It's OK To Ask

Friendship Imbalance

Episode Summary

Julia asks, “When you have a friend that you like, but who is sometimes mean to you? What do you do?”

Episode Notes

Julia asks, “When you have a friend that you like, but who is sometimes mean to you? What do you do?”   

You can find out more about Nina Purewal and her work at

If there’s a question you’d like to ask, or if you have advice to share, you can reach us at

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Episode Transcription

It’s OK To Ask: A Kids Advice Podcast

S1 EP07, Friendship Imbalance


Nina: This is It’s Okay To Ask: A Kids Advice Podcast.

I’m your host, Nina Purewal.

We're often faced with so many questions around what we should do in certain situations, how we should act maybe even what to say or how to feel. Asking for advice from friends or those in your class is a wonderful way to help inform your own decision making choices.

And it's okay to ask. That's why we're making this show.

Today's question comes from Julia. 

Julia asks, “When you have a friend that you like, but who is sometimes mean to you? What do you do?” 

Wow, Julia, that is a really wonderful question. And we are so curious to hear what you kids have to say when you're in the situation, let's hear some advice.


Choice 1

Aria: Hi, my name is Aria. I'm eight years old and I'm from Ontario, Canada. 

When I have a friend that is sometimes mean to me, I them to stop what they're doing and I don't like it. But if they do it and if they keep doing it, um, I go find somebody else to play with.

Choice 2

Bianca: My name is Bianca. I'm seven years old. I live in Ontario, Canada. 

So Bianca, I have a question for you. What do you do when you have a friend that you like, who is sometimes mean to you? 

You can say to them that you don't need to do. And, “that's not nice to say you.” You talk to them and you could focus on the things that you like about them. You can try to get them a hug and move on. 

Choice 3

Cyla: Hi, my name is Cyla. I'm nine years old and I live in Atlanta, Georgia. 

My advice for when you have a friend that you like, but is sometimes mean to you, is if you really liked that friend and you like to play with them, but you're either not vibing or they've done something mean to you, you want to take a break and put yourself in, like, your personal time out bubble.

And then maybe come back to that person or that friend, and maybe ask them not to do that anymore. Or maybe ask them if there is some way we can prevent, um, mean things from happening and tell them that sometimes you just need a break just to take a minute to yourself, to kind of control your brain and get in the right position to be happy with that friend or that person. Those are some things that I do when I have a friend that is mean that I like, but is mean to me.

Choice 4

Jonah: Hi, my name is Jonah. I'm 11 years old and I live in Maryland. 

When I have a friend that is sometimes not nice to me, then I usually like to take a day or two break away from them to make them, maybe, feel better and then go back to them to see how they feel.

Choice 5

Leo: Hi, my name is Leo. I'm nine years old and I live in California. 

When you have a friend that you like, but sometimes it's mean to you, what I would do is I would say to that person, “Hey, why are you being mean to me? I thought you were my friend?”

And the other person's going to be like, “Hey, I'm not going to be your friend anymore.”

And this has happened in many situations with me. And I'm like, “well, I know that's not true” because the next day they're my friend. Because every time someone says, they're not going to be your friend, they're always still going to be your friend. 

And so that's what I say is what you would do. Or you could repair with them and say, like, “I still want to be friends with you. Is that okay?” 

 And then if they say yes, then you're friends again, so that is my advice.


Nina: Welcome back. 

The advice we give often comes from a place of our own experience. I'm sure there are other kids out there who have had friends who have sometimes been mean to them. And we want to hear what they have to say. 

It's great when we hear people who have experienced this, because it can help us know what to do in these situations.

Let's listen to an experience from one of your peers. A peer is someone who is close in age to you, but who has actually gone through this before? 

Here we go.

Choice 1

Aria: My name is Aria and one time at recess, my friend was doing something I did not like. So I told her I didn't like that. And I told her to stop. And she stopped and then we decided on something else to do together. 

Choice 2

Bianca: Hi, my name is Bianca and I've experienced this with my friend at recess and whenever I want to choose something and she doesn't really like it.

And she gave me a not nice look. 

So I just shrugged my shoulders and I was like (shrug). I focus on the things I liked about her. I tried not, I tried not to let her, let it bother me. 

Choice 3

Cyla: Hi, I'm Cyla. And I have a friend who I like, but it's sometimes mean to me. And we are really good friends and we love to play together, but sometimes she gets a little out of control and does some weird things that she shouldn't be doing. So I will go into a room where I'm by myself. Sometimes I have to go to the restroom.

That's okay too. And I take a breath and try to focus my mind on being calmed down from that situation. And then I went back to her and I was like, “could you maybe take a break and just take her breather? So you're not going crazy. And we're both getting in a fight”? And she eventually got to be calmed down.

I told her that she was being a little out of control and she was a little crazy for me and unkind. And we took a break. When we came back to each other, we were all much more calm and we were able to figure out what she was doing and what I was doing that was causing us to be a little rude to each other.

And eventually we figured it out and now we are able to stop it when it comes up. And we're really good friends still. So that was one way. That was one time that I like someone, but they were a little mean to me. 

Choice 4

Jonah: Hi, my name is Jonah, and one time when my friend was mean to me, I just decided to. take a break, like I said, and it actually helped. And then the next couple of days, they seemed so much better and wanted to be nice again.

Choice 5

Leo: I actually have had a friend who was mean to me. Um, and I hid behind the chair in the classroom, which was… a little embarrassing. 

Um, I did that and then he's like, “I'm not going to be your friend.” And the next day we're friends. 

And this is this scenario with this certain person has happened like 70 times and I'm still his friend. So it's still kind of weird because if it's your best friend who you're saying, I'm not going to be your friend anymore, you know, you're still going to be their friend.


Nina: You know, we are all faced with these experiences. I'm sure there are grownups who have friends who are sometimes mean to them too. 

If you have a grownup near you, maybe you can pause and ask them, have they ever experienced a friend being mean to them and what have they done? 

But just because a grownup has experienced it, it doesn't make it any easier for you to go through it. But it can serve as reassurance that you're not going through it alone. 

And even though it's hard, you're going to be okay when you come out the other side. 

I'm sure we've all experienced friends who have said or done something mean. 

We're going to take a quick break. And when we return, we're looking for your advice.

Seriously, stick around.


Nina: Welcome back to It’s Okay to Ask: A Kids Advice Podcast. 

Before the break, we heard advice based on a question sent in by Julia around what to do when we have a friend that we really like, but who is sometimes mean.

Now it's our turn to come to you. Each of your peers brought a question and you'll hear from them in just a moment.

And after you do, it's actually your opportunity to share some advice around a friend you might like, but who's been mean to you. 

Here we go.

Choice 1

Aria: Hi, my name is Aria and my question is, what happens if you see, um, people with their masks, not on properly, like with their nose showing? How do you stay safe? 

Choice 2

Bianca: Yes, my name's Bianca. And my question is, what happens if your parents say that you're not allowed to do something by actually want to do it? Like watch TV or make slime? What do you do?

Choice 3

Cyla: Hi, my name is Cyla and I have a question. 

Do you ever have pets that you really love and you really want to keep, but you just can't quite keep up with them and you don't like cleaning up their mess or any gross things that pets do?

What do you do in those situations? That was my question.

Choice 4

Jonah: Hi, my name is Jonah. And how do you adjust to school? If you've had a break and you don't feel like doing school?

Choice 5

Leo: What would you do in this scenario when someone is your best friend, but they're mean to you?


Nina: Remember it's okay to ask for advice on whatever is going on in your world.

Until next time. I'm Nina. Thanks for listening.


Nina: Thank you, Julia, for your fantastic question. I'm sure there are so many people that have now gotten help on what to do when they're in a situation where they have a friend who is sometimes mean. Thank you to all of our peers for your wonderful advice. 

If there’s a question you’d like to ask, or if you have advice to share, you can reach us at

It’s Okay To Ask is written by me, Nina Purewal. You can learn more about me and my work at

Our show is edited and produced by Matthew Winner with help from Chad Michael Snavely and the team at Sound On Studios. Our executive producer is Jelani Memory. And this show was brought to you by A Kids Podcast About.

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