4 Most Important Things to Say to Your Bullied Friend

Kind things you can say or do for a bullied friend


There is nothing worse than watching your friend be bullied by others. But you don’t have to stand by and do nothing. Aside from reporting the bullying to a parent or a school principal, you also can support your friend just by being there.

If you are like most teens though, you struggle with knowing what to say. After all, you know your friend is hurting and you don’t want to make things worse. If you are having a hard time knowing what to say, here are the four most important things you can say to a victim of bullying.

“Do you want to talk?” It is hard to talk about bullying, but it often helps victims of bullying heal from bullying and cope with the stress and anxiety by simply talking about it. Do not assume that your friend doesn’t want to talk about what she is experiencing just because she doesn’t say anything to you. In fact, she may want to talk to you but she just doesn’t know how. So don’t wait on her to start talking.

Instead, offer to be there for her. And then if she does open up, simply listen. Most likely she will have a wide range of emotions that she is dealing with. She may be angry at one point and crying the next. Do not feel like you need to fix these emotions or make her feel better. Just simply listen. Offer to hug her or hold her hand if it feels like it would be appropriate.

“I’m here for you.” Let your friend know that she is not alone. To the victim of bullying, just knowing that someone else is on her side, can make a big difference.

Not only will this deter bullies but it will help her feel more confident and accepted.

It is also important for you to follow through with actions and truly be there for her. Hang out with her, especially at times when bullies often target her. Examples might include having lunch together, walking together in the halls, waiting for her after school, sitting with her on the bus or walking home from school together.

Bullies often target people when they are alone, isolated or vulnerable. And even if the bully still targets her, knowing that there are others who support her and accept her, she will be better able to cope with the bullying.

It is also important to spend time together outside of school. Time spent with friends who are loving and accepting can do a lot to promote healing. It also keeps your friend from dwelling on the pain of bullying and instead focusing on the fun things in life.

“You are great just the way you are.” Bullying tears away at a person’s sense of identity and her self-esteem. It also creates doubts about everything from likability to hair color and body type. Depending on what the bullies are saying or doing to your friend, she may begin to see herself in a negative light. Reminding her of her good qualities and that what the bullies are saying is not true will go a long way in helping her handle bullying. With encouragement and love she will be able to deflect the negative comments and hang onto the positive ones.

“What can I do to help?” Instead of trying to help your friend in ways that you think best, ask her what she wants you to do. For instance, she may want you to walk with her from class to lunch. Or, she may want you to go with her to report the bully to the principal. Or, she just may want you to spend more time with her. However, if your friend asks you to help her plot revenge against the bully, engage in cyberbullying or do something destructive, this is where you should draw the line. Be sure you agree to only things that are healthy responses to bullying and avoid unhealthy responses to bullying.

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