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Why Do I Feel the Need to Hurt My Friends?

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From a teenage girl in the U.S.: Whenever I am with my friends, I sometimes get the sudden urge to hit them, punch them, bite them, etc. I mainly feel these urges when I’m alone with them and we’re just hanging out and talking or at school at lunch. I don’t understand why this happens. I’m not in a bad mood when I feel this way, and I’m not nervous or anything. I just feel so neutral and content. I love my friends, too, and I don’t like to see them in pain. This is becoming an issue lately because I find that I can’t hold myself back from hurting them. I don’t know what to do, and it’s been making my friends really upset too.

Why Do I Feel the Need to Hurt My Friends?

Answered by on -


I don’t have enough information to offer much insight. Just one suggestion: People who are hurting are the people who most want to hurt others. When I read your letter, I had to wonder if you are in some kind of emotional pain that you haven’t been able to manage. It may not have anything to do with your friends. Sometimes hurt people go ahead and hurt the people who mean the most because, ironically, those closest to us are the most forgiving.

If you continue to want to hurt others, I do suggest that you talk with your parents and your school counselor about how to get some therapy. Your impulse is too serious to ignore.

Meanwhile, consider using the hotline at Boys and Girls Town. Counselors there are available 24/7 to talk with teens like yourself. The service is free and confidential. Here’s the phone number: 1 800 448 3000.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Why Do I Feel the Need to Hurt My Friends?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Why Do I Feel the Need to Hurt My Friends?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 24, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.