Friendship Puzzler #921: You’re having a conversation with a kid who says something mean about your friend. You should:

  1. Tell your friend what you heard.
  2. Say something nice, to stick up for your friend.
  3. Give that person a karate chop.
  4. Ignore it and change the subject (and remember that this kid talks behind people’s backs).
  5. (b) or (d).

Answer: b or d or e — Saying something nice to stick up for your friend is the kindest thing to do. If you don’t feel able to do that, for whatever reason, ignoring the comment and changing the subject at least cuts off the mean comment and shows you’re not interested in mean talk. Telling your friend what you heard seems like a loyal thing to do, but it spreads meanness, so don’t do it. If you repeat the comment, your friend will feel bad and the other kid will also get mad at you.