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My Friend is Being Bullied

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I feel like a hypocrite. My close friend (we've been friends since we were 5) is being bullied online by another girl who is jealous because she got the guy she wanted. My friend is choosing to be nice to the girl, but sometimes she texts me crying. Since we've known each other longer than anyone else, I've seen her cry a lot, so it's aggravating to see someone who used to be our friend hurt her because of jealousy. Me and my other friend have tried to start a movement to end cyberbullying, but when I see what she posts on my friend's page I say things back. When I say these things everyone knows that I am very serious because she is hurting my friend and I would do anything to protect her. I feel like by saying that I will hurt her for what she's doing, I am cyberbullying too. Signed, I don't want to feel like a hypocrite anymore.
Signed: My Friend is Being Bullied

Dear My Friend is Being Bullied,

 

Your instinct to protect your friend is noble but you are right threatening her tormentor is not the way to go about it. Responding to negative comments with negative comments tends to fuel the situation and has a habit of drawing others into the negative discussion. In the cyber world the problem can escalate very rapidly and take on immense proportions. Depending on the tormentor’s social status she could align herself with many of your classmates and turn them against your friend and you.

 

The English philosopher Edmund Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” The same can be said for bullying. The sad part is that many of your classmates know this behavior is wrong but go along with it because they fear being the target of the bully themselves. It is up to your peers and the adults in your community to take a stand towards this type of violence. Unfortunately it sometimes takes a tragedy before the community realizes how common and devastating bullying can be.

 

Your idea of starting a movement to end cyber bullying is an excellent one and you should continue in this direction. Talk to your principal about how the school and community can partner with students in dealing with the issue of cyber bullying. This is an area that adults and teens can work together to make their community a better place.

 

To learn more and get some ideas on how to deal with cyber bullying checkout TeenHealthFX’s response to Where Can I Go For Help with Cyber bullying Issues.

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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