Did you know that bullying has a very specific definition? Bullying is: unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.
Let’s dig into that a little!
Three Features of Bullying:
- Behaviors are unwanted and aggressive
- There is a perceived imbalance of power between the bully and the victim
- Behaviors are repetitive, or have the potential to be
Bullying Victims: Control Your Own Actions!
A victim of bullying cannot control the actions of others, but they can absolutely control their own thoughts and actions.
Research supports that minimizing the perceived power imbalance instantly makes a victim less vulnerable, and one of the best ways to achieve this is by using well placed comeback lines.
Please note - this approach works best when the victim feels safe. If there is threat of harm or danger, the best move is to immediately leave the area and go to a trusted adult.
Bullying Victims Use Comeback Lines
Let’s talk about ways to handle a bullying situation where the victim feels safe. A bully bullies because they feel more powerful. When a victim decisively rejects and refutes this imbalance of power, it is suddenly the bully who is at a disadvantage.
Using confident body language and a well-chosen comeback line is one of the most effective ways to reduce a bully’s power.
How to Handle a Bullying Situation With a Comeback Line:
- Stand Tall - Own your personal space to claim your personal power
- Seem Unaffected - Claim your indifference to the bully and their behavior
- Be Firm, Not Aggressive - Look the bully in the eye and stay calm
- Use a Comeback Line - Change the power dynamic instantly. Here are some examples:
- You must be having a bad day.
- Do you feel better now?
- Ok, time to move on.
- I’m not sure why you keep saying these things about me, but I don’t care.
- Why are you talking to me?
- Here we go again. This is boring.
- I've been called worse, and yet I’m doing just fine.
- You seem to think that I care.
- Wow. I am overwhelmed with indifference.
- Finally, WALK AWAY - A bullying situation exists between a bully and a victim. When the victim leaves, they are simply not a part of the equation.
This may take time and practice. It can be hard to remember all your good points when someone is doing their best to be negative and harmful. Having a plan ahead of time and a comeback line at hand will make a difference. See more resources here: How To Deal With a Bully.
The STOMP Out Bullying™ HelpChat Line
You are not alone! We’re here to help!
The goal of the STOMP Out Bullying™ Live HelpChat Line is to help you reduce the stress, depression and fear you are feeling as a result of being bullied and to empower you to make healthy decisions. The Live HelpChat Line is available to ages 13 - 24 only. https://www.stompoutbullying.org/helpchat