Bullying is an epidemic that is not only occurring in schools, but online and even in the work place. Whether it is physical, emotional, or even cyber bullying, bullying is a serious pitfall for many, and the way in which we respond is crucial for our well-being.
While we cannot necessarily put an end to bullying, we must take advantage of what we can do and make ourselves a priority. If you have experienced bullying, you are not alone and there are people here to help! Try taking these steps to improve the situation.
Tip #1: DISENGAGE
Bullies are looking for a reaction from you. Do not retaliate and do not give them the response in which they seek. This will only add to the fire and make the situation worse. Keep this in mind before responding.
Tip #2: UNDERSTAND IT ISN'T YOU
When someone intentionally does something to try and hurt you, understand that they are actually hurting inside. They are struggling, and therefore, they are antagonizing you to make themselves feel better. If someone is bullying you, understand that there is nothing wrong with you! They are acting out based on how they feel internally.
Tip #3: BE ASSERTIVE
Being assertive is broken down into three parts: Words, Body Language & Tone of Voice
1. Words: You need to stand up for yourself and say no. It is ok and necessary. Approach the situation or bully in a confident and respectful manner in a non-aggressive way. Let them know that this is unacceptable and it will not be tolerated! Despite how you may feel on the inside, they need to know that you will no longer be treated poorly.
Sometimes it can be difficult to say no, but beginning to practice can help you to become more comfortable. Keep saying no until the bully gets the message. Do not engage in violence and try and remain calm no matter how angry you may feel. It may even help to have a mantra that you repeat in your head such as “keep calm” or “you’ve got this.”
2. Body Language: When it comes to responding in an assertive way to a bully, you want to make sure that they understand how serious you are through your body language. Bullies will pick on people that they think will not stand up for themselves, which is why the way you present yourself is crucial. Here is how you will do it (even if you don’t feel it). Stand up straight Keep your head held high Shoulders back Take a few deep breaths Look them straight in the eye and hold that contact
3. Tone of Voice: While words and body language are extremely important when responding to a bully, so is your delivery and tone of voice. You want to deliver your message in a calm, strong and confident voice. Try not to speak too quickly. Speak slow, steady and don’t let the reaction of a bully get in your way.
Tip #4: TELL A FRIEND, LOVED ONE OR SOMEONE YOU TRUST
Don’t keep this a secret. Let someone know what is going on and ask for support. That person may not only be able to comfort you, but also assist you on taking the next step.
Tip #5: RESPOND INTERNALLY
Learning how to respond to bullying internally will not only help you to respond to the physical bully, but it will help you to cope and grow from the situation. Here are a couple of ways to respond internally:
1. Express Yourself: Bullying can be painful and many people who are victims end up engaging in self-sabotage. You need to prevent this and remind yourself that you do not deserve that. Grab a notebook and use it to journal. You can even use an electronic notebook or Word document. Writing down your feelings can have such a positive effect on your mind. It can give you a safe and private place to record your feelings and what is occurring.
2. Reach Out: Connect with friends, get involved in hobbies you love and do things that make you feel good! Responding internally also means doing what boosts your self-esteem. Go for a run, spend time with family, take your dog for a walk, read a book, get your nails done and do whatever makes YOU happy. Surround yourself with people that bring out the best in you. Take care of yourself. When you take action and do what makes you smile, it helps you to gain confidence and therefore, better understand your self worth!
No one deserves to be bullied, and victims of bullying must remember that they are not alone! Practicing these methods mentioned above can help you to gain confidence in yourself, learn better communication, build positive relationships and a better future! If you or anyone you know is being bullied, don’t forget to report it. Talk to someone you trust and take action! We are in this together.
Follow my journey to prevent suicides, violence and inpsire people to go after their dreams: https://www.facebook.com/iamsydneynanberg/