Do you think you might be the victim of bullying? Sometimes it's necessary to tell someone else about the bullying and get others involved, especially when your safety is at risk. But it is equally important for you to be able to cope with situations where people treat you badly.
So what can you do? One of the biggest problems related to bullying is an unfair use of power. That means, you don't want to let that person have all the power. Take control of what you can!
- Walk with awareness, calmness, and confidence. People are less likely to be picked on if they walk and sit with awareness, calmness, and confidence. Projecting a positive, assertive attitude means keeping one's head up, back straight, walking briskly, looking around, and moving away from people who might cause trouble.
- Walk away. Bullies want to know they have control over your emotions so don't react with anger or retaliate with physical force. If you walk away, ignore them, or calmly and assertively tell them you're not interested in what they have to say, you're demonstrating that they don't have control over you.
- Avoid. Stay away from the places where the bullying occurs. Avoid the person or groups that typically bully you or others. If you can't avoid the places or people, stay near adults and other kids. Most bullying happens when adults aren't around.
- Tell them to stop. Look at the kid bullying you and tell him or her to stop in a calm, clear voice.
- Protect yourself. If you can't walk away and are being physically hurt, protect yourself so you can get away. Your safety is the first priority.
When Your Safety is at Risk
If you are concerned for your physical safety, you should share the situation to a trusted adult. You may be afraid of the backlash if you tell, or you don't want others to know for fear of looking weak. If you don't share threats and assaults, a bully will often become more and more aggressive.
Sometimes keeping a record of dates and times that bullying occurs is helpful when sharing the situation with an adult.
- Who did the bullying?
- When did it happen?
- What happened?
- Where did it take place?
- Were there witnesses?
So who should you talk to? Find someone who can help: parent, sibling, an older student, your friends, teacher, guidance counselor, school principal, coach, or other family member. You may have to tell more than one person to get the help that you need. You don't need to handle this alone. Your safety and wellbeing are important, so ask for help!