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The middle school mean girl

My former bully hasn’t made friends in high school. Should I be nice to her? 

You don’t have to go out of your way, says our elder. But be open to the possibility that she’s changed.

Dear EWC

So I recently started high school and let’s just say that I wasn’t the most popular person in middle school, not that I was a bad person but I was very introverted and didn’t really talk that much. However, over the summer between middle and high school I gained a lot of friends that were going to be in the same school as me and that helped me with my self-confidence. In middle school there was this group of girls that were very mean, and they would insult me and make me feel as unwelcome as possible when I was around them. The ‘leader’ of this group is in my high school now, but all of her friends went to separate schools, so she doesn’t really know anyone bar a couple people and I haven’t really made any effort to be nice to her because of how badly she treated me in primary and middle school. I know that you should forgive and forget but some of my worst memories from previous years were all caused by her. Honestly I just want her to have to feel so alone like I did for years. Am I a bad person?

CraigJ replies

I’d say you’re excessively normal, not bad. No one has the right to insult others or treat them poorly. So, it’s perfectly natural to feel less than enthusiastic for this person. In retrospect, it’s kind of funny how long we all tend to remember the slights we experienced through the years, so that is something we all share. I guess it’s just a part of being social animals. Hopefully she’ll have that same lesson as well, if she hasn’t already.

Good for you for caring about this and asking for some guidance. It shows your heart is in the right place. If we all just keep trying to be better people, the world is better off. We may not always succeed, but you can never be wrong doing the right thing. 

One thing you will find is that people change a lot through their school years, physically, mentally, and in social skills. I don’t think you necessarily have to go out of your way to be overly friendly to this person, but you should be open to her becoming a better adult. Sometimes people have to grow into being the best versions of themselves. 

I hope this helps a bit. Keep doing what you’re doing. It sounds like you’re well on track. 

Article #: 475713

Category: School

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