Growing up many people hear that bullying is just part of going to school or being a kid. That’s not true. Dealing with bullying isn’t something anyone should have to put up with, on any level. This guide talks about forms of bullying, how to deal with being bullied and who to speak to if you or someone you know is being bullied.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is where people do something to make you feel bad and do it regularly. Falling out with someone who was once a friend and them saying something nasty to you is not bullying. It isn’t nice, but it isn’t bullying. Someone at school punching you on the arm once isn’t bullying. It isn’t absolutely unacceptable but it isn’t bullying. Being bullied is finding yourself in a situation where one of more people are making you feel bad, emotionally or physically over a period of time.
It is important that you realise the difference between someone doing something they shouldn’t and bullying. That said, even if it is a one-off, don’t feel like you can’t talk to a teacher or another grown-up if someone does something to hurt or upset you.
Examples of Bullying
Bullying takes many forms. Bullies may approach you face to face, speak to you in an upsetting way, tease you, call you names, spread rumours and more. Sometimes bullying can take physical form and a bully may pull hair, pinch, slap, trip people up. A bully or group of bullies might go out of their way to exclude you from activities, ensuring you are alone at lunchtimes etc. Bullies might approach you online, they might post something mean online, or contact you via social media and be mean.
These are all examples of bullying, where someone or several people make you feel hurt and upset.
The Effect of Bullying
Bullying can be very hurtful. You might feel sad, lonely, upset and even angry. You might not want to go to school or you might start avoiding certain people or places. The effect of bullying can be very real however you don’t need to stand for it. There are people who can help. When it comes to dealing with bullying you are not alone and it can be stopped.
What to Do About it
Being bullied sucks basically. It’s not fair, it isn’t nice and above all isn’t acceptable. There are zero reasons for you to put up with bullying, so don’t.
- Don’t think that your worries are silly or trivial, grown-ups will still want to know.
- Don’t keep it to yourself. Bullies thrive on power and so tend to pick on someone knowing they that won’t tell anyone about it. If you don’t tell anyone about it, people won’t be able to help.
- Do speak to a friend, your parents, your teachers or another responsible adult.
- Don’t think that it’s your fault, it never is and never will be. If you are being bullied it is because of a minority of others who have decided to make poor choices. It is their choice to bully someone, it isn’t something that you or the person being bullied asked for and is certainly not deserved.
- Do ask a friend to speak to a teacher or another suitable adult if you don’t feel comfortable starting the conversation. Perhaps you could write it down. It doesn’t matter how you inform a grown up that you’re being bullied, it just matters that you do it, so that they can’t make it stop. Dealing with bullying isn’t something that you have to do alone.
If a friend of yours is being bullied or someone else in your school or class, make sure you say something. They may not feel ready to but that doesn’t stop you, even if you don’t really know them. Working together to make it stop is the best way.
Are You a Bully?
Most people, when asked if they are a bully, would immediately say “No, of course not” or similar. If however, you are a part of a group that is making someone else unhappy, even if you are not differently involved in the actual physical bullying or name calling (etc), you are, by standing with bullies and doing nothing, are saying with your actions that what they are doing is ok. You are adding a number to the amount of people bullying someone.
Perhaps you have been taking part in bullying and want to stop. You can! Seeing the effect that being nasty to someone can have, even if you thought you were just “having fun” can be quite the eye-opener. Move away from bullying, tell your peers to stop, have a quiet word with a teacher even. Yes, you may have taken part in the past but saying “No more” and trying to right some of the wrongs is the right thing to do. You could even report the situation anonymously so that teachers are at least what is happening. The first step in dealing with bullying is people stepping and using their voice to report what’s going on.
People Who Can Help
As awful as bullying is, there are so many people who can help it stop. These are just a few examples of people who can help someone who is being bullied. Can you think of any others?
• Speak to your parents
• Speak to a teacher
• Speak to a friend, they can help by also talking to a grown up.
• Speak to a suitable adult who will know what to do. This might be your football coach, drama teacher, an aunt or uncle. Anyone.
• If you genuinely don’t feel ready to talk to an adult you know, call Childline on 0800 1111 (a free number). They are always available and understand all about dealing with bullying, whether you are being bullied or someone else is. They can listen, they will understand and they can help.
Dealing with bullying can be pretty awful. It can make people very upset and it can go on for a long time if it goes unreported. Bullying isn’t something that anyone should have to put up. Talk to people who can help and put a stop to bullying. Do not accept it for yourself or on behalf of anyone else.