I am Black and have two best friends, one Black and one white. With my Black friend, we often talk about our experiences of racism and white privilege. But my white friend gets uncomfortable and says defensive things, like “It’s not my fault I’m white.” I understand that she might not want to discuss these issues, but what should I say when she makes these statements? —Anonymous

If she’s your bestie, she has to try to empathize with your experiences. Say, “I know you’re not to blame, but if we’re going to be close, you have to hear my stories and support me—the same way I support you.” That’s what friendship is! Doing better means listening to our friends and neighbors with open hearts, including when we feel guilty and even when we’re in the wrong. (Being wrong just gives us another chance to apologize and get it right.)

—Adapted from “Social Q’s” in The New York Times Magazine