i’m being bullied!

Dear Suzie, i need help i think im being bullyed!!, because my friend is always calling me names and everyone in my group is going to her birthday party but me.

Being left out and called names are very unpleasant things to happen to you. It’s a sad fact of life that even friends can sometimes lash out and hurt you. And while you may think that it needs to involve hitting or other physical harm to be called bullying, actually other ways of making you miserable are just as bad.

But the most important thing to know about bullying is it’s not your fault, it’s probably not even about you and you’re not alone. Kids often start bullying when things in their own lives are going wrong. Maybe your friend needs some help and support to fix whatever it is that is making her see this as a way of feeling in control.

So what can you do? Sometimes, people simply don’t realise how horrible it feels. They take against you and think it feels good to them to get the upper hand by saying things, or doing something like excluding you from an event. They don’t put themselves in your shoes to see how it would feel. And they don’t think how they may regret being so mean when the moment has passed and you’re friends again.

So first thing I’d suggest is letting her know how painful this feels. See her on her own and simply, without making it an argument or an accusation, tell how much it hurts to have her calling you names and leaving you out. If you can’t face her or can’t get her on her own, send her a letter to her house. It’s important that you don’t make it angry or accusatory – you’re not pointing the finger about how she is behaving but how you feel about it. A good formula to use is “When….I feel…because…what I would like is…”

So you might say “When you call me such and such as you did yesterday I feel really sad because I thought we were friends and a name like that makes me feel horrible. What I would like is for us to respect each other and be friends again.” But it’s important for you to put your own words and feelings in there, for it to mean anything to her.

If she brushes this off then the next thing to do is talk with your parents, and a teacher you trust. Your school should have a bullying policy and should work to help pupils show respect and be kind to each other. Your teacher may be able to get the two of you together to explore what is happening and why.

If they don’t do work on this, your parents need to talk it over with a teacher and get this changed. There’s plenty of support from Parentline Plus on bullying for parents – suggest they have a look or ring Parentline on 0808 800 2222. You can get some help and support from Childline on 0800 1111 at anytime, and you could also look at Bullying UK for ideas and support.

Good luck!

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