Ask Jigsaw: Difficult friendship | Ask Jigsaw | Jigsaw

Ask Jigsaw: Difficult friendship

Ask Jigsaw: Difficult friendship

Friday, 28 August 2020

I had a friend and we were so close but all of a sudden he turned nasty towards me with no reason that I was aware of. It got to a stage were I got really really sad and had dangerous thoughts in my head but I managed to tell my family and they brought it to the schools attention.

 My family and Boyfriend hates this person after what happened and doesn’t want me anywhere near them. But I miss the friendship still and would like to be friends with this person again but I’m afraid will the same thing happen again and I’d also be risking my relationship with my boyfriend and risking my feelings and mental health getting damaged again.

I don’t know how to deal with these emotions… do u have any advice for this situation? Thanks

-Number 5

Hello Number 5,

Friendships are complex and there’s no right or wrong way to navigate them. So thank you for your honesty in sharing your situation.

Sometimes, the closer a person is to us, the easier it is for them to hurt us. It sounds like the unexpected nastiness of your friend confused you, and knocked your self-esteem. When someone we trust treats us badly, we can often start to question our own self-worth. We might start having negative or dangerous thoughts, as you’ve described.

I’m glad that your boyfriend and family were there to remind you that that the friend’s behaviour was not right. You deserve support to handle this.

An icon of a paper and pen on a teal background
Linda
Jigsaw clinician
Understanding why something happened can help us to make sure it won’t happen again.

See the full picture

It’s natural to reflect back on friendships and remember the good times. Sometimes, we can forget or deny the bad parts, because we miss the good feelings we had during the friendship. It’s important to try to see the full picture, the good and the bad, before you decide if you want to rekindle the friendship.

Fearing that your friend could do this to you again makes sense, as it seems you still don’t understand the reason for they treated you so badly. Understanding why something happened can help us to make sure it won’t happen again.

Know your worth

When our confidence has been knocked by someone else’s bad treatment, our inner critic can tell tell us that we deserve it. No one should be treated nastily by their friends.

You deserve trusting, supportive, and fun friendships. It’s always possible to forgive mistakes, but your happiness and mental health should come first.

I hope that you reach a decision that makes you happy.

Take care,

Linda

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