She says I’m a bully!

Dear Suzie,

i had an argument with this girl and she tld her friend now her friend told people that i’m a bully so i’m scared to go 2 my lessons. i’m not a bully she’s making up lies! what shoould i do

It’s horrible when you dread going to school and people are nasty to you. Bullying is a truly wicked act and none of us want it in our school, our homes or our workplaces. So it’s really good that people have become much more aware of bullying in the last few years and blow the whistle on it. But spats between friends or classmates are not the same as bullying. Either you’ve come across as much stronger than you think, which is why her friend is rushing to defend this girl, or someone is “playing the bullying card” and trying to use an accusation to win the argument.

What you need is a mediator. When two people have a dispute, especially when they may not see eye to eye over what each thinks is going on, it helps to have someone calm things down and let both of you put your point of view. A mediator has to be neutral – not on anyone’s side. There job is not to wade in and make each of you apologise or tell one or both of you off. Their job is to sit you down and allow both of you to say your bit, and to listen to what the other one says.

Do you have a teacher you trust? Ask him or her to call a meeting between the both of you. Agree the rules of a discussion – you might begin with these;

* Be honest but not nasty
* Moderate your language (ie no swearing!)
*Listen to the other person without interrupting – maybe use a stopwatch to allow each 2 minutes to begin
*You’re there to explain what you think, feel and have done NOT what you think the other person thinks, feels, has done

If you and she can sit down and talk it out in a calm manner and both can hear what the other says, you should be able to sort this out. Good luck!

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