Friends and friendships are great when things are going well but life can feel pretty miserable and stressful when there are arguments and fallings out.
- Treat others the way you’d like to be treated. If you wouldn’t want a picture posted or comment made online or face to face, then think twice about posting or saying anything that might embarrass, upset or annoy someone else.
- It’s ok to have a difference of opinion but treat each other with respect and dignity when talking about differences.
- Remember that just because someone might look happy, they might be having a hard time at home, school/college or in their personal life. Be kind, always.
- If you have said or done something which has caused offence or upset, start with an apology. We all make mistakes from time to time, so forgive yourself then ask for forgiveness from the person who is upset.
- Friendships take effort to build and maintain on both parts. Make time for the people you care about. Try to connect with friends face to face rather than always on social media. Let your friends know that you are there for them and you care about them.
- Remember true friends will respect your opinion and preferences. Friends shouldn’t push or bully one another into doing things they are not comfortable to do. If you are feeling peer pressure to do something you don’t want to do, tell a parent/carer, teacher or other trusted adult.
Worried about a friend
If you are worried about a friend and feel they are struggling with their emotional or mental health, there are several things you can do;
- Encourage them to tell a parent/carer, teacher, trusted adult or professional helpline.
- Encourage them to get information or advice from this website.
- If your friend is unwilling to tell an adult and you are still worried, make sure you tell an adult.
- Let your friend know you are there for them. No one will expect you to ‘fix’ the problems or have the answers, but being kind, accepting that your friend might not be their usual self, and not expecting too much from them, are some helpful things you can do.
Lots of young people feel lonely and isolated. It’s not always easy to make friends or feel like you fit in.
Childline have some useful tips on how to overcome feeling lonely on their website – click here.