When Teen Friends Grow Apart


A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

It can be hurtful when friends change, leaving their old friends behind. – Sandra

“At school my best friend ignores me because she is friends with the “popular kids.” I tried to tell her one time how I am feeling but she walked away, crying.”

Sometimes friends make choices that can create distance between the two of you, like your friend trying too hard to fit in with the popular kids at school. On one hand, your friend obviously likes spending time with you. On the other hand, she also dreams of being popular.

Each person must ultimately learn whether they prefer to have just a few close friends, or many acquaintances. Acquaintances are friends of convenience, who are around in the good times, but are not always around when you need them. Although you can’t help your friend to make up her mind, it sounds like you have a clear idea of what kind of friendship you want.

It is understandable that you are bothered by her ignoring you. Her crying the last time you mentioned how you feel seems to indicate she is struggling with some feelings of her own. Ideally, it would be good if you could both sit down together and talk about your enjoyment of being friends. In a perfect world, the two of you would then come to some understanding of where you want to go from here.

It would be nice if you could come up with an agreement that she would stop ignoring you, and that she could still make new friends. Juggling two sets of friends, however, requires a lot of maturity on everyone’s part. Unfortunately, this level of maturity may not yet be present with all the people involved.

Another option is for you to decide to patiently wait until after school to spend time with her. In this way, you could still be friends while she explored whether the experience of being popular is really what she thinks it is. If this is your choice, it would be important to not ruin your time together by complaining.

The last option is let her move on, knowing that sometimes people just grow in different directions. Although this is a very sad decision, you need to ultimately take care of yourself. If her ignoring you is too painful, then this could be a good choice..

If your teen or young adult child is struggling socially or emotionally, I can help you to discover the cause and remedy it.

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678

For more information, please visit my website:


verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.