Tough Stuff

What to do if a friend turns out to be a bully

When it comes to making friends, we all tend to think we have pretty good judgment. You typically choose BFFs who you know are people who you can make awesome memories with and bring out the best in you. That’s why it’s super discouraging and disappointing to have a close pal behave like a bully. If you’re struggling with the way your friend treats others, we’ve got you covered with these three steps to help you handle the sitch.

Approach her nicely 
If this behavior is sudden, chances are her mean comments and bad attitude could be related to something going on in her life. Tell her how you feel. Try, “You haven't been acting like yourself lately. Is there something going on that’s making you act this way?” If she’s having a tough time, she could be saying or doing these things in order to feel better about herself. Let her know that you don’t think her behavior is OK, and offer to help her if something is seriously wrong. 

Stand up
Is your friend making fun of that sweet girl from your Algebra class? Instead of sitting there and watching it happen, get up and do something to stop it. It might be hard at first, but you’ll feel guilty if you don’t do anything. By standing up for those who are being bullied, it lets her (and your classmates) know that you don’t tolerate bullying. It might just make your friend re-evaluate her behavior—especially if you call her out in front of others. And if the bullying keeps going on or gets worse? Get a teacher or parent involved. 

Say your goodbyes
Unfortunately, not all friendships are meant to be. If your friend can’t quit this behavior, then it might be time to cut her out of your life. Let her know that her mean ways are the reason why you can no longer be friends. Trust yourself, and know that your instinct is usually right. Maybe this girl wasn’t a good fit for you, and that's totally fine.

Have a friend who isn’t nice to others? Let us know how you dealt with the situation in the comments!

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by Maddie McGee | 3/9/2019