I received this question from a student who wanted to take a stand but was afraid if she did, she would no longer be fitting in.
Q: On my bus I sit with my friend who is very opinionated. There’s another girl on the bus that my friend really doesn’t like and makes rude comments to her. I feel bad about how my friend treats her. I often nod my head in agreement to my friend’s comments, not because I want to hurt the other girl, but because I want my friend to like me. I find myself trying to fit in with her. What should I do?
A: It’s so easy to get caught up with disrespectful and rude behaviour, especially when you are trying to ‘fit in’ and be liked.
When I look back on times in school that I didn’t speak up against disrespect I realize that:
I worried about what my friends would think of me if I said something.
I wanted to be liked and to fit in.
It seemed easier to go along with it.
Taking an action that you think may cause you to be left out, made fun of, disliked or be embarrassed by, is something we all try to avoid.
Here’s a question you to ask yourself: ‘Am I being true to myself by choosing not to say or do anything about my friend’s behaviour?’
I can always tell when I’m not being true to myself because I’ll hear a little nagging voice inside my head saying, ‘Why did you do that? Why didn’t you say something?’ causing me to feel guilt and regret for my actions.