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To Sam

How can i stop bad friendships from forming?

Just over a year ago ,when I first joined secondary school, I made friends with this girl. She seemed nice at first but after a while of being friends she started to demand I do things. She would try to make me break school rules along with her, she tried to make me buy things for her, she tried to manipulate me into not being friends or spending time with certain people . I ended up trying to avoid her but she would always try to find where I was on the school grounds. Luckily she moved to a different school. although she is gone I am still a massive pushover. Any advice on how I can stop this from happening again?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Both people in a friendship should feel equal. If one person takes over it can make a friendship less rewarding. Friends should like you for who you are. When you find yourself doing things just to impress a friend it's important to take a step back and ask yourself if you feel okay about this. Having confidence in yourself can help you to have healthier relationships.

Some people can be more outgoing or assertive in a relationship and others can be quiet and reserved. There's nothing wrong with this if everyone is being true to themselves. Plenty of friendships work where one person is more dominant than the other. Problems can start though if the more dominant person starts to make you do something you don't want to do, or if they won't give you any control of the relationship at all.

In any relationship or friendship it's important to ask yourself if you're happy. If you spend a lot of your time trying to get the other person to like you then it might not be a fair balance. Each person in a friendship is equally important.

Building your self-esteem is very important to having healthy friendships. If you feel like you need other people more than they need you, it has an effect on how your friendships work. I would say if you want to make sure future friendships are healthy, start with feeling good about yourself. Try to remember that people are just as fortunate to have you as a friend as you are to have them.

Good ways to boost your self-esteem are things like learning a new skill or talent, setting some goals or starting small projects that you can complete and keeping a diary of all your achievements - big and small. The better you feel about yourself, the more able you'll feel able to be assertive and say no to people if they are trying to make you into someone you're not.

Thanks for your letter. If you want to chat more about this then our counsellors are always here for you.

Take care.


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