Jul 28 2011
My nearly 20-year-old niece and I are very close. On one of our weekly one-on-one dates, I noticed that she seemed a little depressed, so I asked her what was up. She told me it was nothing, and not wanting to pry too much, I left the subject. But a few minutes later, it came out: a bunch of her friends have been calling her "dork" and "loser" lately. She's a wonderful kid-- very smart, outgoing, funny, adventurous, pretty-- but is not always like the typical college student (she's not a huge partier, and she's never had any sort of relationship before). She said lot of what her friends say is in jest, but I know it still hurts her. She's starting to believe the negative things they say. This has, in fact, come up in conversation before. I told her, as I always do, that she is NOT a dork and NOT a loser, that she's a fun, exciting, interesting person, and that she's a lot of fun to be around. I know it means a lot to her to hear this from me (she's always looked up to me), but somehow, I don't think this is enough. It breaks my heart to see her so sad, but I don't know what else I can do? Any suggestions?