The Friendship Doctor

Send in your friendship questions and quandaries and get expert answers and solutions

A teen asks: Why are friendships so fleeting?

Teens are finding out who they are and whom to befriend

QUESTION

Hi,

My friend and I have been best friends for about three years. This past year we went into high school and we are making new friends and changing which may have strained our relationship.

We're at a stage in our friendship where we know so much about one another that we have nothing else to say. But I feel like she judges me constantly and I can no longer be myself when we're together, making me not want to be her friend anymore.

This has been building up for a while. I wanted to deny how bad things were getting but it's reached a point where I can't take if any more. We went from talking every night for hours to not even talking when we're together. We've talked about what has been happening so many times but things never seem to change or go back to normal.

It used be me, my BFF, and two other girls in our group but when one of the other girls left, it ended up being just the three of us. I knew either my BFF or me would become closer to the other girl and it happened. I feel excluded whenever I'm around them because they are in their own world now. I don't know what to do.

Do I move on and leave things without addressing the situation again? I feel like I don't even want to be her best friend anymore because she has hurt me so much and I'm so tired of feeling the way I do around her. I feel like the friendship we have now is toxic. Please help me out!!

See All Stories In

Friendships Are Complicated, Too

It's not just romance that breeds trouble. Some of our most difficult bonds are with buds—and sometimes, the problem is you.

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

Signed, Angie


ANSWER

Dear Angie,

The middle school and high school years are times of growth and change so it's not surprising that friendships that once seemed perfect wind up feeling completely wrong. If you have nothing to say to each other and you feel like your BFF has become your critical frenemy, your friendship has probably reached its expiration date.

It hurts when anyone is excluded from a small group of friends, but friendships change. Act nicely to your two friends but not overly friendly. You never know but things may change again and you may become friendly with one or both of them in a different grade.

Given you feelings about your once-BFF, try to connect with new people you like at school and outside of school, and new friendships will follow over time. Since you've tried working out this mess several times before without success, I think it's time to drop it, not make an issue of it, and to move on.

I sure hope this is helpful.

My best,
Irene


Prior posts on The Friendship Blog about teen friendships

Middle school frenemies: Why are girls so mean?

Girl talk: Too much of a good thing?

Can this teen friendship be saved?

 

Want to talk with others who are experience friendship problems and quandries? Visit the NEW Friendship Forums on my blog.

Irene S. Levine, Ph.D., is a psychologist and professor of psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine. Her latest book is Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup With Your Best Friend.

more...

Subscribe to The Friendship Doctor

Current Issue

Love & Lust

Who says marriage is where desire goes to die?