Originally Published: April 24, 2016 6 a.m.
Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
Someone told me to write to you because you can maybe help my friend. She is always hanging around a crowd of kids at school who don’t like her and they aren’t nice to her. Then she comes and tells us. Usually she starts crying and asks, “Why are they so mean to me.”
We’re in 6th grade. Three of us have been together since like first grade.
My other friend and I have told her that those girls aren’t nice to her and ask why she cares. We don’t care what they think about us.
But this last time, one of those girls, told my friend that she’s such a slut. My friend hasn’t even ever kissed anyone. But we’ve heard stuff about this girl. A lot of stuff.
Then she whispered (but we all heard it), why don’t you go kill yourself, loser!
My friend told us that girl was just kidding. We think that girl is a bully to everyone and she keeps get-ting away with it. I want to tell my friend’s mom, because she’s my mom’s friend too. But I don’t want my friend not to like me anymore because we’ve been friends forever.
First off, you are a very good and loyal friend. Others with less integrity might be jealous or angry that their friend wants to be friends with new and different girls.
We recognize your care, confidence and courage … Two of our 5 C’s – Civility, Courage, Confidence, Creativity, and Carriage.
Your friend is exploring other relationships because she knows that she is safe to investigate other personalities at school and you will still be good and caring to her no matter what. That’s called unconditional friendship and love. She is blessed to have you!
We think, since you and your other good friend have already been very supportive of your friend, you could say, “We are sad and worried that you defend and explain your life to someone who hides behind damaging ‘jokes’ to hurt you. So we wrote to Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri.
“Please don’t be mad and read this:”
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri would like you to not respond, defend, and/ or explain yourself to girls who would bully you so severely.
Stand tall and don’t approach the bullies. Have strong, but not angry or hurtful eye contact. Don’t express any feelings, good or bad, and show the bully a neutral or blank face. Your unresponsive behavior will be unexpected. You will feel powerful.
Report-report-report this bully-girl and her friends (people who stand by and don’t stand up to bullies are participants). Keep reporting to a trusted adult until someone does something to help you and the bullies. Bullies count on you to NOT report them!
Their “joking” phrases can lead you into deep depression, sadness, loneliness and damage your self-worth. You could (after enough badgering) decide your life doesn’t mean anything and decide to kill yourself.
You are blessed to have good and true friends and family who love and care about you.
Stop trying to change people who don’t care about your feelings into people who do care — such as the true friends you have now.
There’s unlimited room in everyone’s lives to add good friends, but remember best friends are hard to find.
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri
Rhonda Orr is the president and founder of the Prescott-based Rhonda’s STOP BULLYING Foundation for Girls. Dr. Cheri L. McDonald, PhD, LMFT, is a crime-victim specialist. Send your anonymous questions to Rhonda@rhondastopbullying.org.