Sometimes people say they are our friends, but they are not. They do not treat us as friends should. Friendship is all about being considerate. When people do not consider others, it can mean that they are not being good friends. Sometimes this can mean that they are a bully. Sometimes we can also act like a bully without realizing it.

What is a bully?

  • someone who makes us do things we don’t want to do

  • someone who is mean to us

  • someone who tries to make us feel bad about ourselves

  • someone who does not listen to us

  • someone who does not respect us

  • someone who hits or shoves or throws things to get their own way

Is it your friend?

If your friend does anything on the list above, they might be a bully. That means you need to talk to them about it. Tell them exactly what they are doing that you do not like. Be very clear about how it makes you feel. Ask them to change their behaviour. If they do not change, you need to stop spending time with that person. They are a bad friend. It is not okay for a person to treat you badly.

If you are not sure what to do, talk to someone you trust. Ask their advice. They might be able to tell you if they think you should end the friendship. They might have ideas about what you can do to fix your friendship. They can help you know how serious the problem is.

SAFETY TIP: If someone ever hurts you physically TELL SOMEONE RIGHT AWAY. This is not ok. Tell a family member, a teacher or even another friend. Ask for help.

Respecting Others’ Choices

Hadyn likes going out with his friends. But sometimes the others do things he is afraid to do. His balance is not great. So when it comes to high places, he tells the others, “It’s okay. You climb up, but I don’t want to do that. I will just watch you.” One of his friends used to tease him. But the others respected his decision. They told the one who was teasing to stop. Hadyn was able to feel safe and still be part of the group.


Activity/Information Sheets

The R-Word
The R-Word (81.12KB, PDF)

This document links to The R-Word website. It has facts and suggestions to help explain why people should not use the word “retarded.”

Is it you?

If you do any of the things on that list, you could be a bully. A bully is not a good friend. Bullies find it hard to keep friends.

Would you want to be friends with someone who treated you this way? Probably not.

If you do not do the things on that list, it will be much easier to keep friends.

Reminders for how to be a good friend:

  • Listen to what your friends say.

  • Do not try to make your friends do things they do not want to do

  • Be nice to your friends. They are in your life because they like you. Show them you appreciate them.

  • Respect your friends. Everyone is different. That is what makes them special.

  • Think about your friends’ feelings. Stop before you say or do something that would make them feel bad. Think about how it would make you feel if someone said or did that thing to you. If you would not like it, your friend probably would not like it either.

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