tell her that her crush and I have still been communicating. We have a past, and she thought everything between us was over.

I kept it to myself because I didn’t know how to tell her. I didn’t want to hurt her. She misunderstood my intention and thinks I made her look like a fool.

She’s still angry and wont talk to me. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to lose our friendship over a total misunderstanding. I need help!

My Advice:

Hey there, Sad With A Secret. (That’s the code name I gave you, since I don’t know your real one!)

I can tell that you value this friendship a lot, and that this situation is totally stressful for you. I’d be stressed too if Chloe or Zoey were mad at me about something like this!

But even though I totally get your feelings, I also understand where your friend’s coming from. It always stinks to feel like someone lied to you, ESPECIALLY a close friend.

I think the REAL issue here isn’t that she misunderstood your intentions about keeping this a secret. I’m sure she gets that you wouldn’t want to upset her, since you’re not a heartless sociopath, and, like everyone else in the world, you like having fun when you hang out, not fighting about boy drama.

The REAL issue is probably that she wonders why you stayed in touch with him to begin with, since you know she’s been crushing on him.

If you told her it’s in the past, it makes sense she’d be annoyed to hear, “Just kidding! It’s in the present too, but I had your best interest at heart in lying to you about it!”

Keeping a secret + defending it by saying you didn’t want to hurt her = nasty fight that’s unlikely to blow over any time soon.

Admitting you made a mistake + explaining why + apologizing = the beginning of friendship starting to recover.

So, my questions for you are:

Why did you keep communicating with him?

Are you ready to stop doing it now?

When can you invite your friend over for pizza and a heart-to-heart to tell her all this stuff?

If you DON’T intend to leave the past in the past, then there’s a pretty good chance she’s going to stay angry. Sorry…just trying to tell it to you straight!

But things have a super good chance of improving if you can say to her, “Hey there, Lost And Lied To” (that’s the code name I gave her, since I don’t know her name, either!) “I’m sure you’re totally confused about why I kept talking to him behind your back. It’s because… But it’s over now, and I’m sorry that I lied!”

What do you guys think? Do you have any advice for Sad With A Secret?

Posted in Ask Nikki | 1,154 Comments

HOW TO GET YOUR CRUSH’S ATTENTION

Advice Column March 6

Today’s advice question comes from a girl named Ali, who writes:

This year I transferred to public school. There’s a boy who I’ve known my entire life, and lucky me, he ended up in my class. He’s so cute!

All the girls like him, so I want to get his attention. There have been a few sparks between us, but I’m not sure if he likes me. How can I tell if he does, and how can I get his attention?

My Advice:

Hi Ali! Let me first get this out of the way….SQUEEEE!!! That’s awesome that your crush ended up in your class. I’m so excited for you!

Now, onto your two questions….

Luckily, I’ve already written a long list of ways to know if your crush is into you, so that’s the answer to your first one!

As for the second question, about how to get his attention, this is a HIGHLY scientific process that I’ve refined over YEARS of research. In fact, I am SO confident in this process that I’ve even given it a name: The 2-Step Magnet Plan.

Why “Magnet Plan,” you ask? Because if you follow these steps EXACTLY as I’ve outlined them, I guarantee you’ll be like a refrigerator and he’ll be like your last report card…totally stuck on you!

(Okay, to be honest, that’s not entirely true. I can’t really guarantee that, but it’s an awesome line for my marketing plan, if I decide to put my highly scientific process into a book, right? Back to the advice…)

The 2-Step Magnet Plan:

1. Treat him like a friend.

No, I don’t mean that you should text him, “OMG, you looked SO cute in class today. Do YOU think you’re into me?” Don’t pretend he’s one of the girls!

I mean act like yourself around him…your REAL self. Laugh at the stuff you usually laugh at. Bring up stuff you’re actually interested in, not stuff you think he wants to hear about.

Be totally, completely YOU. Cute boys are used to girls acting weird and flirty around them, and I think it actually makes them kind of uncomfortable.

What they REALLY want is to hang out with fun, laid back girls who aren’t all caught up in their head trying to be noticed. And believe me, if you don’t TRY to be noticed, you will be!

2. Ask him about himself.

Here’s a secret to not just guys, but people in general: EVERYONE likes to talk about themselves!

Think about all the times your grandmother has told you boring stories that start with, “Back in my day…” and your mom has rambled on and on about how awesome she is at couponing. We’re all totally into ourselves!

But here’s another little secret: since EVERYONE likes to talk about themselves, it can be tough to find people who really like to listen, and not just pretend they’re listening while they’re ACTUALLY waiting to talk about themselves!

So ask him about the sports he plays, and the movies he likes, and anything else that he’s into. Then really listen! If he talks about something you’re not interested in, ask more questions to get to something that you don’t find mind-numbingly boring.

Remember: don’t pretend, at all!

The first step is SUPER important, so you never want to say, “Wow, that’s fascinating! Tell me more about the five hours you spent bird watching with your dad!” (Unless you secretly get all kinds of psyched just thinking about which bird has the most feathers, flies the fastest, and lays the largest egg!)

If you relax and be yourself around him, and show him you’re interested in getting to know him, he will DEFINITELY notice you!

And he’ll probably think, “Wow, that Ali’s so chill…and GREAT to talk to!” (Because we ALL think it’s great to talk about ourselves!)

What do you guys think? Do you have any advice for Ali?

Posted in Ask Nikki | 343 Comments

WHEN YOUR FRIEND ACTS LIKE SHE’S OLDER THAN YOU

Advice Column Feb-1

Today’s question comes from Lauren, who writes:

A friend of mine, who’s in the grade above me, acts older than me, and I wish she’d stop!

She gets everything she wants and is extremely picky. We have things in common and love a lot of the same things, but I know she thinks she can overrule me. I’m not one of her little sisters. What can I do or say to change this without hurting her feelings?

My Advice:

Hi Lauren! I think it’s pretty awesome that you don’t want to hurt your friend’s feelings, even though she’s been acting so bossy.

That tells me you’re a super valuable friend! It sounds like maybe she needs a reminder of what it means to be one.

(I’m guessing she lost her “Good Friend Handbook,” but was too busy to notice because she was acting like the queen of the world!)

Since you have a lot in common, I say you find a time when you’re doing something you both love. It will be a lot easier to bring this up when you’re both laughing and having a good time!

If she says something condescending and big-sister-ish, like, “Don’t touch my paintbrushes! Kids your age should draw with crayons!” you might be tempted to call her out and speak your mind right then.

But she’ll probably just get defensive if you put her on the spot. So instead, bring it up BEFORE anything happens, or some time a little later, and try to be sensitive about it.

You could say, “I bet it’s tough having younger sisters who are always trying to take your stuff and be just like you. I hope that, even though you’re a little older than me, you think of me like an equal. So how about you look at me as the same age, and I promise I’ll NEVER steal your diary or attempt to be your clone. Deal?”

If it seems like she has no idea what you’re talking about, then you could bring up an example. (Hint to avoid hurting her feelings: don’t use the words “not the boss of me” and “queen of the world.” That little joke stays between you and me!)

If she completely brushes you off with something along the lines of, “Sure, we’re equals. Now go get me a grape soda!” then this may mean that she has NO CLUE what “equal” means. (Probably because she lost that handbook!)

In that case, you have two choices: accept that she’s probably stuck in big-sister mode and try not to let it get to you, or start spending your time with other friends who look up to you too much to talk down to you!

What do you guys think? Do you have any advice for Lauren?

Posted in Ask Nikki | 1,767 Comments

WHEN SOMEONE AT SCHOOL KEEPS LYING ABOUT YOU

Advice Column Feb. 20

Today’s question comes from Elsa, who writes:

There’s this girl in my class named Stacey. She told everyone that I said she’s stupid and boring and that she plays out-of-date games. Everyone believes her and keeps asking me why I said those things to her. Nobody believes me when I say I didn’t.

She’s always lying about me and it makes me feel really bad. What should I do?

My Advice:

Hi Elsa! Let me start by advising you not to sit too close to Stacey. If you do, you may get burned…because she’s a pants-on-fire liar!

Since I don’t know this girl, I can’t be sure WHY she’s turned you into the bully of this completely delusional world she’s created.

But I DO know that she wants everyone else to think you’re MacKenzie Hollister-mean.

It could be that she’s mad at you for something else and she’s trying to get back at you by making everyone think you’re a nasty, no good name caller.

Or maybe, if you have a lot of friends and you’re well liked, she’s jealous, so she’s trying to create drama.

Or maybe she’s just a pathological liar drama queen and she makes up stuff about EVERYBODY, including the lunch lady, her mom, and her family dog.

The only way to know what’s up is to ask her!

HOW you ask her is super important because you want to make sure she doesn’t feel attacked. (So it’s probably not a good idea to corner her in the bathroom and say, “Girlfriend, why you running that big ole mouth of yours?!”)

If you approach her in a friendly way, maybe it will remind her that you’re a super sweet girl who would never say all that mean stuff.

You could say something like, “Hey Stacey. I know you’ve been telling people I said you’re stupid and boring. I was wondering if someone else told you that, since I know I never said those things.”

This way, you’re not coming right out and calling her a liar, and it gives her a chance to tell you why she’s been saying this stuff.

Then you could say, “I don’t think you’re stupid and boring at all, and I wouldn’t want to make you feel bad. It makes ME feel bad when people ask me about this, so really I hope we can clear this up so neither of us has to feel bad anymore!”

If she WAS mad at you for something, this might open up a can of worms. But at least then you’ll be able to talk it all through and work it all out!

Hopefully, she’ll say, “So sorry, Elsa! Clearly I was mistaken, and I feel SO bad about it that I fully intend to make it up to you by carrying your backpack home from school every day for the rest of the year!”

(Okay, so it’s unlikely she’d say that last part…but even just the first part would be cool!)

And hopefully, if she says she’s sorry and was mistaken, it won’t be another one of her lies!

What do you guys think? Do you have any advice for Elsa?

Posted in Ask Nikki | 783 Comments

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR BFF HATES YOUR CRUSH

Advice Column Feb. 13

Today’s question comes from Lucinda, who writes:

I have a serious problem! There’s this sweet, funny, cute guy at my school who I have a big crush on, and I think he might like me! But that’s not the problem.

The problem is that my BFF HATES him for some reason (even though they have so much in common). Anyway, I really don’t want to lose them both because they’re both awesome! But how do I choose?

My Advice:

Hi Lucinda! It sounds to me that maybe the REAL problem isn’t that you have to choose between your BFF and your crush.

It’s that your BFF THINKS you might choose…and it might be him!

I mean, think about: he’s awesome, just like her, AND they have a lot in common…so there’s a really good chance she only hates him because she’s afraid she might lose you.

I say you sit her down some day after school and say, “I know you really don’t like (insert cute guy’s name), and I was wondering if it’s because you thought maybe we’d stop being so close if I started getting closer to him. I want you to know that our friendship is super important to me, and no crush is going to change that!”

She might say, “Thanks, Lucinda!” and then start braiding your hair while the two of you watch that Disney show “Jesse.”

OR, she might say, “That’s not it. I just REALLY can’t stand that guy!”

If that’s the case, then you could gently remind her of the rules of friendship with something like “I really wish you liked him because I know I sure do! But I hope at the very least you’ll be cool about me crushing on him. I mean, I’m sure I won’t always love every guy YOU crush on!”

Of course, there’s one other thing that could be the problem: she might have a crush on him too! After all, he’s sweet, funny, and cute, and they have a TON in common.

You won’t really know unless she tells you, and I’m sure if this is the problem, she eventually will!

If that ever happens, this might help!

What do you guys think? Do you have any advice for Lucinda?

Posted in Ask Nikki | 538 Comments

WHEN YOU GET EASILY DISTRACTED WHILE DOING HOMEWORK

Advice Column Feb. 7th

Today’s question came in anonymously. It reads:

I get distracted a lot when I’m doing homework. Can you tell me a way to not get distracted so I can finish things faster?

My Advice:

Hi there! I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about, and I…BRB, just saw something shiny.

I kid! In all seriousness, I really do feel your pain, and I’m pretty sure everyone who’s reading this can relate.

Let’s face it: we live in a super distracting world!

Every time we sit down to do homework, we can expect to be distracted by any or all of the following:

  • Calls, texts, or social media messages from friends
  • Annoying questions from our brothers or sisters (No, Brianna, for the millionth time, I don’t know why the sky is blue!!)
  • Interruptions from our parents about stupid stuff (even though they’ll be super mad later if we don’t finish our homework)
  • Memories about funny stuff that happened in school (or awkward, embarrassing stuff that happened) that makes it tough to focus
  • Curiosity about what’s on TV (or a sixth sense that there’s a TV on somewhere in the house, and we, too, should be watching it!)
  • Cats that like to jump on our desk and walk all over our homework
  • Dogs with saliva-covered tennis balls in their mouth who refuse to stop whimpering until someone plays with them
  • Obsessive thoughts about all the other WAY MORE FUN things we could be doing (like playing Candy Crush!)
  • Persistent feelings of disgust for a school system that gives us WAY too much homework, and daydreams about starting a revolution to take that system down!! (Or is that just me?)

As the list CLEARLY illustrates, it’s super hard to focus! But fear not, my anonymous friend. I have a few simple tips that might make it a little easier.

1. Pick a time and place where you’re less likely to be distracted by people and technology.

For me, the only place that fits the bill is my bathroom, but I’m not a fan of curling up in my tub with a stack of books and a number 2 pencil. So instead, I sometimes stay after school and do my homework in the library.

I know, I’m a total dork for staying in school when I could easily leave! But sometimes Chloe and Zoey do their homework there, too, which makes it more fun. And this way, I can just chill when I get home!

That brings me to my next point…

2. Get an “anti-distraction” buddy.

Ask a friend to do homework with you, and make a pact that you will both tell each other if you’re not focusing well enough.

Think, “Psst, Marcy! Stop checking Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg won’t give you the answers to those math problems!” (That’s the guy who started Facebook, in case you didn’t know!)

And lastly…

3. Give yourself breaks if you have a lot of stuff to do.

If you have more than a couple hours of homework, like I sometimes do (which is why I’m totally serious about that revolution!) then you’re probably setting yourself up to fail if you don’t give yourself breaks in between.

So instead of making yourself plow through it all and eventually feeling antsy, take a break every 20−30 minutes to get a snack, stretch your legs, do whatever.

Just make sure you don’t start anything that will take a long time to finish. If you start watching your favorite movie or text your friend, “OMG, what was all that drama about in math today!” odds are, you won’t make it back to the books!

What do you guys think? Do you have any advice about staying focused?

Posted in Ask Nikki | 306 Comments
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