• Other Friendship Advice

A 13-year-old with a physically abusive friend

Published: March 4, 2014 | By | 1 Reply Continue Reading
While friendships have their ups and downs, hitting a friend is totally off-bounds.


My best friend and I are fighting a lot lately, and it’s gotten to the point where I almost don’t want to be her friend anymore. She keeps saying things like ”you’ve changed” to me over and over. We have tried to discuss this recently, with the help of our other friend and it didn’t go as planned.

Our main problem was that I had found out that one of my favorite bands was opening at the concert we are going to, so I texted her as soon as I found out. She told me that I shouldn’t get my hopes up, because she says there is a possible chance that it won’t happen. I tried to make her understand that there is no possible way that it wouldn’t happen, because they had already made the plans and set up events for it so unless one of them died, it is 100% going to happen. She still argued about it. What made me madder is the fact that she says she likes the band! If she honestly liked them, then she would have been excited, too. But she wasn’t.

Then she was telling me for the first time why she thinks I have changed. She said that it’s because I dress darker, that I don’t want to hang out with her anymore, that I’m always quiet, and that I just talk to people differently. I explained to her these things, and she was still mad at me. Our friend tried to make it better by saying things like “everyone changes, and both of you have changed to the good and bad.” I didn’t get a chance to tell her the reasons why she has changed, because she left, taking
our friend with her and leaving me alone. No doubt in my mind that they were talking about me, and it probably wasn’t the first time they talked about me behind my back.

And this is how it usually goes. This kind of behavior has been happening to the last couple of months, and it’s gotten to the point where she makes me feel bad about things that I like and she sometimes leaves me in tears. This is the first time I have ever asked for friendship advice because it has never been this bad before. I don’t know what to do, because the concert is 15 hours away from where we live and we are driving there and I don’t want to be fighting the whole way there. I’m just really scared, because I’ve never been in this position before. If you don’t have any advice on how to stay her friend, at least give me some tips on how to stay her friend until after the concert.

Oh, and one more thing that you should probably know about her. She hits me. Hard. In the face, arm, leg, chest, stomach, head. I’ve tried getting her to stop, but she continues to do it. We are both 13-year-old girls, in case I didn’t make that clear and you needed to know. Please help.

Signed, Hannah


Dear Hannah,

I’m so sorry about what’s happening with your friend. The most concerning part of your letter is that your friend is hitting you and what worries me is that her abuse of you (and yes, hitting you is physical abuse) isn’t more concerning to you.

While friendships can have ups and downs, arguments and reconciliation, there needs to be an underlying respect. Hitting isn’t just disrespectful; it can be dangerous or even criminal. I assume your friend wouldn’t go up to a stranger on the street and start hitting her, because she knows that’s wrong. Hurting you is just as wrong, even worse because she’s supposed to be your friend.

The problem with your friend is too big for you to handle on your own. Can you talk to your mom about what’s going on between you and your friend? If you can’t, is there a school counselor or teacher you can talk to? What’s going on is very serious, for both you and your friend. If your friend doesn’t learn more acceptable ways to handle her anger, she could get in a lot of trouble.

What I want for you is to learn that no one has a right to put her (or his) hands on you violently.

I know the concert is really important to you and I can tell how much going means to you. Your physical and emotional safety is more important. I know the people in the band would tell you that, and that they would not want you to risk yourself to get to that concert.

I’m sorry that the suggestions I’m giving you probably aren’t what you want to hear. Your safety is too important. You are too important and you don’t deserve to be hurt. Please write back and let us know how you’re doing or if you have any questions.

Amy Feld*

*Amy Feld, PhD, MSW has trained and worked as a child psychologist.

**No information provided here or elsewhere on this blog is intended as medical advice. The blog focuses on everyday friendship problems.

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Category: Child and adolescent friendships, Dealing with bullies

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  1. Missy says:

    I’m still confused if my Bestfriend just need a space or she finally end up our friendship.

    My friend/ collogue and I were Bestfriends for two years, I’m single for 6 years now and don’t have any boyfriend at all so my focus is only to her. For two years, we talked to each other 24/7; she even slept on our pad on weekends every month for 1 year. We share our ideas, stories, we cook a lot, we eat a lot, travel a lot with friends and even on our workplace we share a lot. We’re contended even just we sit on my pad and talk 24/7 because we’re happy and contented with it just the two of us. In short we’re too attached to each other. We care a lot to each other. She’s to obsess with our friendship because according to her this is the first time that she got too attached with a friend. There are times that we got jealous to each other’s friend. We argue a lot with our respective friends, she doesn’t want me to go or talk to my friends. Last September she texted me, we should let go off the things that we do because she’s too guilty with his husband. Although we minimize the caring and conversation part, we still care for each other until February this year.
    Until one day I’m wondering why she’s so irritated with me and can’t look at me straight (eye to eye). From then I texted her what is wrong. She reverts with a painful reply telling me “she wants space, she don’t care anymore and stop caring because it’s too annoying. It’s too painful for me because I’m still expecting the times that we had together will came back. And that time will never happen again. We’ll just be civil”. That reply really hurts me a lot. I had to control my feelings and not to cry of being rejected and dumped because people will see me crying while walking and went home. On that evening, I had sleepless nights and even got sick because this is the first time that I got dumped by my Best friend. I had no friends on that time to talk with because honestly I dumped my ex-bestfriends for her. I rejected my friend for 8 years for her because I’m happy to be with her because she’s too sweet and caring and we talked a lot. In fact she’s the one taught me how to express my feelings, what’s on my mind and to be a caring person.
    From then, I talked to my Ex-BFF for 8 years because I can’t take it anymore. I want to release the pain in my heart because If I didn’t I will have an asthma attack. She told me I just go with the flow, it really hurts being rejected but I need to give her space like what she did previously. I’m very thankful that my Ex-BFF is listening to me even I dumped her on the past because I don’t want to argue with my current BFF because of jealousy. She advised me what she did and I listen to it.
    It’s too awkward for me and my current BFF acting like no problem at all. We had a conversation together with my other colleagues, go in a vacation and had a picture with her and tagged me on that picture in Facebook. If she needed me she talked to me. She even asked me if I have my food for lunch. Telling me on my birthday that since it’s my birthday I should make a blow-out party for them but she didn’t greet me. Too awkward because when we left the two of us in the office, we didn’t say a single word at all.
    Sometimes, when I remember that she rejected and dumped me, it makes me feel so sad. I’m thinking why she did that to me. I’m so paranoid whenever I’m alone that is why I don’t want to be alone when I’m home. I’m just wondering, if she’s thinking of me, why she put aside our friendship for two years, or maybe because she don’t want to get attached to me again. I’m still confused with her action.

    Right now, I’m still on the process of healing I’m back with my Ex-Bff, the one that I rejected/dumped because of her though I’m sad I’m very thankful that I have her again who never left me in times like this.

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