How to Stop Taking My Stress Out on My Friends?

Katherine has a lot going on in her life. Sometimes she gets so stressed and frustrated she lashes out at her closest friends.

Kathrine's (Richmond, VA) Question:

Katherine: Well, right now, I’m going through a lot with my dad and my family. My dad lost his job last fall. I’m very busy with a lot of after-school activities, and I work. With me having to balance it all, it’s becoming really hard, especially with me going off to college next year. I’m starting to take my friends for granted, and a few of my really good friends I’ve taken the stress out and all the anger I’m having here at the house and with my family, out on them and I’m pushing them away when in turn, I really need to bring them in. 

Dawson: There’s an old song, it’s about 500 years old, but it says, “You always hurt the ones you love, the ones you didn’t want to hurt at all.” How is it we take our frustrations on the ones we love? I guess, it’s because we know they can take it.  

Katherine: Oh yeah, my best friend she’ll constantly try to talk to me, but I don’t know why, but I snap because I’m so frustrated.

Dawson: You’re stressed out! You’re freaking out.    

Katherine: I’m so stressed that I take it out on her.

Dawson McAllister's Answer:

Dawson: Hey Katherine, 2 words I have for you: TOO MUCH! Something’s gotta give. Something’s gotta give. Something’s gotta give. That’s another old song. I’m into old songs tonight. That’s a song back from the ’40s. Something’s gotta give.

Katherine: Oh yes. I work to support my family, and I’m a commander in my ROTC.   

Dawson: Geez Katherine, one more time: Something’s gotta give. Something’s gotta give. Something’s gotta give.

I tell you what I’m going to do, I’m going to send you to TheHopeLine. Tell the HopeCoach to get you to make a list of all your activities, then prioritize them; like time with your parents, time with your friends, if you’re dating somebody, ROTC…all your activities. Then you prioritize them, which one is most important, second important, third important, fourth important…you get all the way to the bottom then you start erasing the first couple at the bottom, then another one, then another, then another. Other than that, you’ll continue to do what you’re doing, and in the end, destroying relationships is not worth it.

It’s okay to slow down, take breaks, and ask for help. Click for our tips on time management when dealing with anxiety.

TheHopeLine Team
For over 30 years, TheHopeLine has been helping students and young adults in crisis. Our team is made up of writers and mental health professionals who care deeply about helping others.
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