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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 LEAVING YOUR FRIENDS TO GO TO A NEW SCHOOL

Starting High School

Today’s question comes from Tori, who writes:

I’m going into high school next year, and my four closest friends are going to a different school.

I’ve mentioned this problem to two of them, and they say, “We’ll be fine. It’s not like we won’t see each other anymore. We’ll still be friends, it just won’t be the same.”

My one closest friend has told me that I can text her every day, but I don’t like the feeling of change, especially between my friends and me.

What do you think I should do? I really love my friends, and I couldn’t imagine life without them.

My Advice:

Hi Tori!

As someone who left A LOT of friends when my Dad decided that the bugs at WCD were more important than my social life, I totally feel your pain!

It’s a really scary feeling to leave the people who know you best. When you have super close friends, it’s like they’re a part of you.

That means when you have to leave them, it’s like someone’s saying, “Okay, so you can’t take your arms or legs with you, but don’t worry! You have a REALLY strong torso, and you’ll be just fine!”

The good news is that, unlike arms and legs, good friends are still pretty great to have even when you’re not attached to them!

I know sending a daily text message probably feels like a lame substitute for meeting up in the janitor’s closet to dish about the daily drama. (Or is that just me who does that??) And I’m not going to lie to you…it totally stinks at first!

You’ll probably feel super sad for a bit, but then you’ll adjust. You’ll get used to typing LOL when you used to literally laugh out loud right in front of them. And maybe texts will be even more exciting because you aren’t seeing them 24/7.

Also, you’ll start making some new friends at your new high school, and your friends will make new friends. And then you’ll tell each other all about the new people you’re meeting.

And you know they’ll all be awesome people, since YOU’RE all awesome people. And maybe you’ll even hang out together outside of school, a big group of awesome people!

I know that, even if an awesomeness convention sounds pretty cool, you’d probably prefer that things just stay the same. But think about it this way: if things never changed, you’d still be playing with “Hide and Seek” with your kindergarten BFF.

Things have gotten a lot more fun since then, right? And back then you would never have imagined how much better things could be.

So, try to keep an open mind, and remember that your friendships aren’t over, even if this chapter is ending. The good times aren’t over, either.

As Zoey likes to say, quoting both some old philosophy dude and a song from the nineties, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

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

Posted in Ask Nikki | 670 Comments

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU WANT TO WEAR MAKEUP

Should I Wear Makeup

Today’s question comes from Tashid, who writes:

I want to start wearing makeup, but I don’t know how to ask my parents. I’m 11, almost 12, and going into 6th grade. I don’t want to wear a lot, and not all the time, either.

I have no clue how to ask, and I don’t even know if they think I like that stuff. I’m kind of a tomboy, but I still like some girly things. Please help me!!

My Advice:

Hi Tashid! I can tell this is stressing you out a little, but have no fear, I’m here to help!

I know you asked how you can ASK parents about wearing makeup, but I think maybe what you really want to know is how you can CONVINCE them.

I consider myself an expert convincer, and it’s because I’m really good at guessing what my parents might say and coming up with super smart and persuasive stuff to say back.

Since I highly suspect all parents belong to a secret club where they trade lame excuses to deny their kids all the things they want, I’m pretty sure your parents will say some of the same stuff mine did.

So here are four objections they might come up with, and four convincing responses you can use to change their minds.

Objection #1: You’re too young.

What you can say: “You’re absolutely right…I’m WAY too young to wear a ton of makeup every day. That’s why I thought I could get just a lip gloss or two to start!” (“Just” makes it sound super unintimidating…like it’s no biggie!)

Objection #2: You’re beautiful, just as you are.

What you can say: “I think so too, and I want to STAY beautiful! That’s why I want to protect my lips with gloss, and maybe find a skin cream with bronzer and SPF, so it gives me a little glow AND protects my skin from the sun’s harmful rays!” (You’ll sound confident AND smart…and people listen to confident, smart people!)

Objection #3: They don’t want to buy it for you.

What you can say: “I totally understand, and that’s why I’d like to use my allowance to pay for it. I know money doesn’t grow on trees, so I’d NEVER ask you to spend your hard earned cash on makeup!” (You’ll sound super mature with the old person saying about trees, and you’ll totally flatter them by calling them hard workers!)

Objection #4: Your mom didn’t wear makeup at your age.

What you can say: “True! But you wear it now, and you do it so well! I can’t wait to learn from you! What do you say you teach me how to do just one thing, like eye shadow, just for special occasions?” (Flattery, yet again! And “just for special occasions” lets your mom know that your teachers won’t be judging her for letting you go to school looking like a circus clown every day.)

Although these techniques are scientifically proven to be effective (and by that, I mean they worked on my mom), there’s still a chance your parents might say no.

If that happens, say, “Okay. Maybe you guys need a little time to think about it.” And then ask again a little later.

This is yet another way to show them how mature you are…and maturity + persistence + smart, well thought out responses = eventual parental caving!

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

Posted in Ask Nikki | 726 Comments

WHEN YOUR LITTLE SIBLING WON’T STOP ASKING YOU TO PLAY

Play With Me

Today’s question came in anonymously. It reads:

My annoying little sister won’t stop asking me to play with her. I’m way too old for dolls, pretend, and making gross foods. I need my space! Help!!

My Advice:

Hi there, Anonymous and Annoyed! As someone who ALSO has a little sister, I feel your pain! If I had a dime for every time Brianna asked me to play some silly game with her, I could buy not just the latest iPhone, but Apple itself!

I’m going to let you in on a little secret that may seem kind of confusing at first: the trick to getting out of playing with her is playing with her.

I know, you’re probably like, “What, girlfriend? That makes no sense!”

Allow me to explain. It sounds like your little sister really wants your attention, and she probably gets the sense that you’d rather pluck your eyebrows out one by one than hang out with her.

So, because she wants your approval, she asks you to play with her all the time.

But let’s say instead of yelling, “Not now…I’m busy!” you said, “I’d love to play with you for a half hour around 3:00!”

Then she’ll know you’re not blowing her off. In fact, she’ll think it’s SO important to you that you scheduled it into your day!

I know, a half-hour may seem like a lot of time to devote to dolls and pretending. But let’s face it: you’re probably spending WAY more time listening to her whine!

I’m not going to lie to you: she MAY stop annoying you by asking you to play with her and start annoying you by asking, “Is it 3:00 yet?” But hopefully, she’ll ask your mom instead and you can enjoy some sister-free time doing stuff that’s WAY more fun than mixing milk and orange juice!

What do you guys think? Do you have any advice for our new friend, Anonymous and Annoyed?

Posted in Ask Nikki | 986 Comments

WHEN YOUR FRIEND IS MEAN AROUND HER CRUSH OR BOYFRIEND

So Weird

Today’s question comes from Daylynn, who writes:

I have a major problem! My friend is the nicest, funniest girl ever…except around her boyfriend. She always makes fun of me around him and calls my crush ugly.

Then she gets mad when I don’t want to hang out with her and her boyfriend. She’s been like this around every boyfriend she’s ever had. What should I do?

My Advice:

Hi Daylynn! It sounds like your friend is dealing with a nasty case of cool-confusion. It’s when you’re trying SO hard to look cool that you forget what “cool” means.

It DEFINITELY doesn’t mean putting other people down! I’ve seen this happen to some of the nicest girls.

They start out super sweet. They fall for a guy. They want DESPERATELY to impress him. And BAM! Cool-confusion hits, and all of a sudden they turn nasty.

I mean, it KIND OF makes sense that someone could get confused in this way. A lot of CCPs are mean, so you COULD conclude that meanness=coolness.

I know I wouldn’t do that, and I have a feeling you wouldn’t do that, but hey, people do crazy things when they’re crushing bad!

That DEFINITELY doesn’t mean it’s okay. But maybe your friend doesn’t realize just how confused she is. She could think she’s just teasing you and it’s no big deal. That’s why you have to set her straight!

If I were you, I’d sit her down, some time when it’s just the two of you, and say something like this:

“I appreciate that you want me around, even when you’re hanging out with your boyfriend, but sometimes you say things in front of him that hurt my feelings. Do you realize that it often seems like you’re making fun of me?”

 

This way, you’re giving her the benefit of the doubt and a chance to explain herself, like any good friend would do!

Hopefully, your “good friend-ness” will rub off on her, and she’ll say something like, “I’m SO embarrassed! I didn’t realize I made you feel bad. Can you tell me which stuff bothered you so I can be sure not to say it ever again?”

I’m not going to lie to you, though: fire-pants is sometimes a side effect of cool-confusion…and by that, I mean people who act mean to impress other people often lie about it! (Get it? Like, “liar, liar, pants on fire!” OK, back to my advice…)

If she DOES act all innocent and say something like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” or “OMG, you’re WAY too sensitive!” that might mean that you need to give her a little space to realize she can’t treat you that way.

And I don’t mean bailing on hanging with her and her boyfriend…I mean backing away from hanging out with her altogether.

When she no longer has you around, she might realize what “cool” REALLY means: being an awesome friend, like you! And she may decide to finally be one, too!

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

Posted in Ask Nikki | 1,106 Comments

WHEN YOU DON’T THINK YOU’RE PRETTY

Not Pretty

Today’s question comes from Jennah, who writes:

I NEVER smile at myself in the mirror and think I’m pretty. I’m pretty plump and my teeth are gross, but I can’t do anything about it. Help!

My Advice:

Hi Jennah! Even though I don’t know you, I have a feeling you’re beautiful on the inside, and probably on the outside as well!

And you know what else? You can FEEL pretty no matter what you look like, and there are two good ways to do it!

The first way has to do with taking care of your appearance. The second has to do with how you feel about yourself.

Let’s start with the appearance one. Some people spend WAY too much time on their looks…and you can tell, because their faces are SO caked with badly applied makeup that they look like circus clowns!

Still, I’m willing to bet that the girls that feel the prettiest are the ones who put in at least a little effort before leaving the house in the morning.

Anyone who rolls out of bed and then hops on the school bus will probably feel totally gross.

If Selena Gomez went out every day with bedhead, wearing a potato sack, smelling like nasty gym shoes, I’m pretty sure she’d feel like the nastiest human being on the planet!

Now, don’t get me wrong. You don’t have to turn into a MacKenzie clone to put effort into your appearance. You just have to do the things that make you feel well put together, whether that means doing your hair or picking out an outfit that you like.

The other way to feel pretty is a little harder, but it’s SUPER important: changing how you feel about yourself.

Sure, I like when I wear a lip gloss color that suits me. But I feel the prettiest when I’m doing something that’s SO totally me…like art. I know this is going to sound SUPER corny, but that makes me feel beautiful from the inside out…and I glow!

OK, so maybe it’s actually sweat (sometimes painting is hard work!) but still, I feel good, and when I feel good, it shows!

So, my question for you is: what makes YOU glow? What do you love to do so much that you can’t help smiling like a dang fool the whole time you’re doing it?

If you focus on that stuff, trust me, your beautiful inner dork will shine through!

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

Posted in Ask Nikki | 1,074 Comments

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR CRUSH IS A BULLY

Advice Column June 18

Today’s question comes from Tara, who writes:

My friend is always bullying a certain helpless classmate, but I can’t work up the courage to tell him to stop, mostly because he’s my crush. Could you please help me?

My Advice: 

Hi Tara! This sounds like a super stressful situation. It’s tough enough to tell a friend when s/he is being uncool. It’s way harder when it’s a friend AND your crush!

I think it’s great that you realize what he’s doing isn’t right. Some people get crush-blind when they fall for a guy.

I knew this girl in 7th grade who was SO into this boy named Erik that she actually stuck up for him when he kicked a dog. And it wasn’t just ANY dog. It was a Seeing Eye dog…for a nun!

I know it must be tough to imagine saying something to him, since you care for him a great deal. But I’m guessing you like him because he has a lot of great qualities and he’s generally a good person.

If that’s true, then odds are, he wouldn’t intentionally hurt someone like this. Maybe he doesn’t even realize how mean he’s being, and he’d appreciate an outside perspective!

You could say something like, “Hey, I’m not sure if you realized it, but you were a little hard on Melvin today.” (Melvin sounds like a helpless boy name…)

Then you could follow that with something like, “I thought maybe you considered it joking around, since you’re always so funny!” (This way, you’re reminding him that you like him, which will make him less likely to get defensive.)

And then you could end with, “Anyways, I just wanted you to know that he might be kind of hurt, since I know you’d never want to make anyone feel bad!”

Best-case scenario: He’ll say, “Wow, really? I didn’t even realize I was a little harsh. My bad! I’ll be more considerate going forward!”

Worst-case scenario: He’ll say, “Melvin’s a TOTAL loser, and so are you for sticking up for him! I’m out, loser lover!!”

I know the second one sounds kind of mortifying, but if that happens, is he REALLY worth crushing on?

If he’s got a cold, Mackenzie-like heart, then maybe it’s best that you find out now before you, too, develop a nasty case of crush-blindness!

Who knows, he might react somewhere in the middle and say, “I thought teasing him was funny, but you’re right. It wasn’t nice.”

The important thing is that he realizes it’s a mistake and shows you it’s one he’s not going to make again…for your sake AND for Melvin’s!

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

Posted in Ask Nikki | 1,046 Comments

HOW TO DEAL WHEN YOUR MOM IS A CONTROL FREAK

HOW TO DEAL WITH A CONTROL FREAK MOM

Today’s question comes from Lily, who writes:

My mom never gives me any space. She acts like a control freak and always gets really mad when things don’t go her way.

Recently, she smashed my laptop because she tried to interfere with my studying system even though I was doing fine. She and my dad say it’s “my fault” that my laptop is shattered because “she’s the parent” and my job is to “obey everything she says.”

How can I get her to stop being so controlling? Or, almost as importantly, how can I get my parents to get me a new laptop?

My Advice: 

Hi Lily! I’m so sorry to hear about your control freak mom. I can only imagine how annoying it must be to have her all up in your business like that.

I bet it’s even worse that she spazzes out when she doesn’t get her way.

When a two-year-old has a tantrum, you can put him in a time-out. There’s not much you can do when a 32-year-old does it…and she’s your mom!

And then there’s that “I’m the parent” line. I absolutely HATE when my parents say that, so I really feel your pain there. I think it’s the WORST excuse in the world for being unreasonable, overbearing, and downright inconsiderate!

Your mom clearly made a big mistake in smashing your laptop. Still, there’s a good chance she thinks she’s doing right by you. I HIGHLY doubt she thinks in her head, “Lily’s home! I CAN’T WAIT to make her afternoon a living nightmare!”

She probably truly believes she knows what’s best, and thinks she’s helping you by telling you what to do and how to do it.

She could be afraid that something bad will happen if she doesn’t step in and take charge (like you’ll flunk out of school, run away, and end up living in a cardboard box in a dirty downtown alley…controlling people are usually super dramatic!).

I know you probably wish your mom would trust that you can handle stuff on your own and give you some breathing room, but I have a feeling it won’t be quite that easy.

So, maybe instead of trying to change her, you should work on changing how you respond to her.

Clearly, it doesn’t help matters to fight her. She’s only going to push more, and I have a feeling you don’t want your iPod and cell phone to join your laptop in electronics Heaven!

Next time she gets all up in your space, telling you to do things her way, try to remember that she really thinks she’s helping.

Then, instead of telling her you’re doing just fine and don’t need her butting in, say, “Thanks for the good advice. I will definitely consider that. I’m also considering ___________, because ____________. What do you think of that?”

This way, you’re letting her know you value her opinion (controlling people LOVE when you stroke their egos!) AND you’re asserting that you have your own.

Maybe over time she’ll realize you really can do things without her constant interference, and she may even learn from your super mature response to her how to be less demanding.

As for the laptop, the “L” word and some serious sucking up could go a long way, as in…

“I know you guys are only looking out for me, and I’ve learned a valuable LESSON about considering your expert advice. After all, YOU’RE the parents! Since my education is super important to all of us, when can we get me a new laptop?”

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

Posted in Ask Nikki | 706 Comments

WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO COMFORT YOUR FRIEND

WHEN YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO COMFORT YOUR FRIEND

Today’s advice question came in anonymously. It reads:

I have a friend who’s one of the best types of friends you could ask for. If I have a problem or there’s something bothering me, she’ll listen to me vent, and she tries her best to help me solve the problem.

She’s also very happy and optimistic, and she never lets anything get her down. I believe that being good friends with her can help anyone be a happier and kinder person, and I’m really thankful to have her as one of my best friends.

But now, she’s going through some tough troubles of her own. Even though she tries to hide her sadness, her smile just isn’t the same and her voice doesn’t have the cheerfulness it used to have.

I really want to help her, especially after all she’s done for me, but I’m afraid I’ll accidentally say the wrong thing and make her feel worse. How do I comfort her?

My Advice:

Hi there, my new anonymous pal! It sounds like you and your BFF are two peas in a pod, because you’re both super thoughtful and totally awesome friends!

I get why you’d be worried about saying the wrong thing, since she’s always been so helpful to you. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret: when it comes to telling someone that you care and you’re there for them, there’s no wrong way to say it!

And really, that’s all you need to do: let her know she can count on you to be by her side.

It’s not like you need to somehow magically fix everything that’s getting her down.

And I doubt she’d expect you to do that because she knows you’re not a magician. (I’m assuming you don’t have a top hat and a rabbit stuffed away somewhere in your room, right?)

So, instead of trying to come up with the perfect words, or stressing yourself out trying to find solutions to all her problems, try one of these super simple and yet totally effective ways to say “I got your back”:

-If you ever need to talk, I’m here!

-Whatever you’re going through, you can tell me!

-I care a ton, and I’ll always be here if you need me for anything!

And one more thing: I can tell you miss her sunny smile and cheerful attitude, but sometimes we all just have to feel down for a while. And sometimes the best thing a friend can do is to understand and be okay with that.

Don’t worry, though! No one gets down FOREVER! As Zoey says, quoting one of her gazillion self-help books, “Tough times never last, but tough people do!”

What do you guys think? Do you have any advice to add?

Posted in Ask Nikki | 723 Comments

WHEN YOUR BEST FRIEND IS BETTER THAN YOU

Advice Column May 29th

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!

Meet Rachel Renée Russell and her daughters, Erin and Nikki, as they celebrate the release of their newest book Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Glam TV Star!

Come see their DORKALICIOUS tour bus as they visit fans in Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Enjoy a Live DJ! Photo booth! Prize wheel! Dork Diaries Dedication Locker! And lots more!

Check out their tour schedule to see if they are visiting a city near you!

Today’s question came in anonymously. It reads:

I really like my best friend, but it seems like I’m always second to her, no matter how hard I try. She’s better at art than me. In gym class, she finishes in the spot just ahead of me. And in cooking class, her pie is tastier than mine.

I know she’s my best friend and it’s not her fault, but I can’t help being jealous. I’m scared I might get really mad one day, and she might stop being my friend. Help!

My Advice:

Hi there, my new nameless pal. No fear, I’m here to help!

I know you think that your BFF is better at everything. But it seems HIGHLY unlikely that she’s a better friend than you! And let me tell you why…

You’re dealing with something SUPER difficult. Everyone gets annoyed when they feel like someone, ANYONE, constantly one-ups them. It’s even harder when it’s someone you’re close to.

But even though it’s your best friend who’s good at all these things, you’re aware that it’s not her fault that you feel this way, AND you’re looking out for her feelings.

For those reasons, I think you’re pretty awesome!

I know that doesn’t change that she’s a gym super star and you feel stuck in her fast-moving shadow, but there’s something you should know about the art and cooking things.

ANYTHING creative is subjective. That means some people like one thing, and other people like something else. So you may THINK she’s better than you in art, but I bet there are tons of people who’d disagree!

This one time, I went to this tiny art gallery with my mom, and I thought for sure Brianna could have done a better job than the artist, blindfolded, when she was two. And those paintings were selling for hundreds of dollars!

And as for cooking, my dad RAVES about my mom’s mad skills in the kitchen (except he doesn’t say, “mad skills” because he’s old and says old people stuff, like “Hot diggity!  I look so hip in my overalls!”).

But I think my mom’s food is about as appetizing as jellied moose nose. (Some people actually eat that…Google it!)

Even if you think you could get better at cooking and art, she’s not REALLY better at EVERYTHING. You just think that because you’re comparing yourself to her 24/7.

The truth is, you’re both unique people with your own skills and talents. There are some areas where she may shine a little more, and there are some areas where maybe you do.

Those may be things you haven’t found yet, or maybe you have an inner artist or cook just DYING to come out. You’ll only find out if you focus more on yourself, practice, and see what you can really do.

The next time you find yourself thinking, “She’s SO much better than me! I’ll never be as good as her!” Change it to, “NOBODY is better at being me than me. I’m good at lots of things, too…and I can get better if I work at them!”

What do you guys think? Do you have any advice to add?

Posted in Ask Nikki | 899 Comments

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR CRUSH LIKES SOMEONE ELSE

Truth or Dare with Crush

Today’s question comes from Syd, who writes:

One day my crush and I were playing Truth or Dare. When he chose “truth,” I asked who he likes in the class. He said he likes Maddie, and I got depressed. I haven’t talked to him since. What should I do?

My Advice:

Hi Syd! It stinks that your crush likes someone else. I totally get why you’ve been ignoring him, since he pretty much threw your heart in a blender and then flushed your heart juice down the toilet.

Still, I have a few thoughts that might cheer you up, and a suggestion that doesn’t involve giving him the silent treatment!

I know he told you that he likes Maddie.  However, it’s possible that he still might like you, but didn’t want to admit it since he was embarrassed.

Think about it: he was playing Truth or Dare with YOU. That means he must like you at least a little!

People don’t play games with people they don’t like.

If MacKenzie knocked on my door holding Checkers, “Sorry!”, and Monopoly, I’d tell her to take a hike, because I’d rather with play Twister with a bunch of sweaty, annoying jocks than play ANY game with her!

If I’m wrong and he really does like Maddie, it could be that he likes you, too, but he felt too nervous to say it.

Imagine if he walked up to your desk, looked you straight in the eye, and said, “Who do you have a crush on?”

Is it possible that you’d say, “You! You’re so cute and awesome, and I’m totally into you,” but in your head so nobody would hear it but you?

It’s kind of scary to actually say the words out loud, so that could be why he didn’t.

I know you may be thinking, “Or maybe he said he likes Maddie because he likes her and not me…end of story!”

That could be true, too! But even if it is, change happens. I’m pretty sure he’ll crush on lots of girls in the next twenty years or so before his wedding day comes!

So, instead of ignoring him, maybe you should be friendly to him, just like you were before. Don’t stress about who is crushing on who and just enjoy being his friend.

I’m guessing that’s why you’re crushing on him…because he’s fun to be around. So be around him and have fun!

You never know…someday it could come out in a game of Truth or Dare with Maddie that he’s crushing on you!

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

Posted in Ask Nikki | 1,560 Comments
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