Dominance through harrasment?

By Holly Counts, Psy.D.

Q: I am 15 and have two friends. 1 is a boy and the other is a girl. The girl is my friend’s sister as well as my friend. I have recently developed stronger feelings for her. But my first friend has been touching her inappropriately…on her chest that is. And he has done this before, but to the person her brother was wanting to go out with. He lies frequently, often about things that make him seem better then us even though when we catch him on it and prove him wrong, he covers by saying i wasn’t trying or something like that. I know that is compulsive lying and that is not the problem. But is it related to the touching part? Is he trying to establish dominance through showing that he can do things that he shouldn’t do and get away with it? Please help because this is extremely important.

A: I hope that things have improved since you wrote. What your friend is doing to the girl you mentioned is wrong. I hope that you have confronted him on this and talked to her to see if she is ok. It’s one thing to touch someone’s body if you are in a relationship and the touching is wanted. It is another thing entirely if it is not wanted. I can’t tell you why he is doing this but if he doesn’t stop I suggest you tell a teacher or the school counselor. He needs to learn that this is very disrespectful to others (again assuming she doesn’t want him to touch her). Your friend may have low self-esteem and is trying to feel better about himself by lying and harassing others. I hope he gets some help. If he doesn’t change, there may be a point in which you have to decide to no longer be his friend.

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Jan 2007

APA Reference
Counts, H. (2007). Dominance through harrasment?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/01/10/dominance-through-harrasment/