Teenage tips: friendships

In our first article of three, we’re taking tips from our new teenage handbook, Me and my brain.

Some teenagers find their friendship groups change when they return to school. Self-esteem may be lower and making friends may seem more difficult. Tips to help boost self-esteem include:
  • Spending time with those who care
  • Being assertive
  • Not talking badly about yourself
  • Replacing negative thoughts with good thoughts and thinking of something good about yourself or a situation.
If confidence and self-esteem are boosted, making friends should become easier. Some young people find their friendships go back to how they were, while others find they have grown apart from friends in the time they were away. Several teenagers say they have benefitted from making new friends. Here, teenagers share their experiences:

Chas

"As a teenager you learn a lot about friendships. I’ve learnt to let friendships happen naturally, instead of trying to make friends all the time. I started doing a lot within my community such as volunteering and joining sports teams. I’ve made a lot of really great friends from this.”

Alex

“In the first few days after the accident my friends were texting me. But I still felt like I was in a dream, getting used to things and I didn’t reply. My friends found this very hard as they didn’t understand my condition and thought I just wasn’t talking to them. “As time went on and I became more aware, I was replying to more of my friends. I was able to explain a little bit about my brain injury, which helped them understand and become less worried. “My friends had all been told about my condition before I got out of hospital. They understood how serious it could be. They didn’t let me do too much or put pressure on me. Soon, things were pretty much back to normal.”

Rebekah

“Having a brain injury definitely had an impact on friendships. Some of my friendships ended and some grew stronger. “I made some new friendships with people who I didn’t know before Fred [my tumour] came. I think, mostly it was easier to make new friends with people who didn’t know me before the operation. “But to be honest you need confidence and self-esteem to help you make friendships. If you’re not okay in yourself, it’s not going to happen.”   

These tips were taken from our new teenage handbook, Me and my brain, which can be ordered here

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