Dear American Girl,
My group of friends likes to joke around a lot. I’m the target of their jokes for some reason. It was funny at first, but now I’m sick of it. It feels like I’m the only one they’re teasing from our group. What should I do?
Here's your advice:
Don’t ignore how you’re feeling. Tell your friends that your feelings are hurt, and make sure they know that you don’t think teasing is funny. Talk it out.
-Shivani, age 9, California
You should tell them that you really don’t enjoy when they pick on you. If they don’t stop, talk to a parent and ask for advice.
-Lizzie, age 12, Hawaii
Think of a time when something funny happened to your whole group of friends. Talk about that any time they start to pick on you. Show them that it’s more fun when everyone is in on the joke.
-Jessica, age 13, California
Talk to your friends about how you feel. If they’re real friends, they’ll see that you’re upset and stop teasing you.
-Maria, age 10, Florida
Your friends might not realize that they’re doing this. Talk to them about how you feel. Once they realize that you’re upset, they should stop.
-Mia, age 9, Massachusetts
Let them know that the jokes aren’t funny. You could ask, “Why do you pick on only me? Can you please tell jokes that don’t target anyone?”
-Julianna, age 11, New Jersey
Maybe you could try hanging out with new friends who appreciate you. It’s not OK that your friends are making you feel this way.
-An American Girl fan
If your friends are bothering you, let them know. The next time they tease you, you can say, “I don’t like it when you tease me like that. Please stop. It makes me feel bad.” Another option is trying to ignore them. Because they’re you’re friends, however, this probably isn’t a good option for you.
-Emma, age 9, Oregon
Ask your friends, “How would you feel if you were the target of this group’s jokes?” They might understand and stop.
-Lizzy, age 10, Michigan
My friends did this to me, too. I suffered in silence for a while and then decided to talk to my mom. She told me to chat with them about how I felt. Finally, they stopped. I was so proud that I stood up for myself.
-An American Girl fan
Tell your friends that the jokes aren’t funny. If they don’t stop teasing you, talk to your guidance counselor.
-Cara, age 10, Texas
My friends always used to tease me. It’s never fun being the target of a joke. Be honest with your friends and tell them that you don’t appreciate how they’re treating you. I told my friends this, and they stopped right away.
-Kloe, age 13, Florida
Maybe your friends don’t know how you feel. Tell them that it bothers you, and if they stop, great! If they don’t, consider finding new friends to spend time with.
-Alaina, age 10, Kansas