In The Know Zone

helping a bullied friend

Helping a targeted friend

If a friend becomes the victim of a relational aggression campaign, think how much you would appreciate her support if you were the target, and act accordingly.

  • Don’t participate in the gossiping. Currying favor with the aggressor may be tempting.  But it’s wrong.
  • Deny the lie. If someone tries to tell you the gossip or lie, inform them firmly that you know it’s untrue, and they shouldn’t repeat it to anyone else.
  • Let her know you are on her side. Don’t be surprised if she’s skeptical, at first.  She may know about spies and bankers, too.  If she does immediately take you into her conference, warn her not to trust just anyone who claims to be on her side.
  • Offer to accompany her to adult authorities, or to go with her to confirm her story to her parents. Adults may consider bullying of this sort to be trivial if they hear about it only from the victim.  If someone is with her to underscore just how hurtful the attack has been, they may listen more closely.

The peak period for relational aggression is late middle school and junior high.  As teens mature, bullies, physical and relational, are increasingly seen for what they are—people whose cruelty and manipulation cancel out just about any good characteristics they may possess.

As the social acceptance of bullying declines, even the bullies and RMGs who haven’t overstepped and lost their social standing will abandon (or at least scale back) their reliance on aggression as a means of getting their way.  Those who don’t, often suffer severely for their blind aggressiveness as adults.

Will you have the opportunity to enjoy the spectacle of your school’s most malevolent RMG getting her comeuppance, as they always do in the movies?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But, as improbable as it may seem just now, you will, in time, stop caring about it.

In The Know: At Risk Pamphlet/ DVD Package
In The Know: At Risk DVD Package