Ask Jigsaw: Fell out with friends | Advice for Young People

Fell out with friends

Near the end of school last year I fell out with my friends, well one of them but then the rest took their side.

I have had little to no contact with them over the summer. I’ve tried to reach out to some in the group but nothing which is making me angry as well as depressed.

One of the challenges with not seeing people face to face is that we may start to imagine what they are or aren’t doing.

John, Jigsaw Clinician

Hi there,

It’s really tough when you fall out with friends, particularly over the summer when often people don’t see each other as much as when they are in school. The lack of contact can lead us to feeling very alone and isolated.

One of the challenges with not seeing people face to face is that we may start to imagine what they are or aren’t doing. We can assume that someone is ignoring us or that they are off having a great time. While this may be the case, there may also be other explanations. Perhaps someone has been abroad, they have lost their phone, they have been feeling down themselves.

Before jumping to conclusions it might make sense to try to speak to your friend face to face to find out what has been going on for them over the summer. You mention that there are a group of friends who have become involved in this issue. It can be helpful to remember that a group is made up of individuals and try not to transfer your feelings about one person to everyone in the group.

Do you want to focus on trying to repair a friendship that has broken down?

It can also be the case that as we get older our friendship groups change. There may be a variety of reasons for this, but can be very hurtful if we don’t feel ready to let go of a friendship. A really important aspect of a friendship is how it makes you feel.

It might be a good time to review the relationships that you have in your life. Are they helpful to you or are they hurting you? Do you want to focus on trying to repair a friendship that has broken down, or is it time to start developing new relationships elsewhere? Beginning to think about making new friends can feel daunting, but being open to it is a good start.

It is great that you are able to acknowledge feelings of anger and depression. They are understandable emotions given what you described. There is nothing wrong with having these feelings, but it is important to think about how we manage them so that they don’t cause us problems. You might like to talk to someone you trust about how you feel, write your feelings in a journal. Read more about managing feelings like anger and feeling down to get some more ideas.