It's hard writing a book sometimes, but this time is going much better than my first novel.
American Girl's Guide to Knowing What to Say is by far one of their best books ever, in my opinion. I've found it really helpful, and I know it would have been even more helpful when I was younger. I like that it's not so focused on being polite. It's really about how to get to know people, how to make other people feel better, and how to say and establish your needs. It's all very much based on doing these real things and really doesn't involve adhering to formalities.
Something I've discovered recently - not that this is going on now, but when I think back on it in middle school - is why American Girl always said that three was a bad number. Apparently it's really common to have friendship trios, with three best friends. You see it all the time in stories, movies, and TV shows - three is just a good number. But whenever someone wrote in about being left out by two friends, American Girl would say that three is a bad number and that it would be better to expand the circle of friends. I never understood why, because friendship trios always seem to work in stories. But it makes sense now why this doesn't work as well in real life. When you have a bigger group, say, six friends who all hang out together, you expect to have individual relationships with the other people in the group, and you don't expect them all to be equal. You can have some people in the group that you're really close to, and others who you're less close to, and that's okay. The larger the group, the less you have an expectation of everything being equal. The problem in a group of three is that if two people happen to be closer to each other than to the third person, the third person is going to feel very left out. Whereas in a larger group, it's more okay if two people are closer to each other than to you because you can be closer with other friends in the group. If you have a group of six friends and two of them go someplace together without you, you probably aren't going to feel like they left you out specifically since they didn't invite the other three friends either. But if you're in a group of three friends and the other two do something without you, you will probably feel much more left out because now, the whole friend group is doing something without you. It's natural for some people to just click more than others, and in a larger circle, that's okay. But in a triangle, there is a lot of pressure for everything to be exactly equal, for the three individual friendships to be the same, and it doesn't always work out that way. I was in triangles a lot in middle school - I've been the one who was left out and the one who left someone else out, and now I see why three can be a difficult number.