Friends, who’d have ’em, ey?!
Whether you’ve ever had a friend or not (or you’re not even sure), you probably know what they are, so I’ll skip this intro… except to say one thing…
…Connecting with others is actually really important to a lot of people’s health and well-being. Think I’m making it up or sounding a bit hipster? Check out the NHS website about mental well-being here. You can read more by the NHS on living well, as well as emotional well-being here.
Here’s a recent Sprout article about the importance of relationships written by a young Cardiffian for Mental Health Awareness Week in May 2016.
The Mix (formerly thesite.org) – Friendship – All sorts of expert advice, true stories, Q&A’s and discussion about friendship issues.
SpunOut.ie – Search: Friendship* – Similar to The Mix, with over 20 great articles about Friendship.
The Student Room – Search: Friends – The largest student community in the world where you can discuss anything. Hundreds of discussions on friendships.
SupportLine: Problems – Relationships / Family – This should take you to some services/organisations for relationships, including friends/family resources to get started.
*SpunOut is for young people in Ireland, so please double-check everything you read is relevant (but friendships happen everywhere, right?!)!
Helplines & Live Chat
Relate: Children and Young People’s Counselling – “If you’re having problems in a friendship or feel like you need someone to talk to, we can help. Try a free Live Chat session with a trained Relate Counsellor. Or talk to us about your concerns or questions on 0300 100 1234.”
ChildLine – a free 24-hour counselling helpline (by NSPCC) for children and young people up to their 19th birthday. https://www.childline.org.uk/Pages/Home.aspx
Samaritans – free 24-hour helpline for anyone who needs emotional support. http://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us
Lots of people have advice on this – feel free to share your own via comments and articles! A couple of good ones recommended to us by a young Cardiffian:
HelpGuide.org – How To Make Good Friends (and why it’s important to do so!)
[*Do see our mental health section for info on anxiety, which might help you with social anxiety.]
Having problems with your friends?
Whilst it’s great having friends for laughs, chilling and support, it’s perfectly natural that sometimes you’ll disagree and, since sadly none of us are perfect, we may not always get on.
The Mix: Here’s some problems – and solutions – to things you might face in your friendships.
Bringing money into a friendship can sometimes cause a strain – here’s a good article about money in friendships (via The Mix).
Bullying can happen when you‘re with your friends, by your friends and/or can leave you feeling isolated or distant from your friends. We have a whole section on bullying – check it out!
When you want more than friendship…
Sometimes, romantic feelings can develop towards a friend or even a housemate. What should you do now? Do they feel the same way? These are just a few good articles from The Mix to start:
Do feel free to submit your own advice and experiences! Also, do check our relationships section!