Originally created 09/21/04

Your actions show others the person you really are

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: I have a bad reputation, but the way people think of me isn't who I am. My reputation is based on lies. What can I do to improve it? I like this guy, but people tell him lies about me so he says he doesn't know if he wants to date me. What should I do?

HERE'S WHAT YOU HAD TO SAY: If people are telling lies about you, the best thing to do is live so that no one believes them. Always be honest and upfront.

XTREME REPORTER KAMILLE BOSTICK SAYS: You can't fix a bad reputation overnight.

You are going to have to do things that directly contradict whatever it is people mistakenly think about you. That means changing your actions if people think your doing certain things makes you a certain way. Or changing your friends if hanging with a certain group causes others to speculate that you are just like your crew.

Find out why people think that you are "bad" and do just the opposite to make them see that their opinion is false. You're 13, and people's opinions shift, so do your part to present yourself as the person you truly are and do things that put you in a positive light. Eventually, the idea should get out that, "Hey, she's not so bad."

Don't hold your breath, though.

While you are responsible for what you do and the consequences that come with your actions, you're not responsible for what people think about you. It's hard to make people change their minds, especially if they are unwilling to admit that they are wrong or believe people can't change.

It would be a waste of your energy to try to influence those people. You don't have time enough to confront everyone who thinks badly of you or has formed an opinion of you based on false information.

If this guy is the only one you seek to sway, then it might not be a bad idea to tell him face to face that your reputation is unfounded. Maybe he needs to hear from you that what he has been hearing is lies.

Still, the last thing you should be worrying about is a guy who has already decided you aren't worth his time because of what he's heard.

If he's not open-minded enough to get to know you for himself before judging you, then you don't need him.

Next week's problem

I have a male friend and a female friend who are dating. I'm friends with the both of them. The guy moved away not too long ago but him and the girl are still "together." He's being faithful in the relationship but the girl isn't. She's constantly flirting with boys at school, claiming she's single, and trying to hook up with other guys. She says she's still in love with the guy. Should I tell him what's going on or should I let him find out on his own?Do you have any advice for this 15-year-old Augusta girl?

Use the form below to submit your reply or call the Advice Line voice mailbox at 823-3358. You'll have one minute to reply.

Got a problem? Use the form below to tell us about it or call the Advice Line voice mailbox at 823-3358. You'll have one minute to give us your situation. Please speak clearly and state your age and the town you live in.

You can also e-mail your problems to kamille.bostick@augustachronicle.com. Put "Advice Line" in the subject line. Remember to include your age and hometown. All e-mail addresses will be kept confidential. Questions may be condensed for space.


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