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To Sam

Is it Bullying if it's your Friend?

I mostly hung round with two girls I've known since Primary School but when we moved to Secondary, another girl joined our group. She was really nice, then she started making fun out of me when I made a mistake, or something, the other girls would laugh.

Overtime she started spreading rumours about me saying I was a lesbian, that I looked like a trans-gender and I was ugly. It didn't bother me too much but when my other friends started calling me fat and ugly I felt alone, like I had no friends.

I tried making other friends but when I did she'd tell them I was some kind of freak. I feel like a freak when I eat lunch at school it feels like the whole cafeteria is staring at me and talking about me, it makes me feel sick, I told my mum I had fallen out with some of my friends but she said it would all blow over.

When she's not at school, my friends are really nice again and I feel comfortable talking to people. I don't know if I'm being bullied because they're my friends.

Ask Sam



Thank you for your message, you’ve been really brave to write to me and to share how things are for you. It sounds like you’re dealing with a lot at the moment and it’s important that you know that what’s happening is a form of bullying, even these girls if are your friends.

No one has the right to bully you, it’s wrong. Bullying can happen in lots of different forms and you have mentioned a few; laughing at you, calling you names and spreading rumours to other people in your school. I can hear that the bullying is having an emotional and physical impact on you and that’s not OK. The way all of the girls are acting needs to stop. A friend should be there to support you and help you, not to upset you and make you feel bad about yourself.

You said that your friends are nice to you again when this girl is not there. I wonder what it would be like to speak to your friends without her there about what’s happening and how it’s making you feel.

You deserve to get support with this so that you can get things sorted. I can hear that you told your mum that you’d fallen out with some of your friends and it sounds like maybe she might not know the true extent of how you are feeling. I wonder what it would be like to tell her a little bit more so she can understand better.

It can be really important to find ways to express how you are feeling about what’s happening and one good way could be to start a bullying journal. You could use your journal to keep a record of every incident and how it made you feel. If you do decide to speak to someone like your mum or a teacher about what’s been happening then you’d have the option to show them the journal as evidence of the bullying.

The ChildLine website has a lot of information on Bullying and what you can do about it. There are also message boards, where you can read about how other people cope with similar situations. This support from other young people can be really helpful. It might be also helpful to have a look at Bully Busters who offer online and phone support to tackle bullying.

If you want to speak to a counsellor at ChildLine, it’s free to call on 0800 1111 and it will not appear on the phone bill. Or you could go online to have a 1-2-1 chat with a counsellor which is a bit like instant messenger.

Well done for writing to me.

Take care,


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