Questions & Answers: A Friend Is Being Bullied
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“Questions & Answers: A Friend Is Being Bullied,” New Era, Mar. 2015, 42–43

Questions & Answers

“My friend is being bullied. What can I do to help her?”

Unfortunately, bullying behavior has been around for thousands of years, and with the Internet there are even more ways for people to be bullied. You can help your friend as you think about what Alma the Elder said at the waters of Mormon about the baptismal covenant: “Bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; yea, and [be] willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (Mosiah 18:8–9).

Here are some ideas on how you can help lighten your friend’s burden:

Talk to your leaders, teachers, and parents to get their help. They need to know what’s happening in order to help your friend.

Say something encouraging. Sometimes even a few words will help ease the situation. For example, you can say something good about your friend—both to her and to others—and let her know how important she really is.

Set an example for others by continuing to be her friend. Noah M., 16, of Florida, USA, explains, “Just being her friend can help a lot. Setting an example can also encourage others to stop bullying.”

Pray for help and listen for promptings. Remember that your friend is a beloved daughter of Heavenly Father, and He can give you and her the guidance you need.

Report cyberbullying using the tools provided on the social media sites where the bullying is taking place.

For more on the subject, see the video “Bullying—Stop It” at lds.org/go/stopNE3 and “How to Beat Bullying” (New Era, June 2004, 34) at lds.org/go/bullyNE3.

Talk Positively

Help your friend realize that she is wonderful and unique and that our Father in Heaven loves her. You can help by talking to the people bullying her too. If she’s not in the room and people are being mean, you can tell them all the wonderful things about her. By doing that, you may help them realize how great she really is.

Holly H., 16, California, USA

Stand Up for Your Friend

Be an example to those who bully her. If you feel like you’re not able to help, pray and ask for help. Pray for your friend and for the bullies. Help your friend even if it means others will bully you too. Heavenly Father will help you and your friend when you pray.

Hannah H., 13, Utah, USA

Show God’s Love

When people at school and church bullied me, a young woman in my ward reached out to help. She showed me that what others thought about me didn’t have any meaning in God’s eyes and that I should care only about what Heavenly Father thinks. Show your friend God’s love through your love and actions. Once she realizes that what the bullies think doesn’t matter and that only what God thinks of her matters, she will be able to shrug off the words and actions of the bullies.

Ellie P., 17, Washington, USA

Protect Her

It’s important to remember that you are your brother’s keeper (see Genesis 4:9), and whenever possible, help protect your friend from harm. You can tell the authorities about what is happening and take your friend away from the aggressor to avoid further problems. Think about what Jesus would do.

Victoria Q., 14, Washington, D.C., USA

Let Her Know She’s Not Alone

Engage her in conversation. Just talking to her can brighten her day and help keep her mind off the bullies. Also, if you’re there while she’s being bullied, stand by her to let her know you’re on her side. It’s a tremendous help to know that there is someone who is not against you when you think the whole world is.

Tara B., 16, Pennsylvania, USA

Treat Others the Way Christ Would Treat Them

Everyone has agency, and some people are not going to use that agency in a positive manner. We can’t make choices for them, but we can live our lives so that the Spirit can work with us. When we do the things we need to do to have the Spirit in our lives and treat others the way Christ would treat them, His love will radiate through us. Your friend, through your example, can feel comfort and confidence in the fact that our Heavenly Father loves her. As you treat the bullies as Christ would treat them, they will feel His love for them. Feeling that love can help soften their hearts and help them realize the errors of their ways.

Eli T., 19, Utah, USA

Get Help

Talk to an adult. They have a lifetime of experience, and people respect them. If you see this happening to your friend, stand up for her. It can be hard, but it will make a difference. Constantly remind your friend that what the bullies are saying isn’t true and that there are many people in this world who love her.

Justin L., 15, Minnesota, USA

Use Kindness and Care

I have a close friend who gets bullied at church and at school. Though she lives in a different state and I rarely see her, I still help her out by talking to her on the phone, giving her advice about what to do, and making her feel she is important. Use kindness and care for those who struggle with being bullied. If you see it happen, help those people out and stop the bullying.

Kellen L., 17, New Mexico, USA