This question was submitted to Kids Help Phone by a young person and answered by one of our professional counsellors.
My best friend and I have been friends for at least 4-5 years. Lately she seems to be hanging out more with one of our other friends any chance she gets. She is currently mad at me for some unexplained reason and won’t talk to me, I don’t know what to do. She used to be with me all the time and happy to be partners in gym class or for a project. But lately she seemed to abandoned me. I’ve told her how I feel but I feel like it made things worse because she is avoiding me. We’ve had fights before, which I heard is ok, but we’ve been having more fights, more often. It seems now we get irritated by things we do to each other. Sometimes preferring to hang out with other people. It hurts to think I’m losing my best friend of 5 years, I understand friends drift apart over time but it currently feels like I’m dieing inside. I don’t know what to do, is it my fault? Did I do something wrong? please help I miss my best friend. ??
I’m really glad that you decided to write to Kids Help Phone to get some support. We have heard from many young people who have been in a situation similar to yours – many friendships go through ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ and unfortunately some friends drift apart over time. This is never easy. I’m sorry to hear that your friendship has been going through a rough patch. I understand that this would absolutely hurt, especially because you say that she’s been a BEST friend for a long, long time. When friendships go through rough patches communication often helps overcome any challenges. I hear that you have tried to talk to her about how you feel, but things did not improve – in fact she’s been avoiding you. Awww… how tough that must be. It sounds like you really tried your best to address what has been happening, but she wasn’t open to that. I hear that you’re not sure what to do next. Well, what options do you feel that you have? If she’s not willing to work things out right now there may not be much you can do yourself to repair the friendship, unfortunately – since that takes willingness and effort from both parties. If she is avoiding you or not speaking to you, you may have to focus on yourself right now… on how to cope with the situation as it is right now. Could things change with this friend? Possibly. Perhaps she needs space and at some point in time may be open to talking with you about what has been going on… or open to hanging out again. But right now it sounds like she hasn’t been showing you that she’s very open to resolving this. How can you cope with where things are at right now? To answer this question you may think about how you have been coping so far. Yes, of course, it is understandable that you are hurting. But does anything help take that pain away even a little bit? I hear that you’ve been wondering if this is your “fault”. Does asking yourself that question help you to feel better, or does that make all of these even more difficult? Rather than wondering about blame can you shift your focus away from that and onto what distracts you from any hurtful thoughts or from focusing 100% on what’s been going on? Can you distract yourself a bit to get some relief from these constant thoughts? How have you been taking care of yourself? While reading your post I found myself wondering who you can turn to for support. This is a very difficult time for you and it’s important to have in-person support when going through something like this. Who else knows what you are going through? Is there safe, trusted adult, like a teacher, parent/caregiver, relative, counsellor that you can turn to for support? Of course we will always be here for you as well. You can reach out to us 24/7 by phone for more immediate support. 1-800-668-6868. P.S. I edited your nickname as it contained a real name. We edit out identifying information, like names, to help keep people safe and their posts anonymous.