January 27, 2018 HELP! MY FRIEND KEEPS READING MY DIARY!! Hi Brandon, I write all my secrets in my diary just like your friend, Nikki Maxwell. But lately whenever my friend comes over, she insists on reading my diary. Now she knows all my secrets AND she’s been telling everyone! I want to tell her to stop, but I’m afraid she won’t want to be my friend anymore. What should I do? Diary Dilemma Hey Diary Dilemma, Okay, so the problem with your diary is easy to solve. Just hide it. She’s not going to go searching your house for it, is she? But the bigger problem is that you feel like you have to let her read your diary AND spread all of your secrets, or else you’ll lose her. To me, that sounds like an unfair, unhealthy friendship. Like, you should be able to say to a friend that your diary is private and you don’t want anyone to read it. And she should be able to accept that. ESPECIALLY if she has already betrayed your trust and told your secrets before. She should be the one afraid of losing YOU, because she’s not acting like a very good friend. Actually, let’s be honest here: she’s not acting like a friend AT ALL. She has WAY too much power in the relationship if she can be an awful friend and you’re still scared of losing her. So, the next time she insists on reading your diary, please just say “no.” But if you’re nervous or scared about confronting her, just say you don’t keep a diary anymore, or that you don’t know where it is or something. But The best thing to do is be honest and tell her the whole point of having the diary is to have a place where you feel safe expressing anything and everything without worrying about what other people will think of it. In other words, it’s PRIVATE. And if she pressures you, say that she has read your diary before and then betrayed your trust by spreading all of your secrets. Tell her that maybe it wasn’t a big deal to her, but it was a big deal to you. And if she STILL keeps pressuring you? Then you need a new friend. I know you’re afraid to lose her, so you obviously want to keep her as a friend. But…why? Why would you want a friend who treats you like that? I see a lot of letters like this—not this specific situation with the diary (thanks for writing to me about it, by the way), but situations where people have friends or crushes who treat them like total garbage. I just want to reach through the computer screen to shake you guys awake. And then give you a big hug. YOU DESERVE BETTER. You deserve friends who act like real friends. Real friends don’t pressure you to do stuff you don’t want to do. Real friends don’t spill your secrets. Real friends respect your privacy. And most of all, they should respect YOU. Sure, people deserve forgiveness and second chances. But this friend needs to earn your trust back—and even if she does? You STILL don’t have to let her read your diary. Because a diary is just for YOU, and it’s PRIVATE. If she wants to read someone’s diary, tell her to go read Nikki Maxwell’s. She doesn’t mind sharing hers! 🙂 Has anyone ever read your diary? Do you have friends who pressure you to do things you don’t want to do? How do you stand up to them?