|long time, it can lead to violent cases of revenge, like you may have seen in the news. Many people who are bullied a lot as kids grow up with low self-esteem and all sorts of other problems.In other words, it’s very important to deal with bullying and not let it ruin your life!
Okay, so there you are, and someone is bullying you. What do you do “in the moment”?
- Ignore the bully. Pretend you didn’t hear him. Don’t even look at him. Walk right past him if you can.
- Don’t cry, get angry, or show that you’re upset. That’s the bully’s goal. Don’t give her the satisfaction. Even if you’re feeling really hurt, don’t let it show. You can talk about or write down your reactions later.
- Respond to the bully evenly and firmly. Example: “No.” “That’s what you think.”
- If you can, turn a comment into a joke. Example: The bully says, “Stupid outfit!” You say: “Thanks! I’m glad you noticed.”
- Turn and walk away, or run if you have to. Remove yourself from the situation. Go to a place where an adult is present.
- Remember that you are not the one with the problem. It’s the bully who has the problem.
- If you’re being called names or teased, try “The Fog Tank.” Imagine that you’re inside a huge fish tank filled with white fog. Then, imagine that the insults are swallowed up by the fog before they reach you. Nothing touches you. Practice by thinking of the worst things a bully can say to you, then letting the fog eat them up.
If you’re being bullied again and again, there’s one “Most Important Thing” you should do: Talk to an adult. This is so important, we’ll say it again.
Talk to an adult!
- Start with your parents. It’s not “tattling”. It’s asking the people who love you to give you help when you really need it.
- If the bullying happens at school, make sure your parents discuss it with a school official, not with the parents of the bully.
- If you feel you can’t tell your parents, or your parents don’t give you the support you need, talk to another adult you trust: a teacher, principal, school counselor, or someone at your church or synagogue.
- If you feel you can’t talk to anyone, try writing a letter about what’s happening. Keep a copy for yourself and give it to an adult you trust.
- If you don’t want to talk to someone alone, bring a friend, sibling, or parent. It especially helps to bring someone who has seen the bullying.
- Make it clear to the adult that you are really upset by what’s going on. This is especially true if the bullying is “verbal bullying.” Many adults don’t take verbal bullying seriously, but the truth is, this is the kind of bullying that can hurt the most.