RELATIONSHIPS AND FRIENDSHIPS

 

See what some experts have to say

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEALTHY AND UNHEALTHY LOVE | KATIE HOOD

 

See what your peers have to say

MY FRIEND IS SPENDING ALL THEIR TIME WITH THEIR GIRLFRIEND/BOYFRIEND, AND I MISS HANGING OUT.

The best way to let them know you would like to hang out more is to flat-out tell them. Sometimes we're tempted to give subtle clues about how we feel rather than talk openly, and this is a perfectly human reaction since this approach feels less vulnerable. However, dancing around the issue is more likely to lead to confusion and frustration than a resolution. Share your feelings and ask them to hang out with you more. Hopefully, they will understand and try to make more time available to spend with you. Just be aware relationships take a lot of time to maintain and build, and people in relationships may cut out friend or family time in order to hang out with their partner. Be calm and honest when sharing your emotions, and if they are truly your friend, they will make more time for you. If they don't, then you might want to reach out to another friend, and let your friend in a relationship do what they feel is right.

I JUST GOT INTO A MASSIVE ARGUMENT WITH MY FRIEND.

It’s ok to have arguments every now and then, and sometimes arguments can make a friendship grow even stronger. If it was a very heated argument that did not end with mutual understanding, it’s best to take a one-day break from your friend so you can cool off and try to imagine the fight from your friend’s perspective. Why do you think they felt so strongly about their own viewpoint? Did you say things beyond what you actually feel, just to get a dig in? The next day, reach out to your friend to see if they are open to talking about it. Apologize if you said things you regret, and LISTEN to better understand how the conversation got off the rails in the first place. Remember, it takes two to have an argument. Express your regrets for the fight; even if you think your position was correct, you don’t want the fight to damage your relationship, and you probably made some comments you wish you could take back. If your friend doesn’t apologize and you believe they should, continue the conversation to try to come to a resolution, but if temperatures begin to rise, it may be too soon. It’s okay to suggest taking a time out since when your emotions begin to “flood” you are unable to be rational, which is not at all helpful for reconciliation. If they wronged you and refuse to acknowledge it after some time, re-evaluate what you need in a friendship and if this relationship is meeting those needs. Remember, not every issue is worth ending a friendship, so consider how important the issue really is to you and whether or not you should just let it go. Fighting with those you care about is hard, and it’s easy to switch into a petty or defensive mode; keep an eye on yourself as you work out issues with someone and avoid this behavior. It won’t help resolve your issues, and keeping a level head will help your friend do the same.

I FEEL LIKE MY FRIENDSHIP IS GROWING APART, AND I’M NOT SURE HOW I FEEL ABOUT IT.

Growing apart from friends is common. Sometimes we find other people we prefer to hang out with or simply drift apart as schedules and interests change. If you don’t want to grow apart from your friend, talk to them about it. This shows you care about maintaining the relationship, and chances are they will, too. If you grow apart, it is okay to morn the loss of that relationship. With time, the hurt will dull and you can move on, shifting your time and energy to enjoy other friendships.

I FEEL JEALOUS ABOUT A FRIEND’S FRIEND AND AM STRUGGLING TO SUPPRESS THOSE FEELINGS.

Ask yourself why you are jealous of your friend’s friend. If you’re jealous that your friend is hanging out with their other friend more than with you, talk to them about it. You could even try becoming friends with your friend’s friend as well, so that the three of you can all hang out together. Remember it’s not uncommon for your friends to have other friends. You can make other friends too; nobody is limited to one friend. It doesn’t always mean you are growing apart from your friend if your friend hangs out with someone else.

I THINK I’M IN LOVE WITH MY BEST FRIEND.

Falling for your best friend can be a blessing and a curse; you can either have a strong relationship or your friendship may turn sour. If this person is truly your best friend, they will continue to be your friend even if they reject you. If they don’t have a crush on you, don’t push your romantic desires onto them. If they share your feelings, your relationship will be off to a great start since you already know each other well. Just know that your friendship will blossom into something beautiful, even if the romance part doesn’t work out.

I THINK I’M IN A TOXIC FRIENDSHIP WITH SOMEONE, BUT I’M NOT SURE.

Some examples of toxic behavior in a friendship include loss of respect, peer pressure, blackmails and threats, not listening to you, only hanging out when they need a favor or feel lonely, or anything that makes you feel uncomfortable in general. See below for further advice on what to do if you are in a toxic friendship.

WHAT DO I DO IF I AM CURRENTLY IN A TOXIC FRIENDSHIP?

The first thing you should do is to talk to your friend about their behavior. If the toxic behavior does not stop or you generally do not feel comfortable around this person anymore, cut your ties with them and distance yourself. Confronting them will be difficult, but you’ll be so much happier in the long run if you address their disrespectful behavior. They may try to minimize you or paint themselves as the victim, but don’t let them persuade you that you are the problem. True friends don’t treat each other like garbage.

 

Disclaimer

Cats to Cats is a peer-to-peer organization. The students on staff are not qualified to give advice or assist directly with any of the mental health issues presented. All informational and educational content is from widely-accepted sources and the testimonies of individuals featured and interviewed. More information on any of the sources or individuals can be found on this page or on our website. The information cited does not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of the Cats to Cats Team or Los Gatos High School. 

Students can seek on-campus professional help from our contracted mental health provider CASSY, or view our Cats to Cats Therapy Information page for information on outside organizations. In addition, crisis hotlines are listed on our website.

In addition, if we receive any information involving potential or real harm to self or others, we are legally required to report the incident, which can lead to potential intervention by school or other authorities. The person who contacted us and/or the person's parents will be contacted to verify that the student's parents are aware of the situation and/or that the student is under the care of a professional.

In case of a criminal report, or when in doubt, please contact WeTip at 1-800-78-crime. WeTip receives anonymous and confidential reports and follows up with potential crimes. We encourage all students to be upstanders instead of bystanders when they witness or are the victims of wrongdoing.

 

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