Ask Kari: What should I do when my friend is bullied by our other friends?

Dear Kari,

My friend is being bullied by our other friends. I don’t know what to do; do I risk speaking up for her or do I keep quiet and remain in my friend group? I like her and I feel bad that she is being singled out. Help, what do I do?

Scared to Speak Up

Dear Scared to Speak Up,

It can be very hard to use our voice when we see injustice around us, especially if the injustice is occurring to our friend by our other friends. But, I would like you to imagine how you friend is feeling when she is being treated poorly. Then imagine if you were her; what would you hope someone would do? Speak up for you? Then do just that, as people who pin other people down with aggressive words and behavior will typically turn their actions to others in the room. Standing up for your friend establishes a boundary of respect, it models kindness and dignity to others. Remember, the first exchange of words may be hard to say, but the outcome will hopefully be worth it. Good luck!


As published in the June 2017 issue of Connections.


About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a licensed independent clinical social worker and a resident of Issaquah Highlands.

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