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To Sam

Sleepover

I have just moved into secondary school. There was a girl in my old school, who, in year 6, pressured me to do things I didn't want to do and watch things on her iPad at a sleepover. I don't want to tell anyone, so I try to avoid her, if she sees me I say hi and walk away, but she keeps on asking me why I'm ignoring her and I don't know what to do.
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Sam

Hi there,

You have every right to keep yourself safe from people or situations that you’re uncomfortable with and I’m really impressed you’re doing that. At the sleepover, this girl wasn’t sensitive to how you felt, and that has stayed with you.

When I read your letter, I immediately understood how anyone might feel pressured when at someone else’s house to go along with what’s happening. Peer pressure is a really hard thing to cope with, especially when a situation is suddenly forced on you. 

Only you can know what you really want to say to this girl. In general, I’d say one option is to be truthful and to politely say your experiences with her in Year 6 have made you feel you want to have a “saying hi only” friendship with her right now. There’s always the option of just continuing to not answer her question in any depth, since you only have to say what you’re comfortable with.

It’s never easy to have what could be an awkward conversation. You might want to look at our pages on friendships and being assertive. It might help you think through what you might feel able to do.

Talking to a ChildLine counsellor might also give you a chance to think about what you want to say to her and come up with a plan of how and when to do that. If you still have some complicated feelings about the sleepover, our counsellors could support you and help you to take a look at how you feel in more detail. You can call on 0800 1111, send an email, or log on for a 1-2-1 chat.

Take care,
Sam

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