Is Your Best Friend Your Bully?

By | May 19th, 2011 | 371 comments

Dear Rachel,

I have a friend who puts me down a lot and points out all the wrong things about me, but I have to be friends with her because I have no other friends — well best friends, that is. I want a friend who I can invite over and she won’t point out that my shirt doesn’t match or I am stupid because I am not in advanced math like her. Plus she ditches me for other people. Will I ever find a friend? What should I do?


Dear S.,

Okay, huge, huge hug from me. That’s the first thing.

Next: This girl is not your friend, okay? Friends don’t put you down a lot. They don’t point out the things that are wrong about you. They don’t tell you that you’re stupid or ditch you for other people.

This girl? She’s not your friend. She’s your bully. If you think a bully is some big dude in the schoolyard who steals people’s lunch money, you’ve only got part of the story. Truth is, girls often bully their friends. Crazy, right? But it’s true. Too many girls put up with terrible behavior from their friends because they keep calling them “friends.”

So what are you going to do? First of all, I want you to talk to an adult or friend you trust about what’s happening. Don’t go through this alone. Second, I want you to stop calling this girl a friend, at least in your head. There is no such thing as a part time friend. It’s 24-7 or nothing. Feel me?

Third, you need to start friend dating. That’s right, friend dating. Just like people who get dumped romantically need to play the field and meet someone new, the same thing is true when you need to make a new friend. Put yourself in situations where you can meet new girls. Join a new club or team. Sit down at a new lunch table. Ask a girl you like if you can be partners on a project. Chat or text someone you want to get to know better. Trust me. I’ve done it – I’m doing it right now, actually. It’s not always easy, and sometimes you get duds – just like real dates. But sometimes you click, and it’s awesome.

Should you tell your NOT-friend to stop treating you like that? Sure, if you want to. You can give her a chance to change. But I don’t have a good feeling about her at all. I think you should move on and find someone who can respect and love the awesomeness that is you.

Remember: part time jobs are okay. Part time friends: NEVER.

Take care, good luck, and let me know what happens!!


371 Responses to “Is Your Best Friend Your Bully?”

  • Anon says:

    i never thought this was a problem for so many girls! THis is the only wesite i’ve been able to find about this and honestly i feel so much better knowing this isnt just happeniing to me! Basically one of my bestfriends is great and all but she is kind of bigheaded and rude. shes always bragging about being the best in most/all classes we have (together, in front of me and all the other girls in the class shes bragging about) and complains when she doesnt win awards and i do. whenever i get an easy question wrong or something she repeatedly tells me im stupid (kinda like a chant in my ear) and i’ve noticed ive definately been thinking i cant do things on my own and ill fail/do something wrong and stuff lately. This isnt the first kind of bullying (as much as i hate to call it that) from my close friends this year (my other friends useed to but havent in a while kick me, pull my hair, slap me, rarely use things to cut off circulation in my limbs and things, tell me im -insert swear words- and break my things/go through personal things) i mainly hate it because im now thinking poorly of her, when she used to be one of my favourite people in the world, shes kind of below average for my standards now. Whats worse, is that shes got lots of friends from band 3 (she moved up to my band from it) so whenever she sees them she kind of exploads energetically leaving me surrounded by people i hardly know. i try and talk in the conversations but she always interupts me and kind of yells. she never really stops t let me actually talk to them so i doubt will ever have the chance to get to know any of them. Also, she drags me away from my other friends so i cant realy get super duper close to them, then leaves me for her own friends. i honestly hate it. shes been worse in the past (excluding me with my other best friends, pushing me into things, treating any smal joke i make about her whilst shes ranting about me as the biggest thing then running off crying after i made a fart joke, leaving me feeling more depressed than ever.) i dont know what to do since i cant confront anyone about it unless they bring it up. any ideas??

  • Sanyam says:

    I have a best friend. We were on a trip and she met this other nice girl. So she started talking to her and that girl was very kind. The kind girl asked me what school I’m going to for middle school,I told her idk yet. Then she asked my best friend and my best friend said anywhere I’m not going. That hurt me so much. We were at a theter and the lights went out. I was crying so no one could see me. Idk what to do who to tell and more I need help

    • Sanyam says:

      And I just think she’s got an invisibility mask on and I can see the opacity and no one else can. My bff acts so different around other people. She’s always telling people what my bad habits are. I hate it so much but I have very little to do about it

  • Kye says:

    Hi, so i have this friend that I have always called my best friend because we have known eachother for years. But this year, a few new girls came to the school and she started latching on to this girl who is also one of my best friends after i got back from a 2 month trip. She started ignoring me and teasing me and she has even started physically hurting me. i have quite a few bruises on my body from her kicking me and slapping me all the time but we both just laugh it off because we’re “best friends”. everytime i try to confront her bout this she breaks down in tears and begs for another chance and i don’t like saying no so i always put up with her but she never changes. and if i stop being friends with her she will find a way to turn out whole friend group against me. can you help me?

    • Anon says:

      Thats aweful. no best friend should hurt you like that, my bestfriend slaps me and kicks me too. usually more than once then laughs it of like yours does. If she does it again, just tell her that you’re giving her another chance and that it hurts. if she keeps messing it up it will be harder for you to forgive her, in the end you will jut be telling her the same thing, like a bad habit. I really hope she stops doing this to you, and that you can find/have better friends who would never dream of hurting you! xx

  • Fake name george says:

    I have a friend that is a boy and he is alwayn havin problems and I am his friend girl so I I hlp him and when he tried to date my friend which is a girl that was planning to break up with him to get at her ex and I told them it was a bad but they dont listen to me. Then afte she broke up with him he got sad then she had her first kiss and I was happy for her and he told me he moved on so I belived him but when she told me he got mad for me beinng happy for her but when I have problems as he dont car re and I am like en WTH and by then I am like why do I help him if he never care about my issues. So all I do is cry on my friend burrito sholder so I please need help so yeah

  • Measa says:

    I have a friend that is a boy and he is alwayn havin problems and I am his friend girl so I I hlp him and when he tried to date my friend which is a girl that was planning to break up with him to get at her ex and I told them it was a bad but they dont listen to me. Then afte she broke up with him he got sad then she had her first kiss and I was happy for her and he told me he moved on so I belived him but when she told me he got mad for me beinng happy for her but when I have problems as he dont car re and I am like en WTH and by then I am like why do I help him if he never care about my issues. So all I do is cry on my friend burrito sholder so I please need help

  • Tayla says:

    Hey, i’ve got a friend… well used to, she always used to put me and my friend down and I always used to tease her but we always laughed about it, and then last week she just stops talking to me. So I asked what I did and she said I was being mean to her, to amuse other people and so I apoligised, but she says she doesnt want to talk to me and she completely ignores me and it is always so awkward now and I have no idea what to do.

  • gabby says:

    that was the same with me.
    last year i was with two girls; one was nice but the other was mean. the nice girl obviously had been talking with the mean girl behind my back because hey! she wasn’t nice anymore. they were really rude and ignored me and laughed at me to the point of me going into the toilets to cry. luckily i was optimistic and always looked ahead to next year because i would be going to highschool. fast forward a year and…
    i am 13 now and have been having a really good life with my new best friend.

  • gabby says:

    I’ve had this bestfriend for 4 years. We met at dance and both went to catholic school. We slowly bonded into an unbreakable friendship. As of Highschool she has changed a lot. She used to be this funny, dorky girl but, now she changed into a rebelious attention seeker. She started being really mean behind peoples back and making rude comments, which i was fine with at first, until i found out she was taking sh*t about me behind my back and started being lowkey mean to me. It sucked during that moment but somehow she would become my bestfriend again. She would post indirect disses against me on her spam account and it would drive me to ball my eyes out. I would totally cut her off and cut her out off my life but it is hard since we go to the same highschool and same dance school. Dance is my happy place so i dont want to create a toxic enviornment for myself between her and I. The thing is she is the type of person to try to avoid any serious conversations… so if i talked to her about this/confront her she would try to make a joke out of it. I just cant believe she would drive me to this overwhlemed state of sadness, Im a nice person and i got her back but i guess she doesnt have mine I know im not the only one who thinks this. I JUST DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO.

  • S says:

    I have four very close friends, in third grade I only knew two of them those two started bullying me they would do something bad then say I did it when I didn’t , and saying I was an fat elephant so I wanted attention in a different way so one day I went to class and started limping and people would ask what’s wrong and I lied and said I had cancer in my leg which was very wrong with me , but I still did it and my parents found out I did that and I got in trouble I’m now in sixth grade and one of those girls said they were sorry I said the same and now we are best friends along with one other girl I met in fourth grade but I will forever remember that incident that was in third grade so I never talk about fun memories that happened in third grade because I’m embarrassed that they will bring up the incident. Also the other girl from third grade is no longer my “friend” but I don’t know how to tell my parents so if someone could reply with advice that would be great thanks!

  • Abi says:

    My best friend for almost three years now has changed a lot well me her and 2 other girls got really close over the summer well drama happened and somehow it all got pinned on me which at first I thought I deserved it and I had even apologized but they just won’t accept it which I can’t control but they won’t leave me alone there still creating drama and it’s still getting pinned on me it’s even gotten to the point where I’m debating about switching or doing online school until high school I just can’t stand it I cry about it every night…. I just don’t know how I’m supposed to be able to handle this and it really sucks bc I’ve only got 3 friends now and that’s just not gonna work I’m not near as close with them as I was with me and the other girls it’s just a really Really REALLY a bad situation and idk what to do ☹️

  • Autumn says:

    I have a friend that is always back stabbing me and making mean jokes about me. Whenever I do something she always mocks me and if what I did was good then she would roll her eyes and tell a different story to someone else, which then spreads fake rumors. My other best friend and I hade a meeting and talked about these situations and she said that she totally understood me and she would back me up when things happened like that. But really when something happens she totally ignores it or backs the other girl up and makes me feel really bad, like I have no friends and need to attend a different school. The first mean girl also tries to act cool and when I rock up to hang out with them (acting as my normal self) they either run away and hide or play in my eye site and not let me play with them. Later on that day I would tell someone and she would either totally deny it or make up some stupid excuse. Sometimes they would be doing something and she told me to come and she would be either saying racist things about my culture or watching something racist about my culture. I also once caught her making bad comments about me when she was standing right next to me. It makes me feel soo bad. I have really chosen the wrong friends. I just really hope that we can be friends again and none of this drama would happen that she drags everyone into. She is also dragging all of my other friends on her side. Really I only have 3 good friends. Which I am really grateful for!!! I hope it is one short stage in my life!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m having the same problem my “best friend” who I’ve known since I was a week old has started putting me down and since we got new friends together I’m always the one she picks on if she’s mad and even if I haven’t done any thing my other friends have noticed this but don’t do anything about it. Whenever she gets in a bad mood I try to make her happy so that she doesn’t pick on me

  • Autumn says:

    Hi peoples I am really sorry to hear about these stories!!!

  • EVERYONE?! Read this through. You are all incredible young ladies, all special in your own way. I bet one of you is the best artist in your class, and another the best violinist. Don’t let the haters get you down, because everything will be alright. You are all stunning, too. You could all win Miss America with no makeup and hair products! Remember, beauty comes from within. 20 years from now, your bully or bullies will be working at 7-11 while you are a singer, teacher, actor/actress, author, doctor, or more! Just believe in yourself, and remember you are not alone. G-d has put each and every one of you on this earth for a purpose. Find that purpose. Learn, imagine, dream, and achieve. L.I.D.A

  • Jessica says:

    So, I have the same problem as most of you! At school, my BFF Sophie has literally turned on me! She always humiliates me in public and teases me, then says it’s all a joke. Really? It wasn’t funny for me! Then she always bribes me to do stuff for her. And when I say no, Sophie says I’m not her friend and I hate her. She never does this with any other friend! One day, she said I had a turquoise butt (I don’t know WHERE she got this from) in front of all my friends. I was so embarrassed! Then, she kept on forcing me to SHOW IT. I continued saying no and was so humiliated, I ran to the bathroom. Then there’s my other BFF. Her name is Kyla. She PHYSICALLY abuses me by slapping, pinching, punching, and hitting me. I tell her to stop, but it’s more like after the fifth or sixth time of saying that I have to raise MY fist. Just yesterday she broke my glasses and didn’t even say sorry. I was in tears! But she’s also really nice where I can tell her anything! What should I do? Should I keep Sophie and Kyla as friends? Sorry this took so long.
    P.s If you think I shouldn’t keep them, my entire friend group of my other three BFFs and all of my friends follow Sophie! She acts so nice to them but not to me! And for Kyla, we’ve been BFFs since kindergarten, and we’re going into seventh grade! PLZ HELP!

    • Izzy says:

      I have a friend problem too I have two friends one has turned evil and what is happening to me happened to 3 people before me I didn’t realize it nether does my new friend so should I stay around and protect my friend and continue to get bullied or switch schools and let it happen to my friend like me and my friends from before what do I do? HELP!!!

  • Ashley says:

    My best friend is my bully as well. We spend every second of every day together because we have the same classes and when we aren’t in school we are texting each other non stop. So it is fair to say that arguments and fights are bound to happen. What’s sad is how they escalate. Our arguments have gone from stupid ones that don’t even last 10 minutes to ones that can last days. When handling arguments it is important to be mature and not say anything you’d regret. On the other hand, when my “best friend” knows she’s in the wrong she gets angry at herself and tends to take it out on me. This is where the bullying takes place. She yells at me and makes such a scene in front of all our friends while they’re staring at us and she doesn’t care. She progressively swears and makes a fool out of me knowingly. When she is furious she’ll sometimes even hit me or push me. When she does this it gets me scared and I just start crying because I don’t know what else to do. I tell her I’m going to have to give myself some space from her but she takes advantage of me as she tells me I’m not going anywhere. This makes me feel trapped and like I don’t know what to do. It’s not like I can end our friendship because there’s no way out now. You’d think if you’d see your bestfriend crying you’d stop being mean and realize what you’ve done and do all in your power to fix it. My bestfriend does the complete opposite. She ignores me and manipulates my mind to tell me that it’s all my fault. She drags our friends into the situation and makes me look like the bad guy. So to anyone who may be going through my situation here’s some advice.
    1. Know your worth, it’s hard to try to leave a situation especially when you and your best friend are attached at the hip but if you aren’t being treated the way you deserve don’t be afraid to just give her break. Hopefully then she’ll realize she can’t lose you.
    2. If she says she’s sorry don’t accept her apology unless she truly means it. Giving her and endless amount of chances will cause her to take advantage of you because she knows she won’t lose you.
    3. Don’t rely on other people for your happiness. You’d think your best friend will be there and help you no matter what mood you’re in. Sometimes they slip up and aren’t there for you. So then you’re stuck being alone and don’t know what to do. Learn to help yourself and not rely on other people to do it for you.
    4. Don’t be afraid to down grade your friendship. Like mine I’m forced to spend all my time with her. As summer comes up I can now take a deep breath and take time for myself not have to always stress myself out around her. If you guys text all day long try to keep it less frequent so that when you guys do talk you are happy to be talking to each other and not feel like you’re forced to be doing it
    5. Don’t settle for a part time bestfriend. Friends come and go and that’s okay. If she ignores you through some hard times you know what you meant to her. Bestfriends are supposed to be there for you through it all. Talk to her you tell her she can either be a 24/7 bestfriend or nothing. There’s no time for part time bestfriends .
    6. The biggest lesson you can take away from all this is dont let your best friend be your bully. A best friend is supposed to make life easier and not make you feel like a burden. Sometimes it’s better to be alone than to feel lonely with a “best friend” who is never there for you. Learn to love yourself and don’t settle for any less than that.

  • angel says:

    my best friend is my bully she keeps calling me names and she pushed me when she got mad at me because I told her that her friend was being mean to my other best friend and I so she pushed me and then went to the councilor at school. Then we was in different classes and she comes to my class to get a necklace that I didn’t have and when I said that I didn’t have it she started yelling at me and when people yell at me I don’t like it so I actidentally said I threw it away then she went to the councilor and told again and I told the councilor I didn’t have the necklace

  • Brandy says:

    I have this friend who…well she has this friend who bully’s m, and well she won’t do anything about it because she thinks that she will never have friends ever again after that friend is gone. I really want her to be friends with someone that’s actually doesn’t want to bully others, she wants to bully people; and I sure don’t. What should I do??

    • Chloe says:

      My best friend(1) who lives next to me and we were friends since we were three, she has been really mean to me lately which my best friend(2) sticks up for her and is really just a bully to everyone tho deep down I know that she is super nice but my ex hates me and sticks up for them too, today at school I braught builders tac in and I gave it to my best friend(2) for her to play with it and them my ex told her to put a orange hi lighter in it and she laughed and had a orange hi lighter but she wasn’t going to do it tho, when I didn’t want her to do it so biacsadent I said I’ll tell but off cores I wouldn’t because it’s just builders tac so my best friend(1) said it’s just builders tac so I was pretty sad, then my best friend(2) went to the teacher for her to help her with her maths and took the tac with her, then one of my friends asked me If he could have a bit so I said that my best friend(2) stole it as in she has it because hats just how I say it but my ex took it the wrong way and told my best friend(2) and once she came back she gave the tac back and looked very upset, then I told her that only ment that u had it and that she could still play with it but she didn’t talk to me for a little while. And the two best friends we’re mean to me for the rest of the day and probably the rest of our lives

      • Chloe says:

        Well heres one that I forgot to put In my other one my best friend(1) treats me like a punching bag or a poking bag(if that really exists) one day I was lying in the sum out on the playing fields in school times and my best friend was lying next to me and just started to slap me quite hard with a cheeky grin on her facethen I told her to stop but she said no so I asked her why but she said but u hardly stop so I say back yeah I do but she just shrugged and I told her to stop again but louder but she still said no and continued so I pushed her of and she shouted ow so I just said we’ll u hurt me and yours was on purpose mine wasn’t

  • Alexis says:

    i feel bad for bullying my friend and i don’t know why i feel guilty

    • Jessica says:

      Ok? Maybe you feel bad because you’re hurting your friends feelings? How would you like to feel if that friend was bullying you? They would feel guilty. You guys have been through times together. You’re making your friends life miserable as HELL. Plz stop, it will be better for you and your friend.

  • Ak says:

    Hello, my best friend is brutally bullying me for a long time. I can’t take it anymore. I have figured out that he is toxic for me. I want to cut all chords with him.
    We both are 19. We have been friends for four years. He has always been making fun of me a little but I took it as a healthy friendship behaviour (most best friends make fun of each other). Lately, he has gone too far. He makes fun of my mom’s name and my family and also name calls me in front of friends. He always roasts and says nasty things about me in front our friends. He curses me and dominates me and wants to show his superiority in front of them. He exposes secrets I share with him even when he promises not to. He makes fun of my grades and says I’m a loser. And later on, apologizes and tries to make up with me. I fall for it, and then, he repeats the bullying again.
    The problem is, he knows too much about me. If he knows that I’m avoiding him, he will bully me even more, because I can’t cut chords with all our mutual friends, of course. He knows embarassing things about my family that he may share with friends or on the internet. He knows about my crush, he has screenshots of my failed sexts with some girls and also has some embarassing photos of me smoking and drinking. If he shares these online with my friends or family or elsewhere, it may ruin me. Unfortunately, I don’t have much of his embarassing pics or other informations to threaten him back.
    What should I do?

  • Kaia says:

    Hey, I have this friend who I like to call my best friend. Often he likes to tell me we’re not friends or I’m just annoying. He puts me down a lot. I used to really like him, I loved him a lot, but now I feel like when I used to tell him that he just didn’t care. I’ve grown over liking him and I still see him as a friend, but he still treats me horribly. I feel like he just doesn’t like me. But when I try to tell about how he acts, he just simply says he joking. I’ve gotten told by multiple people that I should leave him behind, but It isn’t that easy is it? I just can’t seem to leave him. Do you know what I should do?

    • Snow says:

      Hi.. I used to have the same problem with one of my friends and he studies in a another city so we never met after our baccalaureat degree. I always check up on him first and tries to keep up with him but he just doesn’t care, he ignores me and pisses me off all the time. I don’t see him more than just friends, i just want to have a guy friend like everyone else, well i alawys end up mad at him and arguing with him but i’ve had enough, i told him lately that i’m gonna stop bothering him forever and i wish him the best.
      I guess u should look to the psitive aspects of ur friendship with him, if u find yourself all the time putting efforts more than he does, trying so bad to keep urself in his present and futur and he doesn’t care!! then u should pause for a moment and open up with him ,tell him u like him and all the things that u feel about him. Maybe he likes u too, and u know guys r so bad at expressing their feelings :p. You can’t keep knocking on a door that won’t open, it’s hopeless..

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