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Getting Picked On
If you're feeling like you have a sign pasted on you that reads: "MAKE FUN OF ME, PLEASE" then you're not alone. Check out these questions from kids who are dealing with some tough stuff. Read what our Mentors and experts have to say about each situation.

Advice Topics:

Advice Questions about Getting Picked On:

  • GOThere's this boy in my class who always calls me names like ‘Walrus’ or ‘Giant’ and a lot of other hurtful and mean stuff. I hate being in the same class as him, and I try to be as far away from him as possible. All my friends know about it and they always say, ‘Don't listen to him. Just ignore him.’ But every morning I wake up terrified to go to school because I'm afraid I'll be teased…I'm losing all my confidence, and I just want the name calling to stop.

  • GOThere's this girl at school who thinks she's the boss. Some kids even call her that! She thinks she owns everyone!!! For example, at lunch, she puts all her trash on my plate and expects ME to throw it away. And even worse, she's my next-door neighbor! Whenever I'm nice enough to let her come over, she takes advantage of my stuff and always tries to get me to buy her things online! How do I stand up to her? PLEASE HELP!

  • GOA lot of kids in my class call me weird. I know that I shouldn't take it to heart and that most of the time they are just joking. But when they say it over and over again. What should I do?

  • GOI am bullied all the time, I have ADHD and Asperger's syndrome, so it is impossible for me to ignore all the constant tapping and banging and foul language around me. A lot of people do this on purpose and when I try to tell an adult, they just say they can't help it. What do I do?

  • GOI am a vegetarian. All my friends make fun of me, like when they talk about restaurants they like, mostly it's ALL meat. They do that right in front of me when they know I can't eat meat. I know I can't get out of being a vegetarian and all, but how can I solve this?

  • GOI'm the nerd, freak, or weirdo...whatever you call me, I'm getting picked on at school. It's not really constant bullying, teasing is what it is. Kids make fun of the way I look, talk, who my friends are, and more. Even the little 6th graders make fun of me (I'm in 8th grade). When I try to tell people my problem, they tell me to suck it up, be a man for once, etc. I feel like I've lost almost all of my confidence and self-esteem. Please help!

  • GOThere is a boy at school who asks out a lot of girls just for the fun of it. I don't think this is funny, and it seems disrespectful to the girls he asks out for a joke. He asked me out once, and I politely turned him down, but now he's started a rumor that we're dating! I'm really upset about this because I don't like him at all and feel uncomfortable with people thinking this. My friends asked me a lot of questions about it and I made sure they knew the truth, but I don't know if anyone else is talking behind my back. I'm worried about what people will think about me and how to deal with this boy!

  • GOThere is this boy in my class that is so popular. All the girls in my class think he is so great and cute. I think he is a show off. He keeps calling me names like ‘rabbit girl’ and ‘beaver face’ because I have a bit of an overbite and it's really starting to bug me. Because he is so popular, a lot of the girls stand up for him so it's hard for me to stand up for myself. So far I haven't told anybody, not even my mom. I really need help because he is doing it all the time. Please help me!

  • GOI'm a black girl, and I go to an all-white school. I feel like nobody likes me because I'm black. I'm always getting rejected. How do I have confidence in myself?

  • GOI am in eighth grade this year (my last year of middle school) and I am getting picked on so much. I do ignore it and act like it doesn't get to me but it does so much. A group of girls always make fun of me, talk behind my back, and spreads vicious rumors. I asked them to stop, but then they started doing it even more. All of them were my friends but then they started hating on me because they thought I was ‘annoying’. Even my best friend I trusted so much betrayed me and backstabbed me and joined that group and started making fun of me. It hurts so much to see all of my old friends in a group making fun of me. I cry every day after school when I come home. I hate school and never look forward to it. I even considered being home schooled but my dad won't let me. And I know if I tell the principal they won't stop and they will tease me even more. Please help me! I am always depressed now and thanks to this situation, I have been getting bad grades lately.

  • GOI'm going to Middle School next year. Of course, I am quite excited! The only problem is, I'm accused of being 'emo.' I know when you're emo you hurt yourself and write sad stuff, poetry, stories, etc. Being really smart doesn't help either. I'm known for being the smart girl that likes to help people. But, whenever someone wants me to help, their friends accuse me of being emo. I love helping people! Do you have any advice? I really would like people to stop accusing me of something I don't even do!

  • GOI get picked on for being flat chested by this guy. I notice that almost all of the girls in my grade have bigger breasts than me. This guy also makes fun of me because I haven't got my period and stuff like that. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

  • GOI have been having a horrible year this year! Almost all the kids in my class hate me! I have bad acne, glasses, and am very tall and skinny. So far, I have had taunts and insults ever day this year. I had my winter jacket stolen, one guy threatened to beat me up, and I got a note saying, "Go jump in a hole." My parents and teacher are really involved, and I've talked to my class about how hurt I feel. My family, teacher, and I have done every possible thing I can think of, but it's only getting worse. What do I do? I need to get some friends and some control in my life!

  • GOI'm in the 7th grade and I get bullied ALOT. The dean, counselor, and even the assistant principal are aware of it. They even switched my class! But in my new class I still get bullied! I talk to the counselor almost every day and nothing seems to work! I do the right things by ignoring them and not responding back. But it stills continues on and on. On top of that when I try to stick up for myself they just laugh and continue their nonsense. I really can't take it anymore, nowadays I dread going to school, I don't even look forward towards another day. What should I do? Please IML I really need your help!

  • GOI am the only girl in my class who wears a bra. When my friends see me in it, they start laughing and pointing. I laugh it off, but every day I feel more hurt. I love wearing a bra, and I don't want to get rid of it. What should I do?

  • GO"A person has started a rumor about me that I wear a thong! I'm in 6th grade. Can you tell me what to do to help me stop this rumor?"

  • GOI go to an advanced class and for some strange reason, everyone picks on me! They call me names like " Pimple Face" because I always get one huge zit on my cheek and my chin. And I just got glasses and I am 100% certain that they're gonna call me 4-eyes. Even my best friend says things that are horrible about me. Some of the things they say are like telling me that I am weird, ugly, stupid, annoying, or that I dress badly. I am a huge tomboy so I wear football jerseys, baseball caps, basketball uniforms, baggy pants, big shirts, and my hair is always down and messy. I just want it to stop!!! I can't take it anymore! They tease me so bad, that I come home and cry for at least an hour! Please!!! Make it stop!!

  • GOMy best friend makes fun of me because I'm not as developed as the other girls in my grade. All of my closest friends give me a hard time about it. They will even say it in front of people I like. I have tried talking to them about it but they just deny they ever said it. Now everyone in middle school thinks of me as flat-chested. What should I do?

  • GOI am a big tomboy and everyone always picks on me. They think it doesn't bother me but it does sometimes. I just want curl into a ball and stay away from all of them. Even my friends pick on me about letting my pants hang down and wearing boxers and always wearing a hat backwards. I like the way I look but nobody else does. All the boys pick on me and call me bad names. They always put me down and mostly every day I feel like no one wants me to be around them, so I mostly always stay in. What should I do about everyone saying these things to me?

  • GOMy best friend and I are outcasts on our swim team. Everyone hates me because of what I like, and they hate my friend because she's from a different team. I cry a lot and my mom wants to tell their mom and I'll feel like a baby hiding behind a mom if she does. I used to enjoy it, but now it feels like a death sentence to go to practice. I really want them to stop being so mean but I'm really shy and don't know how to defend myself. Hope you can help, this is really important to me and my friend.

  • GO"I am being teased a lot because I listen to oldies like Barry Manilow. It's not my fault I grew to like it! Help!!!!!"

  • GOIn school people call me freckle face. I don't like it but I'm very shy and soon I'm getting braces, so then people will make fun of me more. I'm way too shy to stand up for myself. My friend stands up for me a lot but isn't always around when I need her most. What should I do?

  • GOThere's a girl in my class that everyone picks on, and I want it to stop. But when I stand up for her they make fun of me too! How can I make sure we both don't get picked on? We've tried everything! Some other girls even told a teacher but it didn't help!

  • GOI am a Christian. I go to church, and everything. But some of the people think I'm weird and stupid because I go to church. Should I stand up for myself? Or should I hang low?

  • GOI am in 6th grade. I play sports, and although I am not the best player, I got an award for best team spirit. There are some boys in my gym class that pick on me every day and call me names. My mom wants to get involved because she says she is worried about me. I play bassoon in band and am in advanced classes in school. The boys who pick on me really hurt my feelings by telling me I don't have any friends, which I don't have a lot of. Now, I don't want to play sports because they pick on me if I do but if I quit they will pick on me too. I love school but I dread gym class, that is where these boys mostly pick on me. What can I do to make them stop?

  • GOI'm having trouble with this kid. At my locker he is always jamming it, so I can't open it. Then if I get him angry, he will punch me and drop his books on me. I want to tell him how I feel, but he always says, Jenny you're such an idiot, why should I listen to you? and I get furious. I'm not the only one with this problem. What should I do to save myself and the class?

  • GOI am in the 8th grade and have a problem. There is a boy in my grade who is always touching me in places I am not comfortable with. Sometimes he pretends to be shaking my hand then touches my chest in a very weird way. The first time he did it, I thought he just missed or something, but he kept on doing it. I have asked him to stop countless times but he doesn't. Today he snapped my bra (which has become a habit of his). I have threatened to tell the school counselor but he continues to harass me. I don't want to get him in trouble because he was my best friend last year and we are still close. His mom is my mom's best friend since college and I don't want to ruin that. Please help me, IML.

  • GOI am 11 years old, and I get made fun of because I watch shows like Dragon Tales. I still play with dolls, wear bows in my hair, and try to dress and act nice. I love all the things like that, but other girls my age act like theyre older and dress sexy. Please help me in what to do about it. Thank you so much.

  • GOOther boys at school make fun of me because I mostly hang out with girls. They say Im not normal and I am getting tired of it! Help me please!

  • GOMy parents keep making me wear these dumb wrist guards when I go rollerblading. No one else is wearing any padding and I get laughed at. I can't change their minds. What should I do?

  • GOI originally come from Canada, but am living in South Africa. I go to a South African school. It is okay, but the people mock my accent and don't take me seriously. What should I do to get them to accept me?

  • GO"There is this boy I like and I haven't kissed him yet, but everyone is spreading rumors and saying that I did kiss him. Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

  • GO"I have a friend who is made fun of a lot. Since I play with her and sit by her, I get made fun of too. I can't tell the teacher. What should I do?"

  • GO"At school, sometimes people make fun of how big my lips are and how big my nose is. I hate it. What should I do if it happens again?"

  • GOAshley, Matt, and Phill want to know how to handle it when people make fun of them because they're overweight.


  • GO"I am in grade 5. I am the tallest kid in the class, and I am sort of one of the biggest kids in my class. All of the boys call me 'Bigfoot' and a lot of common names that other people may be called. They think that I have no feelings because I am so tall and big. What should I do?"


  • GO"I'm sick and tired of people making fun of my height. They call me 'Midget,' 'Shorty,' & they make fun of my weight, calling me 'Bones' + 'Skinny-Minny' & 'Anorexic.' What should I do?"

  • GOJulia and Lila need advice because boys are teasing them physically.

  • GO"I have been an American girl since 8 years old. I came from Vietnam. Now, when I was growing up and doing good in school, everyone teased me and my twin brother. They say I am Chinese and they try to say Chinese words, and now I feel bad about it. I need help!!!!!!! P.S. I am a fourth grader."

  • GO"Some kids at school make fun of me all of the time. I'm afraid that they'll make up some excuse to get me in trouble if I tell them how I feel. What should I do?"


Dear IML,
I have been an American girl since 8 years old. I came from Vietnam. Now, when I was growing up and doing good in school, everyone teased me and my twin brother. They say I am Chinese and they try to say Chinese words, and now I feel bad about it. I need help!!!!!!! P.S. I am a fourth grader.
--Lee, 10

An expert responds:
From Nyla Rogers, M.F.T.

Lee, a lot of times people are afraid of what they don't understand. Maybe you could take the kids aside and correct them, saying that you are Vietnamese, not Chinese, and explain to them the difference. If you don't want to talk to the kids directly then you could explain to your teacher what is going on. I like IML Mentor Elizabeth's suggestion, listed below. Maybe your teacher can let the whole class have a special day where everyone talks about their background. This will give you a chance to share your story.

The IML Mentors respond:

I have never been teased about my ethnicity, because in Miami, Florida there is an overwhelming majority of Cuban-Americans like myself, but I have seen others get teased and this is what I have learned. The people teasing you are obviously ignorant. They don't know anything about Vietnam, and your culture. I think that would you should do is confront them.

The next time they say you're Chinese or they try to say Chinese words, you should tell them that you're not Chinese, you're Vietnamese and you should ask them if they are interested in learning from you about it. If they try to say Chinese words, ask them what they are trying to say, and say it the right way, in Vietnamese. Then tell them that if they would like to learn how to speak Vietnamese, you would love to teach them.

I bet that in no time, they'll stop making fun of you and start asking how to say a bunch of different phrases. This might even make you some new friends.

Always remember that you are special, because you have lived in two places, and you can speak two languages. Most people (like me) have barely been out of the state!
Good Luck,
-- Cyntianna, IML Mentor

People can be so mean. I too was harassed because of my ethnicity by many ignorant people. It never made me sad though, because my mom prepared me for what might be expected. If anything, the harassment made me mad. A lot of times I wanted to fight and scream because I didn't think it was right, and it isn't right. You can't always ignore it because that doesn't mean it will go away. In one way or another, it's going to always be there.

One time when I was walking home from school, some ignorant little boys started name-calling. I know I shouldn't have, but I yelled words back at them. A really nice teacher had been walking not too far behind me and she walked me the rest of the way home. She made me feel a little better. So from that point on, I always hung around with friends who I knew didn't care about what (ethnicity) I was, and would stick up for me if something like that would happen again.

I'm not saying always rely on others, because you're going to have to be strong yourself. So far I think you're doing pretty good to have come from another country and do so well.
--Tiffany, IML Mentor

I personally have never been teased because of my ethnicity, but I have been teased for other things. I've been teased for things I can't control, like being tall. I realized that I have to accept myself for who I am.

You're you for a reason. Learn to love you and love everything that makes you different. The first step to others accepting you is to accept yourself.

But, if being teased is a real problem, you could try talking to your fellow classmates about it. If this doesn't work you could try talking to your teacher. Maybe they can let the whole class have a special day where everyone talks about their background, and this will give you a chance to tell everyone about the 'you' they don't know. Remember, everyone comes from somewhere. Everyone has a past and ancestors.
--Elizabeth, IML Mentor

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Dear IML,
Some kids at school make fun of me all of the time. I'm afraid that they'll make up some excuse to get me in trouble if I tell them how I feel. What should I do?
--Heather, Age 10

An expert responds:
From Paul Horowitz, M.D.

Hello there, Heather. Thank you for your question! It must make you pretty sad to be "made fun of" by those kids. They might not know how you feel though. Sometimes, just telling them how they make you feel will be enough to make them stop. Talking directly with those kids can be a hard thing to do. But it's important for them to understand how the things they say, and the things they do can make someone else feel.

If they continue to make fun of you, there is no choice but to try and avoid them. You should tell the teacher that you're trying to stay away from them also. I'm sure there are other kids at school who would like to have you as a friend. And remember, a true friend would never say or do something to hurt your feelings on purpose. Hold your head high.

The IML Mentors respond:

Kids can really be so mean sometimes. I know what it's like to be made fun of, and it feels horrible. I'm so sorry you have to feel this way. You should not be afraid to get in trouble for telling someone. If you want to try talking to these bullies first you can attempt that. One way to approach that might be talking to just one of them. If you talk to them as a group, most likely they will start to pick on you again. BUT, if you try just talking to one, that person might be able to understand your side. Often bullies feed off one another, but when they're alone they're harmless. If you don't want to do this, you can try talking to your parents about it. Your parents can call the teacher or principal about what these kids are doing. If you don't want to talk to your parents about it, try talking to one of the teachers. The teachers are supposed to make their classrooms a healthy environment, and it's their job to make sure students aren't unhappy.
--Jenna, IML Mentor

I used to get made fun of as a child, because I had a funny tooth. I told one of my teachers, and she talked to the kids who were making fun of me. They realized how much they were hurting me, and so they stopped teasing me. If this doesn't work, stay away from the kids who are making fun of you. If they are mean to you, you do not have to stay around them.
--Danielle, IML Mentor

Hi Heather,
Teasing is a big, not very smart thing throughout school, but there is one thing you have to remember. They only tease you because they are insecure about themselves, and you have something they wish they had, whether it be an awesome personality, great hair, or basically anything!
--Jaron, IML Mentor

Trust me, I know how you feel, but by telling these kids how much they bother you, you've got nothing to lose. I know this is a very hard thing to do, but I'm sure you are strong and more than able to do so. If that doesn't work, try telling your teacher. You have nothing to be afraid of. They are no better then you. Be brave and stand up for yourself. When I was being bullied in elementary school, I told my teacher and she talked to my whole class about it, and it really helped to know that someone was on my side.
--Lindsey, IML Mentor

Read more about dealing with Bullies.

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