How can I stay safe?

How to make friends?

? Are there good and bad friends?

Seguro com os Amigos  
Yes there are!

Good friends…

• support you;
• listen to you;
• worry about you;
• respect you;
• accept you as you are;
• tell you the truth;
• give you affection;
• make you feel good.

Bad friends…

• manipulate you;
• use you;
• hurt you;
• are aggressive or violent towards you;
• say bad things about you;
• make you feel sad.

To know more about it, please see Bullying.


? How to be a good friend?

Having friends is very important and is part of our growth, particularly when we are teenagers.

We spend much of the time with our friends and the challenges they experience are almost always the ones we also need to deal with ourselves.

It is with them that we share the good things that happen to us. We also approach them for help and support when we have problems, feel sad or worried about something.


  • should support you when you need;
  • are available to listen to you when you need to get things off your chest;
  • make an effort to see things from your point of view;
  • do not force you to do things you don't want to do;
  • do not put you at risk;
  • respect you and your opinions, particularly when they are different from theirs;
  • accept that you have the right to have more friends and to spend time with them;
  • accept that you have the right to have your own space and privacy.


You have duties towards your friends but they also have duties towards you!

When this doesn’t happen, and we feel sad, anxious, uncomfortable or afraid, or when we realise that we make our friends feel this way, then something is wrong with that ‘friendship’.

To know more, read How to resolve conflicts?


? How to support a friend?

It is particularly important to be present and support our friends in hard times. However, do keep in mind that:

• When a friend shares with you what is distressing or worrying him/her, you do not have to have all the answers or the right answers!
• More important than to give advice is to give him/her time so that he or she can tell you what is going on.
• It is important that you show your friend that you are willing to listen him/her carefully.
• You should show your friend that you understand and that you will be by his/her side for whatever is necessary;
There will be problems that you can’t help solve, as much as you try or wish to! If you think that your friend is in a dangerous situation, look for help (even if your friend does not want that!).
• Tell an adult you trust what's going on! Adults will only be able to help and protect your friend if they know what is happening!

To know more, read What should I do?


? What to do when meeting someone?

- THE FIRST IMPRESSION IS NOT ALWAYS RIGHT. Often we get a wrong opinion about someone when we first meet him/her. Do not take this impression as true.

- TAKE INITIATIVE! For example, if you are with your friends in a place where there are many people or friends of your friends (such as a party or in the cinema), introduce yourself nicely and politely to people.

- TALK. As you don't know the other person well, talk about neutral subjects (for example, "What school do you go to?") and do not ask personal questions (for example, "Do you have a boyfriend or girlfriend?"). These personal questions can make the person feel uneasy in your presence... it's better to ask them when you are more at ease with each other and trust each other.

(for example, "How do you know the friend who introduced us?"), rather than questions with yes or no responses.

- ADDRESS THE PERSON BY HIS OR HER NAME. After someone is introduced to you (or after you took the initiative to introduce yourself), use his or her name in your conversation and in the questions you ask. Of course, you don’t have to do this every single time you say something to them, as that might sound strange! Using their name is not only a signal that you are paying attention to the conversation but it also makes the other person feel listened. If you don't remember the person's name, ask him or her politely to tell you it again.

- LOOK AND SMILE. Keeping eye contact and smiling when you are talking to someone makes the other see you as someone approachable, nice and interested.

- BEHAVE NATURALLY. The more naturally and at ease you behave, the more comfortable the other person will feel in your presence and the more easily your conversation will unfold.
- KEEP IN TOUCH. If you enjoyed talking to someone you met, why don't you exchange email addresses, for example? But remember that it is important to stay safe! Do not provide personal information such as your address unnecessarily to someone you just met.

- INVEST AND BE PATIENT. Friendships are not built overnight.