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Peer Pressure and Bullying Social pressure can take many different forms, including intimidation, bullying and even physical attacks. If you feel you could be a victim or perpetrator (who wishes to stop) of bullying, talk about it here.

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blacklilac Offline
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Am I being Peer Pressured into bullying? - April 22nd 2013, 02:24 PM

Hello, thanks for reading this! Just a heads up, it'll be pretty long.

There's a girl in my class, whom I find pretty annoying, and apparently so do the rest of the class. I can't agree with her way of doing things or dealing with things, but I feel that even if I can't really stand her attitude towards school and work, as long as she doesn't hurt me or offend me greatly I don't have to cut ties with her? I've taken to avoiding sitting with her during the classes and lectures we have together though, because she either doesn't pay attention and keeps talking, or hasn't prepared for the class and refuses to contribute, which is affecting my concentration.

Point is, I don't really like her, but I see no reason to ensure that the rest of the class or my social circle feels the same way and dislikes her as well? I've always thought that if a friend wanted to befriend someone I really dislike, it's fine since I don't have any authority in dictating how my friends should choose their friends? We all dislike people for different reasons, and perhaps the person shows another side of his/her personality to that person, which is why they like them? (convoluted sentence oh dear I hope you understand what I'm trying to say)

Bit of background info here, this girl classmate, her name's Stella, used to be part of a clique with two other girls. Stella heads a students' council in my school, and another girl from that clique, Lynette had recently been promoted to vice-president (the previous vice-president served only half of her 1 year term before choosing to step down). In theory, Stella and Lynette would work really well together, because Stella is a big-picture person who can't be bothered with details, and Lynette is a detail-oriented perfectionist who can't really see the big picture. But long story short, friction occured, huge fight, they're no longer talking to each other. The other girl in the clique sided with Lynette, and so did the majority of my classmates, aided by the fact that most of them were already nursing secret dislikes of Stella.

So basically now the only people willing to interact with Stella are me and a few other classmates. I'm just really confused why my classmates feel the need to pick sides in a fight that wasn't even theirs, and why they have the 'you're either with us or against us' mentality when all I really want is to stay in the middle and not be involved in the conflict. I simply can't straight out ignore a person, and I see no point in taking up another's fight for no reason. My classmates have been treating me differently these days, becoming cooler towards me, and there's an apparent divide whenever we have breaks together (Stella on one end of the bench, middling kids like me or Stella supporters [I don't know who they are] and the rest of the class on another end. Or it'll be no one talking to Stella if she sits in the middle)

There was a conversation between Lynette and some of the more outspokenly-against-Stella girls in my class, and I think I'll just reproduce the gist of the conversation here because I really don't know what to make of it.

Lynette: "Hey Alicia so whose side are you on?"
Alicia: "Yours!"
Lynette: "Jyot?"
Alicia: "Yours too, of course!" *sees me standing there* "What about her?"
Lynette: "I think she's switched sides."
Me: "What are you guys talking about?"
Lynette & Alicia: "Oh nothing, never mind!"
and then Lynette later tells me that this was about the whole Stella-Lynette fight. So we're supposed to take sides? And I had switched sides, assuming I had even picked a side in the first place?

I want this to stop but no one I talk to seems willing to. I hate this idea of ostracizing someone else, because I've been ostracized for much of my 6 years in primary school, and I've always been struggling with friendship and trust issues, and I really don't like it. In this vein it seems logical for me to stick by Stella, but I can't stand her either, and I really don't know what to do. This is so hypocritical. I don't want to be perceived as being on her side, but I don't want to be perceived as having taken Lynette's side either. And both of them were my friends before this whole blow up. Now I can still interact with them, but I'm so conflicted, must I take sides or do I just continue in this awkward situation and rapidly cooling friendships with the rest of the class? I actually don't like either of their attitudes towards commitments and responsibilities, but I don't see why I must cut them off or take any of their sides?

And Lynette is painted to be the poor victim in this whole thing, with a classmate telling me that she never wanted it to blow up into a class issue, and that she would never ask people to pick her side or even a side... but that's not what I saw?

Or I could be just overthinking things, I really don't know. Can't I just be neutral? No one seems to believe that possible.

Apologies for the long rambly post.
   
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Collies R Us Offline
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Re: Am I being Peer Pressured into bullying? - April 24th 2013, 08:41 PM

Hey. I've gone through a similar situation.
There was this girl in our gym class that nobody seemed to like, and truthfully, I wasn't very fond of her either. But they started to bully her and leave her out of things, so I tried to stand with her. It wasn't a dramatic stand-off between me and the bullies; it was more like I dragged her away when they start the teasing sort of thing. I talked to her.
This year I don't have any classes with her, but I see her occasionally and it comforts me to see that she's found her own group of friends.

If this helps with your situation, I don't know, but if I were in your shoes I would try to stay neutral up to a point; if they bully the girl or desert her I think I would try to accompany her. Maybe even stand up for her. Sure, my reputation might take a blow, but if it keeps them from killing each other....
I don't like this side-taking thing either. I guess try to stay neutral but stay open. Don't slander either side, don't take either side, but if you see some injustice or cruelty, perhaps you should act.
This is just what sounds good to me; I don't know your entire situation so it may be different. Good luck with this.... Heh, my mom would describe people like this as 'worse than first grade girls' because apparently they have a lotta drama.
God bless.
- Collies R Us


"Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the LORD your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you." (Deut. 31:6 NRSV of the Bible)
   
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coolkid98 Offline
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Re: Am I being Peer Pressured into bullying? - May 4th 2013, 05:32 PM

I would talk to someone about this maybe a trusted family member or friend
   
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Re: Am I being Peer Pressured into bullying? - May 13th 2013, 11:39 PM

In my opinion, I would stay out of this situation completely. Don't surround yourself with mean, or degrading people. Try to choose friends carefully, but I would never advise choosing a side. Keep your opinion to yourself, even if you're asked for it.


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