The Regret of Non-Confrontation

Some of the most important relationships a girl has growing up are the relationships with her friends. The time spent with them is often the foundation of a bond that lasts for many years. They would defend their friends with everything they had if they thought someone was hurting them. Fear of damaging, or potentially breaking this bond, makes it difficult to confront a friend that is doing something you don’t agree with. I faced this dilemma when I realized one of my friends was a bully.

I didn’t see it at first, but over time I started noticing her bully behavior. I would see and hear her tormenting other girls by verbally harassing them.  I was bothered by her actions, but I wasn’t sure what I should do about it. If I confronted her, I might lose her friendship and become the focus of her bullying. If I said nothing, I was no better than she was because I was allowing this to happen to other girls.

I said very little to her about her behavior. I chose not to join in on her bullying, but I didn’t stand up to her, either. Over time, I started spending less and less time with her. By the time we were out of school our friendship was over. Looking back, I wish I would have addressed it better than I did. I now know that her bullying was due to her own pain and self-esteem issues. I could have talked to her as a true friend does and worked through it with her. Confronting her may have ended the friendship sooner, but it also could have led to her getting the help she needed to work through her issues. Making that tough choice could have made our friendship stronger, and we would probably still be friends today.

Sometimes you have to take a risk, setting aside your own fears to help someone you care about. Saying nothing lead to the very result I feared would happen if I confronted my friend. It’s very hard to tell the ones we care about we think they are doing something wrong. They may not be ready to hear what we are saying and then react horribly.  We still should confront them because it’s the right thing to do. If we allow them to continue their wrong actions, we are just as guilty as they are. If we lose them as friends, it’s an unfortunate but necessary consequence to upholding the integrity of doing what’s right.

Amy Childs is originally from Tampa. She moved to Gainesville in high school, graduating from Buchholz. She received a degree in Exercise Science from the University of South Florida in 2001 and is currently in the MBA Healthcare Management program at Saint Leo University. Being the Wellness Coordinator for Alachua County Government employees and mom to 3 kids keeps her very busy and constantly entertained. She enjoys being active and exercising every day, especially joining her boys in the weight room. Fun fact: Amy loves sandwiches and enjoys creating unique ones.