When you are being bullied, it’s easy to feel helpless, like you’re all alone with no way out.
But as actor Will Smith has said, “There have been gazillions of people that have lived before all of us. There’s no new problem you could have–with your parents, with school, with a bully. There’s no new problem that someone hasn’t already had and written about it in a book.”
A lot has been written about bullying and here are the top 9 most helpful tips we’ve found to help you get out of being bullied.
1) Remember that it’s not your fault you are being bullied.
- Bullies often target our differences, but these differences are often what make us special!
- No one deserves to be bullied and it is never okay.
- Everyone should be able to feel safe and respected, especially at school.
2) Talk to a trusted adult about being bullied.
- This can be a parent, a favorite teacher, a doctor, anyone who you think will be on your side and take your concerns seriously.
- Sometimes it takes talking to a few adults before a solution can be found.
- A lot of victims of bullying worry that this is “snitching” and that it will only make things worse, but finding an adult to confide in is different than just wanting to get someone else in trouble. You would be asking for help to solve a problem that is too big to deal with alone.
- A lot of bullies get away with what they do simply because they think you won’t tell anyone!
3) Keep a bully log.
- Write down the date and times you were bullied
- Who the bully was
- What the bully did or said
- If there were any adults nearby
- How you reacted
- Who you told about the bully
- What was done to try to fix the situation
Bullies can lie, but having a record makes it easier for adults to know who is telling the truth.
4) Practice self-control.
- Bullies often like to see how much control they have over our emotions; it can be what makes it fun for them and gets them attention.
- Even though it can be hard, try not to show them that you are upset or angry. Instead, calmly say that you are not interested in being bullied, walk away, and share your feelings with friends and family afterwards.
- Hitting back or insulting the bully are usually not good ideas as these can make the situation worse. Two wrongs don’t make a right!
5) Walk towards safety.
- Usually bullying happens in places where adults can’t see it happen.
- Try walking towards teachers or other adults you think would help.
- If you are bullied on the bus, try to sit nearer the bus driver.
- If it happens walking home or to school, try a different route or walking with a group of friends.
6) Know your rights.
- Every state except Montana has laws in place to deal with bullying and these usually require that the school have official policies and rules about bullying behavior.
- Depending on the state, these can be strict enough that the bully can be sent to a different school or have criminal charges placed against them.
- Click here to see what laws and policies apply in your state.
7) Protect yourself online.
- Not all bullying happens face to face. Much of it happens by texts, emails, or websites.
- Just like other types of bullying, if someone intentionally tries to upset, hurt, or embarrass you over a cellphone or computer, you should tell a trusted adult.
- Save the evidence by either printing out the messages or taking screenshots.
- Never leave your phone or social sites unprotected in public places and have a password lock on your phone.
- All photos you take of yourself should be “PG.” Bullies could easily send or post photos you thought were private.
- Never give friends your passwords. Try to change the passwords you do use often.
- Websites often have policies to deal with bullies. Click here to see Facebook’s site you can visit to privately report or block someone who is bullying you.
8) Refuse to be a bystander.
- Bullies gain a lot of power from their audience.
- If you see friends or classmates laughing at someone else being bullied, let them know that they are being bullies too.
- Try to shift the conservation, introduce a new activity, or say it’s time to leave.
- Always try to make sure no one is left out from school activities, projects, or social events.
9) There is always more help.
- There is no perfect solution for bullying, but there are many groups and websites trying to help stop bullying.
- If you need more help or are interested in helping with these organizations, you can check out the following resources:
The Bully Project
Everything Starts with 1
Kids Against Bullying
Cyberbullying Research Center
Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center
Bullying and Cyberbullying Prevention and Advocacy Collaborative at Boston Children’s Hospital
Have you had any success getting a bully to leave you alone? Do you have any stories you would like to share? Start a conversation here or on the community page!