Dear American Girl,

I'm on a softball team, and it's so much fun. The only problem is there's a girl on my team who's very rude to me. I've tried to be nice to her, but she doesn't seem interested in getting along. It's hard to have team spirit when my teammate is unkind toward me. What should I do?
-Team troubles

Here's your advice:

If you really have tried everything, it's best to accept that for some reason this girl doesn't want your friendship. But don't let that affect your team spirit. Concentrate on the girls who are nice, and keep having fun doing what you love.
-Jackie, age 13, Maine

Don't be mean back to this girl, even if you want to, because it won't get you anywhere. If anything, that'll make her want to be rude to you even more.
-Chandella, age 11, California

There's a girl who's mean to me on my soccer team. We even play the same position! Whenever she says something unkind, I let the comment roll off my back and tell myself, My coach says I'm doing a good job. This girl's opinion doesn't matter.
-Jordan, age 12, West Virginia

Think about it this way: maybe this girl is having a personal problem and doesn't know how to properly vent her feelings. Try to be patient with her. If she does test your patience, you could ask, "Is there something we need to talk about?"
-Claire, age 11, Virginia

Continue to be nice to this girl, even if she's not nice back. You could compliment her on her skills and say, "That was a great pitch," or, "Great job on that home run." Some people just don't want to be nice, and you can't control that. However, you can control the way you treat someone.
-Meghan, age 13, Georgia

Keep your distance from this girl. Hang out with your other friends and don't pay attention to her. It's not your fault that she's being unkind to you.
-Melina, age 10, Ohio

Stop focusing on this mean girl. It's great that you're trying to be nice to her, but I think you should put your effort toward getting to know the other girls on your team.
-Emma, age 11, Pennsylvania

After practice, you could have a heart-to-heart with this girl. It might seem hard, but take a deep breath and say, "Could I talk to you for a second?" Calmly ask if she feels that there is a conflict between you two, and explain that you'd like to get along and work together as teammates.
-Sarah, age 12, Oregon

Continue being kind to her. You never know—maybe your kindness will rub off on her and will inspire her to be nice.
-Lauren, age 11, Colorado

You're on a softball team to play softball—so play softball! You can be polite to this girl without directly seeking a friendship with her. If she makes you feel threatened or her rudeness starts affecting the whole team, talk to your coach or a parent.
-Zoey, age 13, England

It's OK to not be friends with people. You could say to this girl, "We don't have to be friends, but can we at least be good teammates to each other?"
-Akira, age 11, Minnesota

If this girl is continually mean, there's a good chance that she's a bully. And since a bully's goal is to get a rise out of you, don't react. Pretend that you aren't listening to her, look bored, or walk away. She'll get tired eventually. In the meantime, keep your head held high!
-Lydia, age 12, Ohio

The next time this girl says something rude, reply with, "Wow, I can't believe you just said that." It might make her think twice before she says something unkind to you again.
-Nikki, age 10, Maryland

Do your best to ignore this girl. Concentrate on improving your skills and developing friendships with the nice girls on your team.
-Payton, age 11, Michigan

Don't let this girl get in the way of your fun. Just because she's rude doesn't mean you have to have a bad experience. It's her choice to be unkind to you, but you have a choice, too. You can let her bring you down, or you can have fun with your other teammates. You have the power to decide.
-Ellie, age 12, Colorado

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