What to Do If Your College Friend Is Bullied

a guy holding his face in hands in despair

In this article we’re going to take a look at some “safe plays” you can depend on should a bullying issue come up with someone you’re close to. These days it’s no joke. Our point here is to make sure you’re informed and you can cover your freaking ass as well. And, with that said let’s get right to it.

1 – Examine Whether It’s an Isolated Incident or an Issue

Honestly, saying the word “bully” these days on campus is like saying “bomb” on an airplane. People don’t just go throwing it around or jumping to conclusions. If your friend hasn’t been roughed up physically, then take the time to evaluate the matter closely. Was is coincidental or situational in nature? Is it likely to happen again, or has it been going on for a while? Is your friend overreacting…honestly?

Furthermore, the last thing you want to do is to cause a bunch of drama or potentially label someone a bully only to find out that it was all just a big misunderstanding. And secondly, people today need to be a little more resilient. Sometimes these situations are points in the road that define our characters. Confrontations, if they don’t get violent, are a part of life.

If it’s an issue, confront your friend about it.

If a serious physical, emotional, psychological or verbal abuse is taking place, then you need to confront not the bully, but your friend about it. What’s up? How long has this been going on? How serious is it? Why haven’t they stood up for themselves yet, or if they have, why haven’t they sought help up to this point?

Let’s be honest, many times it’s the weaker that get picked on. Weaker in many different senses of the word, not just physically. This type of treatment wears down on us and takes its toll, especially when we’re younger.

2 – Figure Out If It’s Possible to Confront the Bully Without Making Things Worse

No, you shouldn’t “confront” anyone on a social media channel. That’s just downright childish. Confrontations should ideally happen in controlled and safe or public environments where a physical encounter (otherwise known as big trouble) can be avoided.

Is it possible to simply confront this person and in the matter of fact ask, “Why are you bullying me/my friend?” Put them on the spot. Don’t be afraid to confront them publically if they are indeed a bully and no one has had the guts to do it yet. Oftentimes this can be the wakeup call that “bullies” which are human being too, need.

But, if it’s likely to cause trouble or just doesn’t seem like the smart play then avoid the person or group and skip to the next strategy. There’s no reason to put your or your friend’s safety at risk. If the goal is revenge, or is anger-based then step back and take a deep breath. These days is this really something you want to risk? Colleges are deathly afraid of bad press, and bullying is a paramount issue that no colleges want to be attached to.

3 – Take Advantage of Any College Mediation Counselors or Services

Chances are your college has mediation counselors and services that can pretty much take care of the situation for you. They’ll arrange the confrontation in a highly controlled environment. 9 times out of 10 mediation services get things worked out without more trouble. And, there’s absolutely no shame in turning to them.

Again, “bullying” is like kryptonite. Everyone wants to avoid it. These people are trained to solve problems. If you’re a freshmen or sophomore living in dorms there’s probably a mediation counselor for your dorm. Regardless, the perpetrator will know afterwards that they’re on watch and their college career is now “on the radar” so make sure that contacting mediation services is warranted.

4 – Don’t Even Think About Retaliating in a Way That Will Create a Much Bigger Problem

To be blunt, the cops could so easily get involved and if they do then you’re in for some serious trouble if you’re a part of the shenanigans. And here’s the elephant in the room: school shootings. The sad fact is that they’re way too common these days they’re oftentimes connected to some form of bullying.

No one’s saying you’ll do anything like that, but if you or your friend start talking tough or saying retarded things about retaliating someone is likely to take you at your word, call the cops and you could have a full-on swat team invade your dorm room. This is serious!

Don’t retaliate. Be an adult and do things the right way. And, if your friend is out looking for trouble that could jeopardize your life and your goals, then maybe you should reexamine your friendship? What do you think?

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