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Friendships are often a big part of our daily lives and can have a great impact on our mental health and wellbeing. It is often the case that you will have several different friends, who all play a different role in your life. Some friendships are supportive, and others are about hanging out, banter and not about sharing how you’re feeling.

That’s OK. Some friends you may be in touch with every day, online or in real life and other friends you may speak to less regularly. This is OK. Friendship is about communicating and connecting with each other when it works well for you both.

Similarly, friends may offer you advice, share your interests, make you laugh or even sometimes make you cry. The important thing is that your friends don’t judge you or make you feel bad about who you are. Friends accept you for who you are as well as challenging you in ways which help you grow.

Friendship is a two-way street, and you need to make sure that you support, challenge, help and enjoy spending time with your friends as much as they do for you too. If you find that you always feel drained, upset, or bad about yourself after you have spent time with friends then it may be time to reconsider that friendship.

You can find more information about friendship and what to do if you think a friend may no longer be someone you want to be friends with by following the links below.

Young minds shares some tips and guidance for how friends can help support us, what other ways do you find your friends support you? Or how else would you like to feel supported by your friends?

https://www.youngminds.org.uk/young-person/coping-with-life/friends/

Peer Pressure:

There may be times you don’t feel uncomfortable joining in with friends if they are doing something you don’t want to do. Many people find themselves in these situations and it is important to say how you feel and that you do not want to join in. If you feel pressure from your friends and persistence to get you to take part, such as drinking alcohol etc, you can talk to a trusted adult who makes you feel safe. You can also talk to professional services about how you feel and any risk that might be involved. You may feel worried that you will lose your friends by not taking part, or feel left out, however good friends will not make you feel uncomfortable or pressured into doing anything you do not want to do. You feeling are valid and should be accepted.

Getting along with others is not always easy, even if they are friends or family members.

If you are being bullied then that can cause lots of unhappiness, stress and anxiety and you might feel isolated and lonely. Bullying might take place at school, clubs, work and can even happen online via messaging, social networking and gaming. This is known as cyber-bullying. Bullying can be when people hurt you physically, say nasty things, or post comments online. Bullying can be anything that hurts or upsets you and makes you feel sad or lonely. Bullying can be a one-off or it can go on for a long time. And bullying can happen to anyone. Follow the link below for more support around bullying.

Bullying – On Your Mind

The Mix website offers a wide range of advice, information and resources including Webchat and  Therapy support for under 25’s

https://www.themix.org.uk/