Tell Someone about it
If you are being bullied the most important thing is to tell an adult you trust about it. This could be your parents, a teacher or a youth worker.
If the the first adult you talk to doesn’t do anything speak to someone else.
Keep a diary
Write down what is happening to you so you can show the person you talk to.
What is bullying?
Bullying is when someone keeps trying to hurt or make fun of you.
Bullying is usually….
- deliberately hurtful behaviour
- something that is repeated over time
Bullying can be ….
- Physical – Hitting, kicking, taking things
- Verbal – Name calling, racist comments or jokes, threatening remarks
- Indirect – Spreading stories about someone, ignoring someone, or getting other people to do the bullying
Bullying can be face to face or by phone, texting, email, letters, notes or in internet chat rooms.
It may happen for a variety of reasons:
- People may see it as just a bit of fun
- They may not have been taught that it is wrong to bully others
- They are unhappy at school or elsewhere
- They have been encouraged to bully by their friends
- They have been bullied in the past
- Racial prejudice
Cyber bullying can be:
- Hurtful emails or text messages
- Picture or video clip bullying using mobile phone cameras which can make you feel embarrassed or threatened
- Instant messaging used to bully, frighten or make fun of someone
- Chat room bullying
How can I keep clear of cyber bullies?
- Be careful who you give your mobile number or email address to
- Never reply to emails that make you feel uncomfortable
- Leave the chat room if anything makes you feel uncomfortable
- If you have a page on a social networking site like Facebook, MSN, Myspace or Bebo make sure you understand all of the privacy and security settings and use them
What can I do if I get bullied?
- Tell someone you trust – a parent/friend/teacher/youth worker/personal adviser
- Write down exactly when the threatening message was sent or call made
- Keep emails and texts as evidence
- Contact your phone company or internet provider to find out how they can help you
If you’re being bullied by a gang you need to tell an adult who can do something about it. This could be your parents, teachers, youth workers or if the bullying is threatening your safety…..the Police
It’s often hard to get through to people in a gang so you could try getting the weakest member alone and ask why you are being bullied…..
- Ask them how they would like being treated as badly as you are
- Ask why they are joining in
- Say you know that they are really not cruel underneath – appeal to their good side.
What can I do if I’m being bullied
Kidscape is a charity that aims to stop bullying. Here is some of the advice they give…
Tell a friend what is happening. Ask him or her to help you. It will be harder for the bully to pick on you if you have a friend with you for support.
Try to ignore the bullying or say ‘No’ really firmly, then turn and walk away. Remember, it’s very hard for the bully to go on bullying someone who won’t stand still and take it.
- Try not to show you’re upset or angry. Bullies love to get a reaction. If you can keep calm and hide your emotions, they might get bored and leave you alone.
- Don’t fight back, if you can help it. If you fight back, you could make the situation worse, get hurt or be blamed for starting the trouble.
- If you feel threatened, give the bullies what they want. Property can be replaced – you can’t.
Try and avoid being alone in the places where you know the bully is likely to pick on you. This might mean changing your route to school, or only using the lavatories when other people are there. It’s not fair that you have to do this but it might put the bully off.
Practise ‘walking tall’ in a mirror. Bullies tend to pick on people when they are weak or timid and they often think shy, quiet people make easy targets. If you look positive and confident, the bully will find it harder to identify you as a target.
A good technique for dealing with taunts and insults is to use something called ‘fogging’. When other people make hurtful remarks, don’t argue and try not to become upset. Imagine that you are inside a huge, white fog-bank; the insults are swallowed up by the fog long before they reach you. Nothing touches you.
Reply to taunts with something short and bland; ‘That’s what you think.’ Then walk away. This might seem strange at first but it does work.
Keep a diary about what’s happening. Write down details of the incidents and your feelings. When you do decide to tell someone, a written record of the bullying makes it easier to prove what has been going on.
If you are being bullied by a gang, get the weakest member alone and ask why they are bullying you and how they would like being treated as badly as you are.
Tell your parents or other adults – you need their help. Don’t suffer in silence.
Why do some people bully?
There are lots of different reasons as to why people become bullies. They may be…
- having family problems
- being bullied themselves
- being selfish or spoilt and always want to get their own way
- having no friends and feel lonely
- feeling bad about themselves and want to make other people feel bad too
- taking out their own frustration on others
- feeling insecure and unimportant – bullying gives them power
- bullied into joining a bully gang and have gone along with things just to keep on the bully’s good side
- not understanding how bad the people being bullied feel
Bullies use ‘differences’ e.g. ‘wearing glasses’, ‘too good at exams’ and ‘too creative’ as an excuse for their bad behaviour. It’s not the ‘difference’ in the victim that’s the problem – it’s the bullies who have the problem because they may be:
More help with bullying
Organisations that can help you with bullying problems:
- Kidscape 020 7730 3300
- Childline 0800 1111
- Bullying On-line
- Beat Bullying.org
- Bullying at school – Information from Cambridgeshire County Council
- Anti-Bullying Campaign 020 7378 1446
This content is reproduced from the Youthoria website with kind permission from the Youthoria team.