Some people try to minimize it, deny it happens, or even say it’s a normal part of life and you should just ‘put up with it’ The truth is, it does happen, it is a big deal, and you shouldn’t just ‘put up with it’.
I am no authority on bullying, so I read 20 articles to see what they all recommend on how to deal with bullies at school. There is a lot of advice, but I have listed the common themes, in order of frequency with which they are mentioned….
The golden rule – don’t suffer alone. Talk to you friends, and if necessary to parents, teachers, guidance counselor or even a helpline. I have made a list of helplines, and you can call these to get anonymous, experienced advice if needed.
It is so important, I thought I should repeat it…. you do NOT need to suffer alone.
STAND TALL AND BE ASSERTIVE
Sometimes just acting brave and standing tell is enough to stop a bully from approaching and intimidating you.
Being assertive means being able to stand up for yourself without being aggressive or emotional. If you’re assertive, you can say what you really think without being pushy or rude. You can practise being assertive by writing down what you want to say, and practising in “safer” situations. Over time, being a bit more assertive can really help get bullying stopped.
You may also need to build your confidence. You can do that by talking to your friends or, surprisingly, by doing nice things for other people.
Not easy, for sure, but very empowering and a good skill to develop!
AVOID THE BULLY
Avoiding the bully, and going around with a buddy at times is a good protection. But don’t start hiding or skipping classes. And make sure the Bully is blocked on your phone, social networking, etc.
There are 2 other important thoughts that came from reading websites:
Fight fire with fire: This is bad advice, usually from Dad. It is rarely effective.
Bystanders have a key role: If you witness someone being bullied, please consider how you can help them. It is more than a duty of care, you can be the difference…
So, don’t try to deal with bullying on your own, and never just ‘put up with it’; you can beat it but you will need a good support network. And remember, you are a better person than those who try to bring you down…
Have you had any experiences with bullies? If so, let us know what happened and how you dealt with it, so we can learn from each other.
The best summary I read was at www.wikihow.com/Deal-with-Bullies-at-School but there is a lot of other information out there.