Bullying hurts and being a victim of any kind of bullying feels really bad. And it’s important for you to know two things:
You’re NOT alone
It’s NOT your fault
So now that you know that, here’s how you can STOMP Out Bullying™:
What To Do If You Are Being Bullied
If you’re being bullied there’s a lot you can do. While different tactics work for different people, the first thing you should do is try to work it out yourself.
Depending on how bad the bullying is (and as long as you don’t feel at risk, scared or physically threatened) you might want to try and work it out yourself – as a first step.
The more empowered you are, and the more you can help yourself, the better chance you have to stop the bully.
If the bully doesn’t change their behavior, that’s when talking to someone else can be really helpful.
The bully wants you to react. Their goal is to take away your power, make you sad and scared. And if you show them you are not sad and scared, they will often lose interest and they cannot take away your power.
Remember they want to upset you constantly so you get angry. If you don’t get angry, the bully will lose their own power.
Remember that bullies are human - they eat, sleep and live just like you do. The only difference is that you are NOT a bully! Bullies act the way they do because they lack the attention or parental love and nurturing that you have. They are insecure and bully only to feel powerful.
Bullies look for a reaction from you and often lose interest if they aren't given the satisfaction of getting one.
If You Feel Safe, Here Are Some Ways To Handle The Bully:
- Walk away when the bully approaches you. Try and imagine you’re walking away from a stranger. Both you and your body language will show you don’t care.
- Concentrate on thinking about something else (maybe a concert you want to go to, or a new outfit you want to buy.)
- When the bully approaches you, count to 100 and keep walking. They’ll never see how upset you are.
- Yelling STOP and walk away. Keep walking and don’t turn around no matter what they say.
- When a bully calls you a name or tells you your sneakers are ugly -- look at them in the eyes and laugh hysterically and say, "I know my sneakers are ugly." Keep laughing hysterically and walk away without any additional conversation
- When the bully harasses you and calls you names, look them in the eyes, LAUGH and walk away without any additional conversation.
Some great comeback lines are:
- Do you feel better now?
- If you're talking about me behind my back, clearly my life is a lot more interesting than yours is!
- Let’s move on!
- You finally found something funny to say?
- I’m not sure why you keep saying these things about me, but I don’t care.
- Be really cool and stop this!
- Why are you talking to me?
- Here we go again. This is boring. Let me know when you’re done.
- I've been called worse from better.
- Wow, did you come up with that all by yourself?
- Pardon me, but you seem to think that I care.
Once you give your comeback line --- IT'S SO IMPORTANT to just walk away and keep walking! Do not react or respond. That's what the bully wants!
When you walk away you're taking away the bully's power!
It can be hard to remember all your good points when someone is doing their best to be negative. However, try to think of all the things you do well and remember that you are a valuable person. Thinking of how bad the bully must be feeling may also help you to stay positive.
Picture your bully standing on their head with their body stretching – almost as if they were standing in front of a distorted mirror like the kind you see at a carnival. Listen to their voice as comes out all distorted and warbled. And they’ve turned yellow with pink stripes. Now who’s laughing?
Build A Wall Around You
Can you visualize a tall stone wall? Build that invisible wall around you and when it’s up, imagine all the things the bully is saying bouncing off that wall.
Bullies usually pick on people that they think are weaker than they are, so stand up to them. You might be scared but if you keep standing up to them they'll stop.
Other ways to conquer your bully and throw them off track:
- By loudly saying “leave me alone”
- Say something funny
- Look them in the eye and be nice to them
Keep out of their way
If you are afraid of your bully avoid places where your bully hangs out, or take a different route to school. If the bully doesn’t see you, they can’t bully you.
The Buddy System
Bullies feel empowered to bully one person, but rarely will they bully a group. Hang out with your friends. If the bully does feel like conquering the group, walk away.
If after using these tactics and the bullying doesn't stop, it may be time to ask for help. Don't be afraid to let someone know that you are being bullied. There are people who care about you and will help you.
Get Help - Tell An Adult
It may seem scary to tell someone but, telling will not only get you help, it will make you feel less afraid. If you are being physically bullied and are in danger you must speak with a trusted adult immediately. And if you can’t go to your parents, seek out a trusted teacher guidance counselor or school psychologist.
If you've told a grown-up before and they haven't done anything about it, tell someone else. Tell them exactly what happened, who did the bullying, where and when it happened, how long it's been happening to you, and how it's making you feel.When you tell your teacher, guidance counselor or school psychologist, ask them what they will do to help stop the bullying. It is their job to help keep you safe. Most adults really care about bullying and will do everything they can to help you. Keep telling until someone does help you!
This could actually make the bullying worse. Immediately tell your parents or a trusted family member. Have your parents block all communications from this person. Be sure to save evidence of the cyberbullying. If you get a nasty e-mail, print it out or save it so that you can show it to an adult.
While you should never respond to cyberbullying, (this includes cyberbullying you by text, email or instant messaging – save the texts, emails or instant messages for proof in case you need it) -- it's great if you can be brave and courageous and show the bully you just don't care.
What NOT To Do If You Are Bullied
- Think it's your fault. Nobody deserves to be bullied!
- Fight back or bully a person back
- Keep it to yourself and just hope the bullying will "go away." Make sure you report the bullying.
- Skip school or avoid school or afterschool activities because you're afraid of the bully
- Don’t be afraid to tell. Telling is NOT tattling! It's the right thing to do!
- Hurt yourself. Nothing is that hopeless that it can’t be resolved. As painful as bullying is, NOTHING is ever that bad that you should hurt yourself in any way.
NO MATTER, you deserve to feel safe. Everyone has the right to live in a safe and violence free atmosphere both at home and at school.