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Dear Ali,
I am having a hard time with the relationships I see my daughter having. I see the girls pitting against each other in ways that I know I too was in the middle of as a kid. How can I teach her to not be a part of this? Seriously… one minute they are friends and then the next they are talking behind each other’s backs.

Breaks your heart to see your child being hurt. You are able now to see her experience from the perspective of someone who has not only been through it, but experienced true friendship.

I don’t know how old your child is, but these lessons are applicable to all ages—even adults. Learn to trust your intuition. Your intuition is the truth. Pay attention to how people make you feel. Give them one chance, people have bad days—but if they make you feel icky more than once, they are not your friend. That being said, I don’t know if your child is the victim or the perpetrator.

If she’s the perpetrator, you need to find out what she gains by making other people feel small. Is she being treated with unconditional positive regard at home and by her other friends? Are her peers giving her kudos for being mean to others? Maybe a good heart-to-heart about the kind of friends and friendships she has versus the ones she wants is in order. Is she being the kind of friend she would want?

Friends make you feel good! Friends make you feel loved and special! Friends lift you up! If the girls (or boys, or men, or women) in your life make you feel bad, give you a tummy ache, make you question your intuition, run! These are not people you want in your life.

“Maybe a good heart-to-heart about the kind of friends and friendships she has versus the ones she wants is in order.”

Dear Ali,
Sometimes I am just not into it and fake an orgasm. It’s no big deal, right? I mean, it’s not every time. But sometimes I just want to be done.

Unless you’re a porn star, it is never okay to fake an orgasm. In an intimate relationship, like one in which you would be having sex, you want to be honest, authentic, and kind. If you want to stop—stop. Tell your partner it’s not working for you. But don’t fake or be fake ever. This is not how you communicate with a person about whom you care. I assume you care about this person or you wouldn’t feel the need to boost an ego with a fake orgasm. I also assume you care about them enough to be naked and intimate with them. So, why lie? Turn it around—how would it feel to you if your partner faked their feelings? My guess is that it wouldn’t feel good to you. It’s the golden rule. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

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