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January 4, 2017

I’M NOT A CCP ANYMORE!!!

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Hi Nikki,

I used to be super-popular and got all the friends I wanted because of my BFF. She and I pretty much ruled the school! But, ever since she started hanging out with some other girl, I kind of feel like I’m unpopular now. And, If I’m a DORK (no offense to you, Nikki), I won’t have Queen Bee status anymore and anyone to boss around. I can’t let that happen! What should I do?

CCP’s Ex-BFF

Hey there! I’m going to be honest with you, CCP’s Ex-BFF. When I first read your letter, I was a little confused. Okay…A LOT. I mean, you’re frustrated because you don’t have anyone to boss around, and you don’t have Queen Bee status anymore? Can you see how it’s tough to sympathize with that as a problem?

Only a few people rule the school. And whoopee for them, but everyone else somehow figures out how to get by without being ruler and having their own personal minions.

Here’s something I’m wondering—did it truly all vanish the second your BFF started hanging out with another girl? If you were super-popular, surely you must have some friends you can still hang out with, right?

But I think, at the heart of it, your problem is really that you feel like you’ve lost your best friend. At least, I hope so. Because if your problem is really that you don’t “rule the school” anymore and that you don’t have anyone to boss around, it might be good for you to get a glimpse of what life is like to everyone who’s not in the top social circle of the school. It would probably be good for you to learn how to make friends, and have healthy friendships that aren’t about who has more power.

If you’re mainly upset that your BFF kicked you to the curb for another friend, that’s kind of a different problem. Getting treated like that is crummy, whether it’s by a crush or a friend. It makes you wonder what you did wrong, when the problem is really the other person’s.

So, I’m not going to give you advice on what you can do to get more power. I’m gonna give you some advice on how to make new, better friends!

First, it might help to recognize how messed up the school power structures are. Is it right that one person—your BFF—gets to decide SO much? I know it sure didn’t feel right when MacKenzie was ruling OUR school!!

But even if there IS a Queen Bee, there are still tons of great kids at all other levels of the school. You might find that kids outside of the top circles have more fun! When you embrace being a dork—sorry, but it’s true—there’s not so much pressure to be perfect!

You also might find that it’s MORE fun to have friends you’re equal with than to have people to boss around or compete with. When you’re on top, bossing minions around, you never know if people genuinely like you or are just sucking up to get some power of their own. When you’re a dork with dorky friends, they’re TRUE friends. They hang around because they like you. It’s not about power. You can trust them.

I think you’ll find that it’s way more awesome!! :-)

But, here’s a warning: if you’ve been ruling the school and bossing people around for a while, you might find it a little tricky to make friends with former minions (i.e., “dorks” and everyone else). You may need to gain their trust first.
So, you might have to prove yourself worthy of their friendship. And you’ll definitely have to be friendly to all sorts of people in order to do that. Start making eye contact and smiling at people in the halls. People you didn’t acknowledge before. Offer to help people with things when you see the opportunity. Introduce yourself to new kids. Join some new clubs. Volunteer.

See if anyone at your school is using the Sit With Us app. If not, consider setting up an account for your school! With this app, welcoming students identify themselves and anyone who wants to can sit with them for lunch. No one except you and the seat buddy will know that you used the app to find somewhere to sit.

It definitely sounds like you’re in for a readjustment. Maybe you’ll find a way to wiggle your way back into power. But honestly, I really recommend you shoot for true friendships. They last longer, they’re way more fun, and I honestly think you’ll be happier.

Readers, have you ever dropped from the top of your school’s social hierarchy? Were you a CCP, and then suddenly not? How did you deal with it? If you’ve always been a dork, what would it take for you to trust a former-CCP?

I’d love to hear your comments below!