Should you share your BFF's secret with your parents?
Your bestie told you one of her biggest secrets—and made you pinky promise and cross your heart and hope to die that you wouldn't tell *anyone*. While we usually agree that secrets are supposed to be just between the two of you, there are some times when you should tell an adult. Who your BFF has a crush on or what she’s wearing to the party next week is no biggie, but if your friend is telling you something serious and you don’t know how to deal with it, ask a parent, guidance counselor or trusted adult to help. Here's when keeping a secret is a big no-no:
If your BFF is hurting herself
If someone you know is hurting themselves in any way you need to tell an adult ASAP. Whether they’re not eating anymore or they’re cutting themselves, an adult must intervene and fast! Telling your parents or the school guidance counselor would be the best idea so they can work with your friends’ parents, too. Even if your friend hasn’t specifically told you what she’s doing, but you can see warning signs, speak up.
If she's having serious family trouble
When your bestie tells you that she doesn’t like being at home anymore because her parents are fighting or she’s getting hurt, you may feel like you shouldn’t get involved. But it’s your job as a best friend to get her help, especially if she's being abused in any way or feels unsafe. Tell a guidance counselor or principle about the situation so they can talk to your friend and really find out what’s going on. The longer you keep something like this a secret, the more danger your friend can be in.
If she's having harmful thoughts
It’s okay for friends to tell you all about the weird things they’ve been thinking about lately. But if those weird thoughts turn into thoughts of harming themselves, hurting others or running away—it’s time to call in back-up. Be sure to ask your friend questions and find out the severity of the thoughts and how long she’s been thinking them. If you’re still unsure, when in doubt talk to an adult. They’ll give you guidance and figure out how to help your friend.
If she's acting out of the ordinary
You spend tons of time with your BFF so it’s easy to spot when she's acting different. Whether she gets angry easier, has lost interest in her fave hobby or is acting out more than usual, then try to figure out what’s causing the change. Unusual behavior or moods may mean it's time to talk to her 'rents, or encourage her to do so. Maybe she's just been stressing over school, but you never know if there may be a bigger picture issue like depression or anxiety. The earlier she can talk to someone, the better.
It is important to understand that by telling an adult a secret, your friend may get upset with you. But her safety and well-being is more important than whether or not she likes you at the moment. She’ll eventually figure out that you told someone a secret because you care about her...and, if she's a real friend, you two will be BFFs again in no time.
Have you ever had to tell an adult a secret about your friend? Tell us what happened in the comments!