Hi Anonymous -
Do you know the difference between sympathy and empathy? Sympathy is when you feel sorry for other people. Empathy means that you actually know how they feel.
I think you’re pretty empathic. In your dreams, you know how it feels for your friends, when this guy starts picking on them and getting weird. He starts picking on you, and you’re laughing like it’s a joke - but it’s not that funny, is it?
People who try to prop themselves up by putting other people down usually are pretty insecure themselves. Have you noticed that about this guy? If you really want to be empathic, next time he does it, ask him what’s up, and if something’s bugging him. He sounds like he may need a friend to talk to - and you might be just the kind of guy who is a good listener, and who could help him out.
(He ain’t so scary...!)