Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Im a bully

Through my entire life i have only acted with my friends through jokes. I have been bullied when i havent, so i thought that was ok. But i have just came back from a school trip where i did a sort of homemade documentary i hosted. I have watched it back, and i am WAY meaner than i expected. I want to not be mean to my friends, but i physically dont know HOW. How do other people be friends without being mean to each other? ​ Please help!

Ask Sam


Hi there

A bully is someone who intentionally hurts, harasses or intimates others. This can be physical , emotional and name calling. It is often something done repeatedly and usually to exert power or control of another person. It doesn’t sound like you are intentionally hurting anyone, but it is always good to reflect on our actions and work on ourselves if it makes you feel better.

It’s not always easy to see ourselves how others do so it might be a good idea to check with friends ask how they feel about the way you joke. Take some time to listen to your friends and try to understand where they are coming from, perhaps share how the video made you feel as this could help them to open up to you.

If you feel you need to alter the way you are with your friends you could make a start by trying to think before you speak, being mindful about the words you use. Maybe ask yourself if it would hurt you the other way round.

It’s healthy to have jokes with your friends. Everyone is different and you may find some friends have different comfort levels, some may like harsher style jokes where some may take things personally. So it helps to look at reactions, check in with them after or even make clear it’s a joke if you need to.

Another healthy part of being a good friend is putting an effort into your friendship away from jokes. This could be showing kindness. You can show this in many ways. Complimenting them, helping them, listening and asking them how they are, making time for them taking and interest in their interests and being able to yourself in their shoes.

Remember no one is perfect and we all make mistakes, mistakes are part of how a person learns.

Childline is there for you if you want to talk more about this. It can also be helpful to talk about this with other young people on the message boards who may have had similar thoughts.

Take care,


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