DR. WALLACE: I had a deep, dark secret, and for a long time I felt I would just keep it to myself so that I would not have to face embarrassment or consequences from it.
Then one day, in a moment of weakness, I told my best friend the secret just to get it off my chest. I told her because I knew she wouldn’t tell anyone, but I still made her promise she would never speak about it.
Well, my friend soon after disappointed me and told another friend about the secret, and now everyone at my school knows.
I’m so disappointed and embarrassed now! I’m not sure whether I want revenge or if I just want to change schools if I can find a way to make it happen. The odd thing about all of this is that I just so happen to know a secret about this friend who exposed my secret. I now have some power over her; should I use it and tell her secret the way she told mine? — Very Embarrassed, via email
VERY EMBARRASSED: First of all, revenge is almost never a good idea. I’m truly sorry your friend disappointed you by exposing your secret. Instead of focusing on revenge, think carefully about your situation. Is there a way to further explain your secret such that it would put you in a better light? If so, consider going back to your friend to see if she might assist you with putting the best possible explanation out to your peer group.
She might be thankful to have an opportunity to at least partially make things up to you in this manner.
In any case, telling her secret isn’t going to change that your secret is out and will only give you a hollow, momentary feeling of satisfaction. However, if you and your friend can rebuild your friendship now from a foundation where she knows she made a mistake and she also knows you still didn’t expose her secret, you might just have a truly loyal friend going forward.
This may or may not work out in this manner for you, but either way you can take comfort in the fact that you thought about the situation carefully and decided to keep your personal integrity intact. Trust me, this is a trait you will want to continue to strengthen and develop as it will reward you many times over the course of your life.
WILL THERE BE SCHOOL DANCES THIS YEAR?
DR. WALLACE: I’m a senior in high school, and I’m glad to be back at school in person for sure. Since we didn’t have any social activities at all last year, this is my best and last chance to socialize with my high school friends.
Do you think there will be high school dances this year? — Last Chance to Dance, via email
LAST CHANCE TO DANCE: Some school districts have been preparing for high school dances since the reopening day of high school.
Other school districts are not considering them at all. It appears that the state and local leaders will end up making the final decision based on COVID-19 statistics along with input from the medical community and local parent organizations.
I suggest you have your parents check with your local school district to see what activities they are planning to hold this year. In any event, I sure hope you can enjoy a senior prom next spring. Many other teens missed out on this opportunity due to COVID-19 last year, so hopefully they might be invited back to campuses around our nation next spring to reprise the event they missed!
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.