May 4, 2024 at 8:29 am

Girl Is Bullied In Middle School For Her Weird Interests, But When She Reaches High School She Becomes More Popular Than Her Bully

by Ryan McCarthy

Source: Reddit/AITA/Pexels

Middle school is a time that I’m sure still haunts many of us, but if you were unlucky enough to be unpopular in middle school, you know how terrible it was.

All you want is to find friends who you fit in with, but you always feel like the butt of everyone else’s joke.

So it’s always nice to see stories like these, and vicariously work out our pre-teen trauma through seeing someone else thrive!

Because after this user had been bullied by a friend for years for having “uncool” interests, she got the last laugh when the older kids took her under their wing for having their same interests!

Check it out!

Got bullied for years, only to end up more popular than my bully

I was a very cringe, dorky kid. A big reader, into sci-fi/fantasy, loved old movies and music. Just generally too enthusiastic about the “wrong” things.

Didn’t help that my family was too broke to keep up with trends and, to top it off, I was an undiagnosed little ADHD weirdo with uhh…not great social skills.

In early middle school, my longtime best friend decided being friends with me was social suicide. They were very preoccupied with fitting in, so I became a liability in her eyes.

But OP said her ex-best friend still kept her around, even if only to punch down to her in front of her cool friends!

Instead of spurning me altogether, she’d let me tag along, but began to badly bully me on a regular basis.

Anytime I gushed about my interests, this girl would make a disgusted face, then pointedly look to other kids like “Ummm, ok. Weird” for a cheap laugh.

Sometimes she’d begin taunting me in front of a whole classroom about not having any friends. I’d angrily insist I had friends, only for her to sneer “Name one. Name one friend”.

I’d scan the faces around me–including hers–knowing from experience that if I named any of them, they’d yell “Ew, you actually thought we were friends?” and laugh in my face.

And the rest of their group of “friends” soon followed her former best friend’s lead!

I’d get stood up as a joke, I’d get ditched, I’d get dogpiled at sleepovers. All the classics and all spearheaded by my former best friend (lets call her FBF).

However, I simply did not have the self-esteem to stand up to her or ditch her. I just took it, I thought I deserved it. Three to four years of this.

Then we hit high school. One of the girls my former best friend began to hang with had an older brother who was a member of the ~Cool Older Alt-Kid~ clique.

When he allowed us all to tag along with him to a local concert one night, we ended up being introduced to his friends.

That concert was when OP’s luck turned around completely!

I remember it clearly: I was trying to sell my FBF on the old Cary Grant film, Arsenic and Old Lace.

Just as FBF began to ridicule me, one of the older girls whirled around to exclaim “OHH I LOVE THAT MOVIE”.

Within 10mins of arriving, I shifted from standing with my former friend group to the Cool Older Kid group.

Turns out we had a lot in common and it felt incredible finally meeting people who shared my interests.

Needless to say her ex best friend was less than thrilled with this turning of the tables….

Then I looked back at FBF and found her seething across the room. She was baffled; why did the people she wanted to impress prefer someone like me over herself.

It turns out Cool Older Alt-Kids are also cringe dorks, they just happen to pull it off by framing it as being “Interesting” and “Creative”.

Within 3 months of starting High School, I barely associated with my former bullies. I was too busy going to shows, playing D&D, thrifting, and meeting all sorts of new people at parties.

A few times, early on, FBF pressured me into bringing her along to social events with my new friends, but people were always very underwhelmed by her.

I’m sure it didn’t help that most of them knew her reputation as a mean girl by then (dang I wonder who told them). This frustrated FBF to no end.

And apparently, OP and her social success were living in her former friend’s head rent free!

Every now and again, I’d hear through the grape vine that FBF was bitching about me to anyone who’d listen.

“She thinks she’s somebody, but she’s not. I have no idea why those people even like her, what do they even see in her??”.

It’d always catch me off guard, like “You’re this worked up over me just living my life? That’s weird, I don’t even think about you”.

By the end of their years in high school, OP said her former best friend was floundering!

Ironically, FBF ended up being something of a forgettable nobody in High School; she wasn’t particularly interesting, funny, nice or smart.

She started adopting some the very same interests she’d bullied me for liking and pretended she’d always been into them.

Didn’t achieve much, I think people could sense it was performative. She was always too busy trying to chase being “Cool” to realize other people value authenticity above all else.

So OP left us all with some valuable advice, find people who value you for being yourself!

It was a pretty nice lesson. Your sense of humor, taste in music, etc. might be considered cringe by one person, but they might make you stand out to another.

It’s all subjective. At the end of the day, though, being a nasty bully isn’t gonna endear you to people!

Maybe her friend should have spent a little more time on finding herself instead of focusing on tearing OP down. Nobody likes a bully!

Reddit loved seeing OP find friends that valued her, with this Mom saying she was trying to teach her daughters the same lesson.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Others focused on OP’s exquisite taste in movies!

Source: Reddit/AITA

This user said we can all relate to being the 12 year old who thinks they will never fit in.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Finally, this user said middle school is definitely the worst, but every year after gets better for you!

Source: Reddit/AITA

Life is too short to worry about fitting in.

Do what makes you happy and you’ll find people who feel the same way!

If you liked this post, you might want to read this story about a teacher who taught the school’s administration a lesson after they made a sick kid take a final exam.