Ask Sam letter

Asker

To Sam

My friend

My friend is really worring me she is starting to give random boys her number because she likes the sound and i find them very creepy i dont know what to say to her because that might break up our friendship help?
Ask Sam

Sam

Hello,

Thank you for your letter and telling me a bit about how you are feeling at the moment.

You’ve told me your friend is really worrying you, as she has started to give random boys her number. I can hear how uncomfortable you feel about her doing this.

It’s understandable that you would feel worried about the safety of your friend and it sounds like you want to be able to talk to her about this. You haven’t told me how she knows the boys she gives her number too. The way you’ve talked about it makes me think she might be meeting them online. If she’s giving her phone number to people she’s met online, that would worry me too. It’s important to think carefully before agreeing to give anyone your phone number, because once they’ve got it, it is easy for them to use it to hassle or upset you. It’s really hard to know if someone you meet online is telling the truth about who they are and what they want, so I would advise never giving out your number over the internet.

You’ve said you don’t know what to say because that might break up your friendship. I can imagine it’s difficult feeling so unsure about what to do. It sounds hard for you to watch your friend putting herself at risk, but I can hear that you’re worried about how she could respond if you did try talking to her.

What do you think it might be like to send her an email, or write her a note, explaining how worried you are about her safety? You could even come online and show her this letter and my answer? Or you might want to have a look at the CEOP website with her. It has some really useful tips on staying safe online. There is also page on the ChildLine website which has advice about helping a friend that you might find useful

You sou.nd like a caring friend, which is great, but it’s also important to think about how this is making you feel and how you are coping. It can be good to remember that you are not responsible for the choices your friend makes. Perhaps you can think about contacting a ChildLine counsellor directly to talk some more. You can do this by calling 0800 1111 (free from any phone), logging in for a 1-2-1 chat or sending an email from your locker. ChildLine can also be a safe space for your friend to ask for support if she wanted to.

Hope this letter has been helpful.

Take care,

Sam

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