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 Questions about Getting Picked On:
- There'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.
- There'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!
- A 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?
- I 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?
- I 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?
- I'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!
- There 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!
- There 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!
- I'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?
- I 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.
- I'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!
- I 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?
- I 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!
- I'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!
- I 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?
- 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?"
- I 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!!
- My 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?
- I 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?
- My 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.
- "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!!!!!"
- In 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?
- There'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!
- I 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?
- I 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?
- I'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?
- I 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.
- I 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.
- Other 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!
- My 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?
- "I 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?"
- "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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
- "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?"
- "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?"
- Ashley, Matt, and Phill want to know how to handle it when people make fun of them because they're overweight.
- "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?"
- "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?"
- Julia and Lila need advice because boys are teasing them physically.
- "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."
- "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?"
I'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?
--From Renae, 11
I can't really tell you how to have confidence in yourself; it's not something you can learn, necessarily. I can tell you that confidence usually starts with two things: pride in yourself and your abilities, and friends. To have pride in yourself, all you have to do is look in the mirror! I'll bet you're smart and you've got some accomplishments up your sleeve. That's more than enough to start with. For friends, I'd suggest you look into afterschool groups. They tend to be a great place to meet new people. If nobody at your school is giving you the time of day, even in the afterschool club, I'd suggest you start looking around your community for new ways to meet people. Doing things as simple as volunteering at a library could be the key to finding people you really like who can help you through your issues at school! My heart goes out to you. I wish you the best of luck.
--Sarah, IML Mentor
You really should be proud of yourself and your heritage. Your ancestors had to go through a lot of pain and hard work to be where you are. Don't be afraid to be who you are. Every time you enter that school or want to start talking to someone, just take a deep breath, relax, and be yourself. Hopefully, you will find friends who like you for who you are. Your background is filled with strong, confident people who weren't accepted but they found ways to become accepted.
--CinKay, IML Mentor
I know it's hard, but try not to let everyone else get to you. You have to work it! Try saying motivational things to yourself to get you excited about going to school. When you have confidence in yourself, it becomes infectious and everyone will see how strong you really are. Try making some new friends! Think up relatable topics to talk about with some of your classmates and see how that works out.
--Natalie, IML Mentor
I 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.
--From Claire, 13
Josephine Schiff, MSW, LCSW
School Social Worker
I am a school social worker, and part of my job is to talk to kids about the same issues that you are currently experiencing. Last week, I had a classroom of students read your letter to IML, and “reply” as part of our discussion about bullying and gossip and rumors. After hearing my students and reading their replies, I can say very strongly: You are Not Alone!! A large percentage (too large for me) have been picked on and “backstabbed” by people they thought were their friends. The depression, anger, and hurt can be overwhelming. Overwhelming, but not defeating.
Most of my students felt that you should talk to someone: a parent, school guidance counselor or social worker, or principal. A couple of students stated that their bullying/rumors situation improved after they brought their problems to an adult who would advocate for them. Right now you may be feeling so bad that it's difficult to find the energy to “fight” against the terrible way you are being treated. This is why you need an adult to help. Other students advised that finding a new group of friends (girls who treat you like a real friend) would help your self-esteem, and besides, you deserve good friends! One student said that to “mean girls,” this is a game. Did you ask to be a player in their game? I didn't think so.
Please talk to an adult as soon as you can. Print out this letter, and take it with you, if it will make you less nervous. Join a new club at school, or in your community in order to meet other kids who have similar interests. Remember…you deserve good friends! Please let us know how you are doing and take care of yourself.
I'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!
--From Jess, 12
The term "emo" is very stereotypical and hurtful. In fact, "emo" -- otherwise known as "emotional," which is what it is short for -- is a genre of music, and not actually a type of person. People classified as "emo" don't actually hurt themselves. Not only that, but a lot of so-called "emos" are very social and don't tend to write sad music or poetry. In fact, kids who are called "emos" are usually called that because they dress a certain way. It's one of the worst stereotypes there is and honestly, I don't understand why someone who listens to a certain genre of music is a bad person. I have friends who are called "emos" who aren't bad people at all. Anyway, you should never listen to stereotypes. They're quite awful in general because it's hard to break out of them. When someone calls you "emo," you can tell them that you're not a soup can, so you don't need a label. Try to explain that you're a person, not an object, and you have feelings, and being called "emo" -- when you're obviously not -- hurts you. Alternately, you could just ignore the friends of the person who needs your help and try to help them anyways. These people might just be trying to get under your skin. If you don't let them, they get bored, and eventually move on. I hope I helped you understand more about the term you're called, and helped you with your problem.
--Sarah, IML Mentor
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