Primary: I'm not a victim

Even friends don’t treat each other well all the time.

What’s the issue?

Sometimes people who lack self-confidence can be treated badly, and feel that they have to agree to whatever is suggested by the others to stay friends with the group. Making people do things they don’t want to do is called ‘manipulation’. If you are often the victim of pranks and jokes you are being bullied. Being able to easily record and share images and video can keep the ‘joke’ going long after it would otherwise have been forgotten, and can mean many more people find out about it.

Why does it matter?

  • Bullying by people you like and call ‘friends’ is much more hurtful and often harder for you to challenge.
  • Once an image or video is uploaded it is public and can be used as evidence for legal action, even long after the event.
  • Hanging around with people who make you feel bad about yourself damages your self-esteem and confidence.
  • Other people will be affected by your actions—in how it impacts on them, and also in what they think of you.

Advice

Friends like you for who you are

  • Make choices about what you do. It should be your decision.
  • Friendships change over time, your friends should be people who you enjoy being around and are comfortable with.

Be known for what you do right

  • If everyone only ever sees evidence of you doing dumb things they think that is all there is to know. Don’t be afraid to show that there is more to you than that.
  • If people know that you like a range of things, more opportunities can open up for you.

Be prepared to say ‘No’

Group habits develop around what you do together and how you treat each other. These can change as you all get older and the membership of the group shifts over time. You don’t have to stay stuck in habits that aren’t good for you.

Printable advice sheet

To download a copy of the advice sheet, see:

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