×
Back left
Back right

The Continuous Family and Friendship Struggle

SHARE IT!
LIKE IT!
kids articles

Today's topic for "Let's Talk about it Tuesday" is relationships with friends and family. Many kids and teens write into Dear Dish-It about their interpersonal struggles with the people in their life, specifically, their friends and family. It can be difficult when you don't get along with people that you would like to the most. We are born into our families, we don't get to hand-pick them, and as a result, there may be challenges or certain personalities won't hit it off. Regardless, it is always better to try and work out these issues. Families are forever and deserve the efforts involved to make it right. 

Friendships are constantly forming, changing and developing, but sometimes things get in the way. Kids often express that people sharing their private feelings, or betraying their trust can cause problems. Remember those true friendships are based on loyalty and trust. These are valued qualities in a friend. Your friends will bring you up, instead of bringing you down. Try to be the friend that you hope to find, and put out that positive, compassionate energy. In time, the good that you give will come back to you. Being patient and finding ways to make yourself happy are key.

Let’s Take a Look at This Week’s Questions:

Try to work things out with your family they are very important. Try to work things out with your family they are very important.

Question by Crazy,

My bff and I are like on and off but I still don’t have any other friends, but half of my time with her I am in tears. So is she really worth it? But its gotta be better than [being alone], right?

Insight/ Advice:

This is a very tough situation to be in, but while fighting with our friends is common, more importantly, friends are meant to bring love, joy and support into your life. Have you ever tried to tell your friend how you feel? By letting her know that you dislike arguing with her, and telling her that you would much rather talk it through opposed to breaking it on and off. You may be able to prevent this from happening again. Let your friend know what she means to you. It's clear that there is some chemistry between you two, but you shouldn't remain friends with someone just because you're afraid of being alone. It might seem like all the groups at school are set in stone, but you never know who you could meet. Have you thought about joining a school activity or sport where you could meet someone new? Or you could try sitting beside someone different at lunch or on the bus, and introduce yourself. It's up to you to decide whether or not you want to keep your current BFF. It might be wise to make a pros/cons list regarding whether or not you should keep her as a friend. Under “pros” list the reasons why she is a good friend to you. Under “cons” lists the reasons why she is not a good friend to you. See if your friend brings value into your life or not. It may seem like a really frustrating, lonely time, but everything changes as you continue to grow and mature. You never know who you are going to meet. The most important thing is that you remain true to yourself, and put your happiness first. Find ways to be good to yourself, and hang in there, the rest will come in time!

Be friends with people who make you happy.Be friends with people who make you happy.

Question by The Bad Guy

So I'm a bit of a mean and aggressive person but only around my family and people that annoy me and I’m super happy cheerful and childish around my friends and I want to be the cheerful childish person always but idk how any advice?

Insight/Advice:

Sometimes we take our frustrations out on the people that we care about the most. Why? Because we know that we can, and that these people will forgive us and love us unconditionally no matter what we do, but is it worth it to take advantage of this?  Can you imagine how your friends would react if you treated them the same way that you treat your family? What is it that stops you from behaving this way with your friends? Is it because you care what your friends think, and take your frustrations out on your family? It sounds like it is totally possible for you to be a pleasant person, but being around your family triggers this other side to come out. It is important that you deal with this “other side” and find out the root of what is making you feel aggressive. It sounds like you are not being your true self when this occurs and you feel guilty about your actions after because you don’t mean them. It's not to say that something is wrong with you, at all, but if these intense emotions continue, it couldn't hurt to consult your GP and let them know about the situation and the contrast of your behavior with your friends and family. We have encountered youth with this problem, and it turned out there were some undealt with issues causing the friction. Regardless, you have to figure out what is making you frustrated. We suggest that you try talking to your family about what you are noticing, and let them know that your behavior is not intentional. Even if you find yourself confused by it. Perhaps your family can help you by calling you out when you act this way, and working proactively to help change your behavior. Is there anything they do specifically that triggers these feelings in you? It is important that your family knows how they can help because it likely hurts them to see you feeling this way.  

Fighting can be exhausting. Fighting can be exhausting.

Question by Lonelyandconfused

Dear Dish-it, I'm 11 and I know I need help, but I just can't tell my parents. I hate my parents. I just can't bear them, especially my mom. I just don't see things the way they do. My mom is always shouting at me. I know all they want is for the best for me but I can't help it. I have problems. I feel bad really easily. Then my mom shouts at me for crying.  I can never tell my mom anything because I don't like talking to her. I hate it when she gets into my business. I just wish my family would get out of my life. When I was young I had gotten hurt on my bed really badly. And I also have a breathing problem. My mom says I behave like this because of lack of oxygen and also because it's just a phase. I hate her! I want to die. I need help! Please reply.

Insight/Advice:

At Kidzworld, we don't take any reference to wanting to die lightly, so if you are truly feeling this way please contact your local suicide hotline, talk to a school counselor, see your doctor as soon as possible or call 911 if you are in immediate danger. Stress in life can be overwhelming and hurtful, but nothing is worth ending your life over, and things really can get better, so don't lose hope.  It sounds like you need someone to talk to. Someone you can trust, and who is there to support you. Have you ever considered talking to a school counselor or trusted teacher? People do care, and you are not alone, they just need to know what's going on and how they can help. I know you think your parents are impossible, but they could benefit from hearing how you feel. If you are scared to approach them, try writing them a letter about what's going on with you. Even if you don't send it, at least you will know what's bothering you and how you can help the situation. It may not feel like it, but your parents love you and want the best for you. They don't know how they are negatively impacting you unless you tell them. Communication in this situation is key, as nobody knows what you are going through unless you tell them. Chances are your parents won’t want you to suffer and will do what they can to help the situation.

Talk about your feelings.Talk about your feelings.

Afterthoughts

It is really difficult giving advice on these issues, as every relationship is unique, and it is always easier said than done. Sometimes even when you do say it, nothing changes. All we can do is try to improve our interactions with others by trying to improve ourselves. Accept people for who they are and what they are capable of giving you. Different people will provide you with different things, but you can't get everything you need from one person. You also have to learn to give yourself the things that you need. It may sound sad, but you have to learn how to be alone, happily. You have to learn how to be your own best friend. Write down a list of all things you love to do when you have free time. When you're alone, start to do some of those things. Find ways to keep yourself busy and your mind occupied. Think about things that make you feel good, and focus on those things in times of stress. Finding a confidence within yourself will help you work past all the people who interfere with your peace—because when you believe in yourself you don’t tolerate people mistreating you. Counseling, or seeing a school counselor is always an option if you want to look into consulting a professional, unbiased person to help. Sometimes it helps to have an outsider look-in as they can be subjective, see things that we don’t see, and prescribe tools and coping mechanisms, which will make matters easier to bear. Fighting with friends from time-to-time is normal, but fighting should not be a regular thing. You should trust, love and get along with your friends. For the most part, they should make you feel good about yourself. Remember that you are young, and will make friends throughout your life, just because you haven't met your soul mate best friend, it doesn't mean that you won't. Anything can happen in life and you don't know what's in store so look on the bright side. Try to be positive, keep your head-up, and work on ways that you can create happiness in your own life. 

Sometimes we fall out with our best friends.Sometimes we fall out with our best friends.

Helplines & Resources: 

  • TeenMentalHealth.org
  • KidsHealth - A safe, private place for kids & teens who need honest, accurate information and advice about health, emotions, and life.
  • Teen Line - A helpline for kids and teens to work through their personal issues and mental health as needed.  1-800-TLC-TEEN or 1-800-852-8336 (Toll-Free US & Canada).
  • Mind Infoline – Information on self-harm and a helpline to call in the UK at 0300 123 3393 or text 86463.
  • Kids Help Phone – Free, anonymous and bilingual helpline for young people in Canada, available 24/7 by phone, Live Chat, and the Always There chat app for any issue, including self-injury and suicide. Call 1-800-668-6868 or visit kidshelpphone.ca.
  • Kids Helpline – A helpline for kids and young adults in Australia to get help with issues including cutting and self-harm. Call 1800 55 1800. (Kids Helpline).

Interested in getting in touch with Dear Dish-It?

Simply email deardish@kidzworld.com with your concern, and we will address you on “Let’s Talk about it Tuesday” if your question is suitable for our topic of conversation. Regardless, keep your eyes peeled as Dear Dish-It it is covering a lot of issues, and you never know when your question or topic of concern will be featured in an article. Please let us know if you would like your handle to be listed as anonymous and list your age in your question if you would like as that can impact advice. To learn the Do's and Don'ts of Dear Dish-It, and to find out what kind of questions are appropriate, check out this article!

Have Your Say

Have you ever had problems with a family member? If so, how did you resolve it? Comment Below.