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The Bully On The Bus

by Kayleigh
(North Carolina)

This is actually a problem in my life right now. And I need your help. There is a girl on my bus. She is a year younger than me. She is popular. I sit behind her.

She asked me my name and I told her. Then she started screaming my name in an accent. She continously mocks me in her accent. She tells me how she likes my glasses and my scarf, both of which are dorky.

I'm not unpopular at school. I'm just a regular kid.

I tried to ignore her. That didn't work. I asked her to stop. That didn't work. I told her that I knew that she just wanted attention. That didn't work. I told her to do it to someone else. That didn't work.

Some other kids on my bus have told her to stop because her accent is annoying. She still doesn't stop.

I don't wanna include my mom. She will blow things out of proportion because she loves me too much. I wanna tell the bus driver. But I don't think she will be effective. Especially since she hasn't said/done anything. I need your help.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Kayleigh, and thanks for telling your story here. Getting bullied is tough, and it's not always easy to know what to do. You sound like a smart girl, and you've tried some good things--but like you said, they didn't work. I will try to help.

I'm going to throw out some things, you look them over, and if any of them sound good to you, give them a try. I think the answer is in you, so I strongly encourage you to trust yourself.

Every morning when you get up, do a visualizing exercise where you picture one or more of the following things:

  • You feel so good, so confident, so cool that this girl doesn't bother you.
  • As soon as you see her, call her name out loudly, smile, and say, "How's it going?" or something like that. In other words, you play her game, but you're not making fun of her. You're being genuinely friendly. (Remember, you're at home visualizing this--you may or may not actually do it.)
  • The problem just goes away. She gets bored, and starts paying attention to something or someone else.

The reason to visualize these types of things is to help you be calm and positive, before you get on the bus.

This girl is really focused on you, Kayleigh. You might try to see if you can become her friend. I know this might not be at all desirable to you, but just in case you're open, it could really solve your problem.

Turn the tables. Tell her you like her outfit, but see if you can say it like you mean it. Don't just do it once--do it again and again, and I think things will change. Call her name, beat her to the punch, greet her before she greets you, with a big smile on your face. It will help if you can visualize it ahead of time.

Finally, every time you think of the situation, just tell yourself, "That problem is already solved." Say that to yourself over and over, no matter what. And then it will be true.

Make up your mind to have fun on the bus. You can do this.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

Good News Flash!

Kayleigh wrote back after receiving my response. This is what she said:

"She stopped! Thank you, thank you, thank you thank you!"

Way to go, Kayleigh!

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