Wanting to be part of a group of friends has been hardwired into us since caveman times. Having good friends is important. They make you happy (well, that’s what they’re meant to do anyway).

In fact a lot of research has been done that shows having good friendships in our lives is actually really important to our happiness. But even best mates have their ups and downs and sometimes they just don’t get you.

Problems with friends are normal. Everyone goes through it. But if your friends are giving you crap all the time or they just don’t get you, it can start to affect the way you feel about yourself. If that really knocks your self-esteem, it could grow into issues like depression or anxiety.

If you’re feeling like your friends don’t care about you take a step back and think about why. Are they just really busy right now or dealing with their own problems? Have you grown apart? Maybe they’re just not good friends? It could be that your mates just aren’t the kind of people you want to be. The way you can tell the sign of a good friend is by looking at the actions they take, big and small – that show they care.

If it’s more like they’re actually trying to hurt you (by calling you names, leaving you out of things or hitting you) then this is bullying.

Finding good friends to start with is really tough - especially ones you can trust who help you see the best in yourself. Friends will come and go in your life but the really good ones stick with you and stick up for you no matter what.

Making friends sometimes means you’re under pressure to fit in and you end up doing things you wouldn’t usually do.This could be anything from the way you dress, the music you listen to, drinking and drugs, or even how you act at school.

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When you’re trying to figure out who you are, your friends will play a big part. It’s tricky, but the best thing you can do, is be true to yourself. If your friends are on your mind all time (and not in a good way) take a look at some advice below on how to deal with it.