How to deal with a friend who’s becoming unlikable

pitbull kisses asks: Hi. I am 9 years old. I have a friend who has become so annoying and mean. I don’t want to be friends with her anymore. I tried ignoring her, but she follows me around. If I don’t do what she wants, she is really mean. I also think she does really gross things like pick at her sores. I don’t want people to think I am also gross. I don’t know what to do – she is really stressing me out. Please help!

Hi pitbull kisses –


I’m sorry you’re going through this. Friends are such a great thing to have, and it stinks when a friendship develops problems that threaten to ruin it.

Having said that, it’s clear that your friend is going through a very strange phase. She’s being demanding and mean, and even picking at herself in ways that you and others find disgusting. This might mean that something difficult is going on in her life; if so, maybe you can help her get through it and thereby develop a better friendship than you’ve ever had. But if it’s just her being rude and unaware, then I certainly understand your wish to move on.

Either way, I think you have to do the same thing – which is probably the last thing you’d want to do! And that is to confront her about it. If there is something going on that’s really a problem, that you’d want to know, the only way is to check in with her. And if she’s just going through a rude phase, the only way to get distance from her is to tell her how much she’s bothering you. Your attempts to ignore her aren’t working – I can imagine they would actually draw her more to you (in the way that the best way for a human to get a cat to pay attention to you is to ignore it [the way I usually get their attention is by chasing them up a tree]!), so you simply have to talk about it.

Now, having said that, I imagine you also don’t want to hurt her feelings much. So how best to say it? I would think something like “I’ve been noticing that you’ve been changing a lot lately. I know I’ve been upsetting you a lot when I’ve wanted to do different things than you, and I’ve seen you picking at those sores. I’m wondering if something’s going on. Is everything okay at your home?” If she admits that, yes, her parents have been arguing a lot, or her brother’s been bullying her, then I’d urge you to be kind and hear her out. Maybe doing that could change her behavior.

And if she says no, that you’re ridiculous, that you’re being stupid, and so on… then say, “You know, I really don’t like being treated this way. I think we need some time apart.” And walk away.

She’s almost certain to do one of two things then – to either treat you with scorn, saying you’re an idiot, which just lets you move on with your life, or to apologize and say she’ll try to be nicer, which might make a better relationship with her possible.

But there is a third reaction she could have to your question. She could be nice! She could say, “No, nothing strange is going on, but I appreciate your asking. Maybe I should stop picking at those sores if it’s so noticeable.”

If that happens, then I’d say to give everything time. She’ll either change her behavior, or she’ll fall back into being mean to you. And if she does that, then you can say the same “See ya” I talked about before, and walk away.

What I’m mainly after here, pitbull kisses, is that you want to be someone you like in all the ways you deal with her. If you can stay true to your best nature, then whatever happens, you’ll come out okay.


Let me know how it goes!



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