Ask Sam letter


To Sam


I say mean things to people but I don't mean it, but they then think that I do, so I keep driving people away, when I don't have many freinds any way. I try to tell people but they don't listen. I know I say stuff that is mean to people, but I don't mean it, and I can't stop doing it, it just comes out. Please help me, I don't know what to do....
Ask Sam



Thank you for your letter and sharing a bit about what things are like for you at the moment.

Firstly, you’ve taken a positive step to talk about the situation and ask for some support with what’s happening. Admitting that you need to change something about your behaviour is a brave thing to do and a great first step towards fixing the problem.

It sounds like you feel you’ve got no control over your mean comments. I imagine that can be really upsetting for you. Sometimes people can say things that they don’t mean when they are trying to cope with difficult feelings of their own, such as feeling upset or angry about something that’s happened. I wondered if there are other things happening at home or school that you are finding hard at the moment?

You sound frustrated that people don’t listen when you tell them you didn’t mean what you said. Unfortunately mean comments can still be really painful, even if they are meant as a joke or were said by accident. Perhaps it is too hard for people to listen to your explanation when they are feeling upset or angry. I wonder if it might help to write down the things you want to say to the people you would still like to be friends with. It might be that they need to hear an honest apology from you before they can start to move on.

You might want to have a look at our information on friendships. It might help to write down all the things you think are important qualities in a friendship and what kind of friend you would like to be to others. If you can find ways to show your friends how much you care about them, for example by asking them about themselves and doing kind things, it might help them understand that you really don’t want to be mean.

No matter what you are going through, this is not something you have to go through on your own. I wonder how you would feel about talking with a ChildLine Counsellor directly by calling 0800 1111 (free from any phone), 1-2-1 online chat or by sending an email. Talking with a counsellor can give you the chance to explore your feelings and think about what might help to change how things are at the moment.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter