Help! My new friend is nice in private but ignores me in public. What should I do?


Dear Friend,

I am new at school and don’t know many people yet. I made a new friend a month ago, and she was nice when we first met. But as time passed, she started excluding me from things and ignoring or mocking me in group situations.

For example, we went on a hike for a field trip last week, and I found it hard to keep up with everyone. She knows a lot of people I don’t know, so she walked with them and basically forgot about me, except to tell her friends, “You guys are so slow - even (my name) was quicker than you, and she was at the very back”. She didn’t ask how that made me feel. She was nice to me on the bus in the afternoon, but I feel completely invisible when we’re in a group. What can I do to fix this?

Sincerely, New Kid



Dear New Kid,

We understand your disappointment and confusion and are sorry to hear about your experience. It sounds like your new friend isn’t being a great friend, and it can be hard to figure out what’s going on in a situation like this. Let’s start with a few tips about adjusting to a new school:

Acknowledge your feelings and keep an open mind

Being excluded in social situations, especially as a new student, can evoke many negative thoughts and feelings, such as embarrassment, disappointment, loneliness, and self-doubt. Please don’t fixate on these experiences, and remember that everyone goes through something similar at some point in their lives.

Accept yourself as a newcomer to your school and keep exploring your options. It takes some time to adjust to a new environment and meet people, so relax and let nature take its course.

Explore other opportunities

Spend time on activities that align with your interests, such as sports or language or music clubs. These can improve your mental well-being, develop your social skills and contribute to your personal growth.

It is also easier to form connections with people who share common interests. This can help you expand your social network while enjoying school and developing your potential and talents.

Be nice to yourself

Pay attention to the language you use when talking to yourself. Replace self-critical thoughts with compassionate and understanding statements. Get enough sleep, eat nutritious food, engage in activities you enjoy, and treat yourself the way you would want a friend to treat themselves.

Practising self-compassion can contribute to emotional well-being, resilience, and a positive relationship with oneself. Compassionate people attract and foster connections with others who share similar values and characters.

It wouldn’t be a bad idea to distance yourself from your new pal. She’s nice to you in private but ignores you or makes fun of you in group situations; that doesn’t sound like a very good friend! Be polite to her, but don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself firmly and politely by saying things like, “I don’t appreciate it when you make fun of my speed on this hike. I’m trying very hard.” Respect is an important part of friendship, and you want to know you have someone in your corner who is always rooting for you - not mocking you.

Last but not least, it is always wise to share your thoughts and feelings with trusted adults, like your parents, teachers or school social workers. They can offer valuable advice - they were teens themselves once, too!

Hope that helps, Friend of a Friend


Source: Young Post