My Friends Constantly Put Me Down! How Can I Get Them to Stop?

My friends at school always put me down and treat me horribly. Do you have any advice for me? I really need it. -Can't Live Forever Like This
Dear Can't Live Forever Like This,

Are they really your friends? Friends are the people we can turn to for support. Look to those people that are caring, friendly and are concerned about your best interests. Is there someone in your life that is not making fun of you, if so can you spend more time with him or her? No one should be treated horribly.

When dealing with bullies I suggest that you ignore them as best that you possibly can. When you give in and show them how upset you are, it only gives them what they want. Tormenters enjoy seeing the pain and misery that they inflict on others and when you let them see you hurt, they just want to keep making you miserable to keep feeling good. I know how hard it can be to ignore them. They make you feel good and act like your friend for a few days and then they twist something you say or learn a secret you do not want shared and use that to hurt you. It can make you feel crazy inside not knowing what to do or who your real friends are.

Talk to adults in your life, like your parents, a pastor, or a teacher. Holding your feelings inside and trying to continue to live and feeling so horrible is not good for you. When you say, “i cant live like this forever”, I would tell you that you do not have to live like this forever. Feeling overwhelmed and hopeless is hard and there are people that can help you.

Do something to make yourself feel happy and build your self-esteem. Often when we are feeling friendless and down so is our self-esteem, take on a challenge and accomplish it and feel good about the person that you are. Seek out ways to feel good such as going for a run, taking a bath, reading a great book, seeing a movie, or taking a short nap.

If you feel so overwhelmed by what is happening that you start to think that committing suicide or hurting yourself in another way will solve your problems, it is important you get immediate help. Call your local law enforcement agency (911), go to the nearest hospital emergency room, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TTY:1-800-799-4TTY) immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is equipped to take a wide range of calls, from immediate suicidal crisis to providing information about mental health and can give you someone to talk to who cares and can help you find resources in your local area.

Hurting yourself or committing suicide is not going to stop bullies from making fun of you and hurting your feelings. There are so many caring individuals and resources for you to turn to and you already have by coming to Find a therapist listed on Good Therapy and ask them for help, they are all committed to finding good solutions and helping you with your problems.

Do not commit suicide or self-harm – it does not solve the problem, instead call a counselor, ask your parents to call a counselor, or talk to your primary care doctor. Remember to spend time with your true friends, take care of yourself and have fun and challenge yourself to do something new unique and different. You can get past these problems and the people that care about you can help you too.

Take care,

Jeffrey Gallup
Jeffrey Gallup, MA, LPC, is a Mansfield, Texas-based psychotherapist specializing in child and adolescent issues.

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