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Dear Libby: Will You Answer My Questions about Friendship? (Paperback)
How do we find lasting, trusting, and fulfilling friendships? Is it by being popular? Dazzling others with your genius? Looking for that ultimate BFF? Hiding all your imperfections and trying hard to fit in?
Deep and enduring friendships are essential to our psychological and physical well-being. Unfortunately, between bullying, social anxiety, peer pressure, and other issues, many teens feel isolated.
In Dear Libby, trusted columnist Libby Kiszner offers a breakthrough approach to friendship and connection. You can create friendships from the inside out—rather than from the outside in. You can experience friendships with vibrant self-expression in every stage of life, making Dear Libby a book that can be read and reread at any age.
Containing seven core principles, this life-changing resource not only explains the dynamics of connections and friendships but also gives practical tools to develop them.
Integrating contemporary issues, timeless insight, real-life skills, and unique perspectives, Dear Libby provides a hands-on guide for dealing with everyday friendship struggles faced by teens today.
Teens and readers of all ages will gain insight and understanding on how to make profound, joyful relationships possible.
Find answers to real questions like:
- What should I do when people who are supposed to be my friends call me names or embarrass me?
- What should I do I do if I’m being ignored at school?
- What is the best way to handle loneliness?
- Someone just stole my friend. What can I do?
- What can I do when my friends get together and “forget” to invite me?
About the Author
Libby Kiszner is a weekly columnist, author, educator, and a mother of nine. Over the last fifteen years she has answered close to two thousand questions in her column. She has written several books to a wide audience of readers from different cultural backgrounds.
Libby senses and cherishes the vitality and potential in every living creation. Her personal life and work are deeply infused by the belief that reconnecting with our most authentic selves inspires us to become meaningful givers, devoting ourselves to the wellbeing of others.
"Like grownups, children have stress. However, they often have fewer resources for dealing with that stress. Many keep their upset feelings to themselves, stuffing their issues deep inside where they will fester for many decades to come. Feelings that are not resolved promptly can cause illness, academic problems, social problems, and even spiritual problems. They also cause great suffering. Libby Kiszner provides an important venue for the education and healing of childhood emotional distress. By reading this valuable book, children can gain an insight into their own inner world and also better understand the dilemmas of their peers. The book provides a recipe for healthy emotional functioning that can lead to a definite boost in the emotional intelligence (EQ) of any child who reads it. I highly recommend that parents keep a copy of this book around the house. It can open dialogue, provide reassurance and information, teach an emotional self-care strategy, and much more."
—Sarah Chana Radcliffe, EdM, C.Psych., author of Raise Your Kids without Raising Your Voice
"This book is a wonderful addition for any teenager girl struggling to accept herself and her teen life challenges. Libby shares numerous methods to help teen girls create a transformative shift in their life. Highly recommended."
—Barry Green, PhD
"Libby’s column plays an integral role in the magazine. It is a spot where our readers from around the globe seek help in areas of family, friendship, and personal dilemmas. Her responses are always thought provoking and have really helped many throughout the years. Libby has acquired a marvelous reputation by children and adults alike."
—Libby Tescher, Mishpacha Junior editor
"Growing up is not easy for anyone. Just when you think you've got life all figured out, along comes yet another challenge that throws you through a loop. It may have to do with a friend or a relative or even how you feel about yourself. Which is why this book is so very important. Libby understands the things that bother you and knows just what to say to help you figure out how to handle the most complicated situations. After reading this book, you will realize that you can handle your unique set of challenges in your own unique way."
—Rabbi Nachman Seltzer, International speaker, storyteller, and author of twenty-seven books
"Dear Libby strikes me as a wonderful work, addressing various anxiety-provoking issues which affect virtually all latency and adolescent girls. It is very readable and useable–and helpful for children and their parents. It deals in a subtle, sophisticated, but understandable way with very important concerns: relationships, bullying, avoiding ruptures, self-esteem, empathy, self-reflection, and proactivity."
—Paul C. Holinger, MD, MPH, Training/supervising analyst at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis
"I have no doubt that Libby Kiszner’s highly relatable book, Dear Libby, will convince teens that their tough issues regarding friendships do not reflect a problem within themselves (as many teenagers tend to believe) but rather are normal occurrences—part of life’s ups and downs—that invite them to grow, respond thoughtfully, and, most of all, stay true to themselves. Kiszner’s book offers immeasurable comfort by reminding teens that feeling hurt, lost, or confused with friendships is something we all deal with at times. Full of terrific wisdom and practical strategies, this book acts as a guidebook, a compass to help teens to not just deal with their problems at hand but also develop healthy patterns, boundaries, and perspectives around friendships that can last well beyond the teenage years. Highly recommend!"
—Erin Leyba, LCSW, PhD, author of Joy Fixes for Weary Parents
From the readers of the Dear Libby column:
“I wish you'd been around when I was younger.” —F. Safran
“Dear Libby has become a household name.” —C. Ehrenster
“Although I am a woman in my forties, I look forward to your column.” —S. Jacobs
“You’ve made a quantitative impact on young people.” —Y. Peterseil
“Dear Libby, I love your column in the magazine. I always read it first.” —Anonymous
“Dear Libby, every time I read the magazine, I turn to Dear Libby. I know that your column is meant for children and teens, and I'm in my midthirties, but there is something about your responses that is very empowering, resonates with me, and feels like it's rooted in truth.” —Anonymous
“Dear Libby, how do you always know what to answer? Many times I read the question and then cover the answer to try to figure it out myself. But your answers always have a fresh and original twist.” —S.K., Brooklyn
“Dear Libby, your answers are always loving.” —Mrs. Feldman
“Most popular column.” —Judith from the Mishpacha production department
"Kiszner shares a novel approach of showing young people how to deal with their problems. Her emphasis on the inner self is quite enlightening, and the examples of how to react to problems by focusing on the inner self will be helpful in dealing with the challenges faced by our youth today."
—Rabbi S. Aisenstark, Dean of Beth Jacob Teachers College of Montreal
"Libby has a wonderful feel for the emotional roller-coaster life of preteens and young teenagers! Her advice and guidance are sensible and wise and written in an engaging and straightforward manner. It should be required reading for all adolescents and younger teens, or perhaps the source material for a class in school.In our challenging times, it's not only a wonderful resource for teens but also for their parents—a resource to guide them in how to engage in, relate to, and respond to their struggles."
—Rabbi Shimon Russell, LCSW
"I read this very sensitive, intuitive, and intelligent book that deals with the very important subject of friendships with such great pleasure. While the book seems intended for our youth, the messages contained in these often poetic and always beautifully articulated letters are timeless and accurate for people of all ages.
We live in socially challenging times. Friends are often measured in numbers and by very superficial definitions. It is important that every young person understands the important lessons articulated in this book."
—Zecharya Greenwald, Dean of Me’ohr Bais Yaakov Teachers Seminary
"In these turbulent times Mrs Kiszner is providing the guidance and clarity needed to help so many children (and adults) to navigate through the confusion. Even more so is the fact that she, through her caring and sensitive answers, has become a friend and companion for the so many children (and adults) that have no where else to turn. In addition and aside from her wisdom and care she makes sure to infuse the questioner with the power of the positive so that he or she will become empowered and will gain the strength to face their issues and to apply these wise suggestions
This is truly a great act of kindness and a great service for so many young people. In my humble opinion, if you are a child a teen (or an adult) living in these turbulent times, you should make it a priority to read this book. You will not be sorry."
—Rabbi Dov Brezak, Author of Chinuch in Turbulent Times
"Kiszner, an advice columnist for magazine Mispacha Junior, compiles letters from young readers seeking council about friendship and other subjects. Letters address issues of self-esteem, bullying, anxiety, social isolation, and self-harm, and many explore sensitivity and embarrassment: 'I turn red for every stupid thing, like talking to my teachers and friends. Sometimes they ask me why I am blushing and I start blushing even more!!' Kiszner advises the letter writer to not worry as much about showing feelings: 'When we don’t feel the need to hide our emotions, do we blush at all?' Kiszner offers self-care tips (including breathing exercises and tactics for interrupting negative self-talk) and suggestions for connecting with others through the use of 'I' messages. The letters address highly relatable concerns, providing an opportunity for readers to commiserate with peers while helping them to build an emotional toolset for constructive communication. Ages 9–up. (Aug.)"
"If you’ve ever felt alone, different, or rejected by someone you thought was your friend (and who hasn’t?), you now have somewhere to turn. Dear Libby is filled with wise advice and practical steps for bringing more love and better relationships into your world. This is a book to read and reread as you journey through life and to share with the special people you’ll meet along the way."
—Libi Astaire, author of the Jewish Regency Mystery Series