• Keeping Friends

My friend doesn’t respect my feelings

Published: October 10, 2015 | By | 3 Replies Continue Reading
A teen asks whether she should hang on to a long time friendship with a guy who shows no respect.


Hi Irene,

I’m 16 years old and I’ve had this friend who is a boy. Don’t worry. He’s gay so there is nothing there. Trust me. The problem is for the last year and a half we’ve started to have a bigger friendship group and lately I have been feeling badly.

We have this other friend who is a girl and now she is closer to him than I am. Whenever he Snapchats me, I’m scared when their names pop up on my phone because sometimes they are nice and other times, they are really mean. Yes, I would classify it as bullying because it has been going on for a really, really long time.

But I don’t want to let go of him because he has been my best friend for ten years and that’s a long time—but he’s not a nice person most of the time when he’s with the girl. I don’t know what I should do. Should I leave him and try and make new friends or stay and just carry on with it?

Please help me and give me advice because what they say and do has made me really sad and depressed. I don’t know what to do.

Thank you. Madison


Hi Madison,

I’m sorry your friend isn’t someone who treats you kindly all the time. It sounds like you really miss the friendship you had when you were younger and life was less complicated.

Have you ever talked to your friend about how you feel when he treats you unkindly?

Even when we think something should be obvious, telling people our feelings regarding their words or actions is an important part of healthy communication.

I also wondered why you are so accepting of a friend who treats you poorly most of them time. You deserve to be treated with respect even if you’re having a disagreement.

We train people, including our friends, how to treat us by what we will and will not accept. Through your behavior of ignoring things you consider mean, you’ve told him, without words, that it’s okay for him to keep doing them. You’ll have to start sticking up for yourself and setting boundaries by not allowing him to be around you if he’s unkind or says hurtful things that show a lack of respect.

For starters, I’d have a face-to-face conversation with him about how you want him to treat you and what is unacceptable. While you’re doing this, put your energy into other friendships that make you feel valued and good about yourself. Friendships can be difficult and go through rough patches but the positives should far outweigh the negatives.

Remember, you can’t change anyone but yourself but you can communicate your feelings and change your reactions to other people.

Good luck.

Signed, *Amy Feld

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

Disclaimer: Nothing in this or any other post is intended to substitute for medical, psychiatric or clinical diagnosis/treatment. Rather, all posts are written as the type of advice that one friend might give to another

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: Communication

Comments (3)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. T says:

    Hi Madison, This made me think back a guy friend I once had. We were friends for a few years, but after a while I noticed he wasnt really that nice to me. In fact he was putting me down and making fun of me, all the while calling me his best friend. I let him drive my new car all the time and spent money on a silver chain for a present for him. After a while I realised he was quite negative towards me, so I decided to let the friendship go. I was glad I did. We do teach people how to treat us. If we allow their behaivier, it say to them its ok what they are doing so they carry on. Friendships change, they rarely stay the same. They are supposed to improve and blossom, not get worse. Save yourself some time and tears by ditching this friendship, there are many more nice people out there.

  2. Thomas says:

    Hello Madison

    You definitely need to talk to him about how he hurts you. You need to stand up for yourself and set clear boundaries.

    I would also strongly consider ending this friendship, especially if he continues after you talked to him about this. It is one thing if you guys had an occasional fight. It is quite another when he seems to deliberately hurt you to show off to his friend. He clearly shows a lack of respect and care for you needed to have a meaningful friendship.

    It’s hard to find true friends, but they are out there.

    Good luck


  3. Mrs. Chen says:

    Hi Madison,
    You need to let him go. Since this has gone on for a “really, really long time”, he is beyond your reach at this point. He has not considered you his “best friend” for a really, really long time.

    In addition to asking yourself why you accept this kind of treatment, you also need to ask yourself — Do I really want this kind of person in my life? Someone who is capable of treating a longtime friend so badly, for so long, is not a kind person. Or at least, he is not a kind person now.

    It’s hard to be a teen, and much harder if you are also struggling with gender issues. So it’s possible that this meanness you see in him in recent months is a temporary phase. He may still one day become the person you thought you knew when you were younger. Or he may not. But, like I always tell my own teens — YOU don’t have to be there for the blow-by-blow. Leave him for now, and should he eventually become the kind of person who deserves to have your friendship, you may consider picking up the friendship.

    You sound like a very thoughtful and loyal person. Anyone would be lucky to call you a friend. So look around yourself, I am sure you will have no trouble finding worthy friends.

    Best of luck and have fun!

Leave a Reply