Ask Sam letter

Asker

To Sam

My Name

Hey Sam,

I am writing to you because I think I am being bullied and I am scared I will be bullied even more next year, when I start year 8.

So here is my situation: People in my class have teased me a lot last year when I was in yer 7 and had just started secondary school.Now I hav a really embarassing name and on the register it says my full name which people have been teasing me about but none of my friends know about my name and I don't want them to know either because I am scared of what they will think.Another problem is that next year I am going to be swapping classes and I am also going to have different teachers who do not know about my name and I am scared that if they do say my full name out loud in the register and everybody hears then I am scared that I will be bullied or that I wil be picked on.

Please can you help me!I am really stuck and year 8 is going to be really important for me so I don't want bullies to ruin it all for me so I would really really appreciate it if you could please give me some advice on how to cope with my problem and maybe solutions on how to solve my problem.

Thank you ever so much,

T****

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi T****,

Thanks for your letter. Whether it’s because of somebody’s appearance, what they enjoy or even their name, nobody ever deserves to be bullied. It sounds like you did a lot to keep going and I can sense how worried you are about year 8. I’m glad that you’ve had the courage to talk about it.

Ending a school year can bring up lots of feelings when you’ve been bullied. It can sometimes leave you feeling relieved but at the same time it can also bring up lots of feelings of anxiety of having to go back next year.

It sounds like your new class feels quite scary in case the new teachers say your full name. It’s important to remember that part of a school's responsibility to you is helping to make sure you’re supported when you’re being bullied. The school have a responsibility to try to make any bullying stop.

It might help over the summer holidays to think about what it would be like to talk to the teachers about how it affects you when they say your name. You could even think about talking to the teacher before your name is first called out when you go back.

I got the sense from your letter that above everything you don’t want anyone to find out your name. You said that you don’t want your friends to know and how embarrassing it is for you. It is understandable when you’ve had bad reactions before that it would be scary imagining what they might think.

It's okay to not want to share every part of yourself. The biggest risk of doing that with your name, though, is that your name isn’t going anywhere. When you’re thinking about how to hide your name it can really help to think about how you’d most like to come across if anyone did learn your name.

It’s never okay for someone to judge you by your name. Someone else judging you by it says much more about that person than it does about you.

Being able to feel comfortable and confident about your name can help to make it easier to think how to react if someone says anything negative. It can even make it less scary when you’re thinking about how people like your friends might react.

Having that kind of confidence isn’t easy and it can take time. This page on Being assertive that might be a good place to start, as well as this one on Building confidence and self-esteem. As well as that, it might help to think about telling one friend who you really trust to help build your confidence. Remember that your friends aren’t friends with you because of your name.

Lastly you might find it really helpful to speak to other young people on the message boards. Everything on there is anonymous so you can’t give personal details like your name, but you could ask what different young people do when they’re embarrassed or being bullied about a part of themselves.

If you need to talk further, remember you can always talk to a ChildLine counsellor. You can call for free on 0800 1111, log on for a 1-2-1 chat or send an email.

Take care,
Sam

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