Our top tips for dealing with bullying and harassment.
1. Tell Someone
If you are being bullied, please tell someone. You might feel scared to talk about it because you’re worried about being classed as a ‘snitch’ or fearful that it will only make the bullying worse but it can feel a lot more isolating and upsetting to continue to suffer in silence. You deserve to have support and you can only get the help you need by speaking up. Talk to a teacher you like or confide in a parent or adult you trust.
2. Act Confident
Putting on an air of confidence can help to deter bullies. Practice acting confident at home – hold your head high and keep your gaze steady. If a bully calls you a name or tries to get a reaction from you, try to look bored and ignore them. Bullies thrive on attention and they tend to get fed up and move on when they don’t get the response they want.
3. Block & Report
There are many ways in which someone can bully you online, but these are the most common:
- Using your images without your permission.
- Setting up an account posing as you.
- Sending upsetting messages.
- Sharing private details about you.
- Harassing you on public forums or in private messages.
- Spreading rumours about you.
- Posting humiliating or upsetting content about you.
If you’re being targeted online, you can block the bully. Take screenshots of any nasty messages then block and report. Talk to an adult and show them the screenshots. If the bully attends your school, your parent or trusted adult can raise the issue with the school and work with them to put steps in place to keep you safe. The bullying may be reported to the police in some cases, depending on the seriousness of the situation. Find out more about cyberbullying here.
4. Walk Away
If you find yourself in a threatening situation, walk away. Go straight home or head to the nearest safe location. Walk towards other people or into a crowd so that you’re not alone. If there’s a time when you’re likely to bump into your bully (on the way to school, for example), try to make sure you always have someone with you for support.
5. Tell The Bully To STOP
But only if you feel able to. Stand tall, look them in the eye and say something direct like, “That’s enough – cut it out!” or “That’s not funny and I’m not going to put up with it.” Keep your cool and don’t get pulled into a heated slagging match with your bully. That would only increase their interest in trying to provoke you.
If you can relate to any of these situations, please talk to an adult about how you’re feeling, so they can help you put a stop to the bullying. For more advice on bullying, click here.