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I think I'm a bully...

I'm friends with this girl, and I sometimes tease her for fun and she teases me. But this week I said something that really hurt her and I thought maybe I'm a bully. It's not just this time either, and sometimes it can get so out of hand. I feel really bad and I don't know how to apologise.
i'm really scared Sam please can you help. I hope you don't think too badly of me
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Sam

Hello,

Thank you for writing to me. I can hear that you worried about how your friend may be feeling and concerned that she may think you are a bully. Sometimes teasing can be part of a friendship and it sounds like in the past you both enjoyed teasing each other. However, you told me that your friend was really hurt by what you said, and has also been upset in the past so it does sound like it may not be fun for her anymore. It sounds like you now regret this and you want to say sorry. It is good that you think about your friend's feelings, and that you friendship with her is important to you.

You obviously care about your friend and didn’t intend to hurt her. It seems like you’ve been feeling worried that you may be bullying. Having a look at our information about bullying page in the Explore section on the Childline website may give you a clearer idea about this. You could also see what other young people think by looking at the ‘Bullying’ and ‘Friends’ pages on the message boards.

It’s really good that you want to apologise to your friend - she might not know that you also feel upset about this. If you’re feeling unsure about how to apologise maybe you could try writing a note, or telling her that you’ve been looking at the ChildLine website might be one way to start a conversation about what happened.

ChildLine counsellors don’t judge young people that talk to them, so if you spoke to them about your concerns they wouldn’t think badly of you. You could talk to a counsellor by phoning them free on 0800 1111, having a 1-2-1 chat, or sending a private email to another counsellor.

Take care

Sam

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