Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

Friends and Enemies:
“People are spreading rumors about me and this guy I like.”

Hey Terra,

There's this guy I like. And he likes me too. But we try to keep it secret. Of course, though, we tell our most trusted friends. But someone told and rumors are being told like venom going into someone's blood stream! They are spreading like crazy! Some are not even true. Also there is a social coming up and I am free that day, so I can go. And I really want to go out with the guy I like, and I am sure he wants to with me too!

But, there are two things, one, what if we do go together? There is going to be talk for months! Also, I can't dance!!! He's bound to want to dance with me! I'll make a total fool out of me! And I'm not the kind of person who makes total fools out of them selves!

What do I do! Please help me!


Dear Notadancer,

Rumors suck. No doubt about it. And "venom" is an excellent way to describe them. And the people who choose to spread them are "venomous" meaning: "full of malice, spite or extreme hostility." But here's the thing: you can't control what other people say. You CAN choose to not let it bother (I know that can be very challenging), but these rumor mongers really get off when their victims squirm. If you choose not to squirm, just calmly and maturely tell anyone who asks, "No that isn't true and I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't spread lies."

You can also choose to talk to a teacher or the school counselor about it. There's no reason you should have to put up with this and the adults in the school have a responsibility to make school a safe place for everyone.

Now, rumors aside, you like the guy. He likes you. You want to go to the social. So, go. If that causes people to "talk for months" then so be it. Would you rather give up doing what you want to do and what you have a perfect right to do? ENJOY YOURSELF and don't give your power away to small-minded people.

As for not knowing how to dance... Easily fixed. Got an older sister or cousin? Got a friend who knows how to dance? Got a friend with a sister who can show you a few moves? It's not very hard to move with the music. Trust me, if you're having a good time, that's what's important. No one else is going to focused on your dancing ability.


In friendship,


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.

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