If you are being physically or verbally bullied at school, know that you are not alone. The best way to overcome physical bullying is to not tolerate it. Physical bullying includes being hit or punched, verbal bullying - including teasing or name calling, emotional bullying where you are ignored, or threatening gestures and/or cyberbullying which can include receiving insulting or sexual messages by phone, text, or email. The following are some simple do and don’t tips to help you get through this and stop the bullying.
It can be hard to tell an adult that you are being bullied. But an adult will help stop the bullying. Talk to an adult that you trust - your parents, a teacher, a counselor, your minister or a family friend - someone who you believe will listen and cares about you. Be sure to tell the person what kinds of bullying you are experiencing, how long it has been going on and who is doing it. If you are afraid to tell someone on your own, bring a friend with you to provide support. Ask the adult what they are going to do and explain what you are afraid of.
Bullies usually continue to bully because they think you are afraid of them. The next time the bully makes a comment tell them to stop. Be brave when you do this. If you sound afraid they will continue to believe they can get away with their behavior. When you confront a bully, do so in front of others in a place you consider safe. Quite often the bully will back off since they would rather prey on people who appear weaker than they are.
If the bullying is physical or antagonistic try to stay calm and just walk away. Don’t completely turn your back to the bully but turn away and keep walking. If the bully comes after you tell them to stop and then continue to walk away. Don’t get angry. A bully feeds on this kind of emotion and will continue to provoke you.
One effective way to deal with a bully is to join a group or even a club composed of people you like. Bullies do not tend to pick on people when others are around them, especially if they are friends. Bullies tend to go after people who are on their own.
Most mobile phones have a voice recording application as well video capture capabilities. If a bully verbally bullies you, turn on the recording application and keep the phone in your hand or in your pocket. What the bully says will be recorded and you can play this back to your parents or a teacher. Another option is to have a friend video record the bully. If the bullying is cyberbullying then keep copies of all messages, emails and other electronic correspondence. The adult will use this information to stop the bully.
Bullies tend to bully in areas that are not patrolled by teachers, where there are not a lot of people and places that are off the beaten path. Try to avoid these areas, especially when you are on your own.
Bullies are people who bully for a variety of reasons. They are picking on you because they are bullies, not because you are someone who should or deserve to be bullied. So understand that it is not your fault.
Perhaps the things they are bullying you over however are true; maybe you are a band geek. Maybe you do wear glasses. Maybe your skin is a different color. Maybe some of the things they say about you aren’t true. Either way, bullies don’t have a right to pick on you. It may be scary to tell an adult, but they can help the situation.
The worst thing you can do is keep the bullying to yourself. The bullies will feed on this and victimize you even more. When a bully realizes that you are unafraid to speak up and seek help they will usually leave you alone. If they don’t, then tell the adult again and they will escalate the situation and put a stop to the bullying.
When a bully bullies you, do not get angry and do not get drawn into a physical fight. Bullies want to show that they are physically stronger than others as a sign of superiority and control over others. Stay calm, walk away and tell an adult.
You have a right to a safe school environment and you should not skip schools or events to avoid a bully. By talking to an adult about a bully problem, they will ensure that school and events are safe and enjoyable for you.
Bullies can make you feel bad about yourself. This is natural. But if the bad feelings escalate to the point where you feel the only way out is to hurt yourself, get help. Talk to an adult, a doctor, anyone and be honest about how you feel. They will help you.
The most effective way to put a stop to bullying is to tell an adult whom you trust. Give them the facts. They will stop the bullying. If it does not stop, tell the adult again or tell another adult. Most adults are very concerned about bullying and they want a safe and bully-free environment wherever you are. Remember, it’s not your fault and you don’t deserve it. It can be stopped.
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