I'm never been 100% sure how to deal with this situation and would appreciate feedback and advice on how you all handle it. At least once or twice a week I'll have a child tell another one, "I'm not your friend!" which causes the other child to either burst into tears, verbally/physically lash out in anger, or run and tell the teacher (me). Sometimes all three and not necessarily in that order. Ways I've dealt with it: 1. Reprimand the child who said "I'm not your friend" and have them apologize to the person they said it to 2. Sit the class down and remind them that it hurts people's feelings and to think about how THEY would feel if someone told them that. Then I give the example that their feelings would be so hurt if Mrs. Catz said, "I'm not your teacher friend anymore!" so we don't do it to each other. 3. Remind the class that it's okay to tell people we don't like things they DO, but not that we don't like THEM (ie: It's okay to say, "Johnny, I don't like when you pull my hair". It's not okay to say, "You pulled my hair Johnny so I don't like you anymore! You're not my friend!") 4. When Susie is upset that Johnny said he's not her friend I'll sometimes say, "It sounds like Johnny isn't being very nice to you right now. Who is someone that is nice to you? Why don't you play with them instead and if Johnny still isn't being a nice friend later, just keep being friends with <other student>" When I think back to my own experiences as an elementary student and even as an adult, there are just some people who I didn't like and didn't like me. Obviously no one wants to feel un-liked, but I feel like as long as the person isn't disrespecting me or interfering with my goals I don't care. But how the heck do you teach that to a six year old? EDIT: Now I will say it does hurt my feelings if someone I like/respect didn't like me, Like if I overheard my P telling another teacher, "I can't STAND Mrs. Catz." then yeah, it would make me feel pretty bad.