“Bullying…What you can do.”
There are many different forms of bullying. Generally, bullying can be grouped into the following categories:
- Verbal – name calling, gossiping about someone, criticising or spreading rumours
- Emotional – threatening, intimidating someone, putting someone down
- Exclusion – ignoring or isolating someone
- Physical – hurting someone physically, and or destroying their property
- Cyberbullying – using technology to hurt someone emotionally via text messages, pictures, and other social media sites.
Whatever the type of bullying, it is wrong. Bullying involves hurtful behaviour which is repeated. It can happen anywhere, anytime, and the consequences can be devastating.
There are many different strategies you can use when you are dealing with bullying. The most important thing, as I see it, is the need to understand that you are not alone. You are not the first person this has happened to, and you won’t be the last. The person, or persons, hurting you have done this before and they will do it again! Next time, they will focus on someone else, you just happened to be the one they have decided to target right now. In a while, they will move on and not give you, or the hurt they caused you, another thought. You must do the same. Move on, the sooner the better, and don’t give them another moment of your precious time, because they do not deserve it.
Never let them define who you are. You are you, your own person with your own gifts, talents, thoughts and so many amazing things to offer. Sometimes when we are going through bullying, we forget to see this, but the desperation we feel in these situations will pass, and we will move on. We must never believe the negative taunts that bullies will take pleasure in spitting at you, because they are not the truth. They are lies, made up by someone who is trying to deal with their own inadequacies and problems by trying to make you feel bad. Others will join in with them and focus hate towards you, but you must try to pity them for their ignorance, stupidity and lack of understanding about what is important in life. Think about it, who really cares what these people think? Who are they that their opinions hold any value anyway? They will never be the person you are, they will never have your strength and compassion, they will always be empty and shallow deep down inside. But you are not, you are better than them, you must let their words bounce off you as though they have no meaning, because they don’t. You can get through this, I know it, because we did. (Refer to my story The Up Side Of Bullying…If There Is One.) Do not internalise these negative feelings, let them go. They have no place in your life. The experience will change you, you will gain strength, self belief and self respect. The bully however, will stay the same, pathetic and pitiful, never growing, never learning.
You must believe this and live it. Self respect and self belief are two of the most important gifts you can own, so own them, make them yours, no matter what others have to say.
It is extremely important that you speak to someone about your experiences. Never keep them to yourself, you must tell someone that you trust and if you are feeling really down and out of control, get help immediately. This is just a phase in your life, it will not last, but the right approach can make it easier to cope with, while you are going through it.
Some tips for dealing with bullying:
- Tell someone you can trust.
- Try to walk away from the bully and try to stay in a group.
- Respond to the bully, make sure you look confident, stand straight, look them in the eye and retaliate with a remark that does not offend them but lets them know that you are not intimidated. You can even compliment them and tell them you know they are better than that.
- Remember, they want you to be upset and angry, don’t give them the satisfaction, stay calm and in control.
- Practice at home what you will say and how you will react.
- See through them and realise that they have problems that make them act this way.
- Make sure you take up some kind of an interest after school so that you are busy and not focusing on the negativity being bullied creates. Exercise, join a club, try a new sport, whatever interests you.
- If you are at school, let the teachers know what is going on.
- Surround yourself with positive people.
- If you feel that you can’t cope, get professional help.
- Call a helpline, google “bullying help”, you would be surprised how common this is and how much help is out there.
Above all, stay positive, you will get through this. Never give someone else the power to make you feel like you are worthless, because you are not, you are so much better than them.