When friends let you down – advice advocates #3

When friends let you down - advice advocates #3

Willow Bowen and Ruthie Light

Hello everyone!  It’s Willow and Ruthie, back at it again with another advice session. Today, we will be giving advice to a girl that was a victim racism because of the color of her skin. Despite the fact that her friends were standing near her as this was happening, they did not do anything to try to help the situation. 

The advice we were sent says “Recently, my friends and I were approached by a boy in our school that is a known racist. He started calling me, an African American girl, racial slurs like the N-word with the hard R. While these events were taking place, my friends made no effort in standing up for me. While we left the scene, I decided to confront my friends about not standing up for me, in which they responded, ‘Oh I’m sorry, next time we will do something about it if it happens again.’ They also, supposedly, blocked him on social media. About a week later I had heard that one of them unblocked him because he needed to ‘ask her a question.’ A part of me wants to believe that she will block him again right after said question is asked, but another part of me wants to end the friendship all together. What should I do?”

To start, if you are someone who does participate in saying slurs or uses them against people, we strongly advise you to stop. It is not funny and should be taken seriously. For decades people have been discriminated against because of their skin color, beliefs, or sexuality. If your friends hang out with people who partake in hate speech, then you should immediately recognize the red flags and let them know how it hurts people’s feelings. If they do not choose to stop, then they do not deserve your company. 

Next, say you do drop them, but they still decide to associate themselves with the boy. It is their choice to hang out with them, and unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about it. One thing that I (Willow) have learned is that you will act according to who you surround yourself with. If your friends keep hanging around with negative influences, they may not be doing anything to fit your best interest. If they are genuine friends and care about you they will not feed into the person that continues to put you in uncomfortable situations. One thing we would like to address in your story is the part where you said “my friends made no effort in standing up for me.” This is difficult to experience first hand, so your friends could have also been in shock (however, their choice to unblock your attacker is still not cool at all). Defending someone to another person can be extremely difficult because of the fact that people who carry the intent to purposely hurt your feelings rarely care about what you have to say, but this does not mean that we do not advise you to defend yourself. We completely support the idea of confronting your friends for their wrongs and holding the boy accountable for his actions. Just never waste time on people who don’t listen to what makes you uncomfortable. 

The moral of the story: stay away from people who do not do things according to your best interest. If someone is harassing you or calling you slurs, please let someone know what is happening. Whether it’s your school, parents, or friends. We have differences that should not be discriminated against.

If this advice helped you please let us know, and if you have any questions, you can message us on our Instagram, @adviceadvocates, to submit your own issues.