Dear Miss Emily:

Okay, I'm sorry for the long thing I'm about to send you. I write a lot.My friends are close. We aren't nerds, jocks or whatever else. We are normal. My friend (let's call her S) recently broke up with her now ex boyfriend who is also one of my friends. He is very broken up about it and he is so sad since he has been with her for almost a year. He thought she was special. But anyway, she supposedly broke up with him to get with an older 17 year old guy. (We are 14 so I'm a little grossed out by that.) And then this drama started happening. Her ex was sad about it and decided to question her best friend. Her best friend told him everything about S's new boyfriend and then some. So when we saw S again, her ex (let's call him F) told S about what S's best friend said in our last class I don't have with them. So S was very mad and almost blew up in her best friend's face. Then, after explaining a misunderstanding, S and her best friend were okay again. So then S was trash talking F, saying he called her a B word and other things. So S called him things I would rather not repeat when he wasn't even there. She is mad at him when he is the innocent victim in this mess. Two of my other good friends are unhappy because she will probably expect us to just not talk or be friends with F anymore and we don't want that. We are respecting him and we will stick by him just because my friend made poor decisions. She will probably make us not talk to him anymore. Miss Emily, please help! I'm sorry it's complicated but S doesn't need to be bad mouthing F just because they broke up. Please help!

-----------------------------Miss Emily's advice--------------------------

And you're asking me for advice? You are one, bright capable girl, and anything I tell you -- you probably already know. You seem to have a lot of integrity for a person your age. That's what you proved in your letter. One thing you will never regret (or should not) is standing up for what is right -- no matter the repercussions. If S tells you she expects you to dump F as a friend, simply tell her "I don't do that kind of thing. It was your right to break up with him, and it's my right to pick my friends."  If S gets her petticoats in a twist and you lose her as a friend, so be it.  I think anyone worth your time would not even suggest you dump him as a friend. He did nothing wrong. That said, I am well aware the world of a 14 year-old is not easy to navigate and peer pressure is at its worst.  But you already feel bad for F, and you don't need to feel worse by ignoring him for something he didn't do. It's tough to stand up for yourself, and someone else, but learning to do it now will make your life easier in the long-run . . .because it's your life, lead it a you see fit, free of irrational pressure from others.