Bullying is so common today that virtually every teen or child is faced with it in some form. Doing nothing is not a good solution, but it can be tough to know what you should do as well. The one thing you can’t do is let it continue. If you do, your own self-image is going to be tainted by the actions of someone who isn’t worth your time. You may think it’s easier to just try to ignore it and move on, but there could be damage going on that you can’t see. Doing nothing means that others are going to continue being bullied as well. Few bullies have only one target, after all. Here are some tips to try if you are being bullied:
Let People Know
Do you think it is a sign of weakness for you to go to the authorities? The fact is, they may be the only people who can put a stop to this. If nothing else, at least it is documented that there is a problem when you file a report. Maybe the authorities won’t act on your complaint right away, but if enough people say something all the flags are going to go up. The authorities might be your parents, teachers, administrators, or the police. If one avenue doesn’t work, try another. Eventually someone will get tired of hearing about it and actually do something. It also helps to have reports coming in from several sources.
Learn Self Defense
Violence is never the first answer to any problem. On the other hand, you should be prepared to deal with the situation if violence becomes a part of the equation. A bully is going to push you as far as they can. You need to be able to defend yourself. When a bully takes the violence to a dangerous level, you should know how to protect yourself. Take a course or two and you might be shocked at how much safer you begin to feel. There is nothing like self-confidence.
Don’t Let it Go
The only reason that people don’t do anything about bullying is because it tends to be overlooked. You have a right to be yourself as long as you aren’t hurting anyone else. Don’t let this rest. Speak up for yourself so that your voice has to be heard and can’t be ignored.
Does it sound strange to be empathetic to someone who is a bully? Did you know that most bullies are just looking for some form of control? Often, they are abused themselves and they know no other way to communicate than to pass that abuse along. It allows them to feel in control over the situation. You might try talking to the bully privately and offering some level of understanding. In hardened cases this might not work. In other cases, the bully may not even have realized what they were doing was wrong and may just need a sympathetic ear. You might even make a new friend.
No matter what anyone says to you, don’t crawl inside a shell or you will be doing that for the rest of your life. Be proud of who you are. Don’t be afraid to seek assistance. If need be, follow the chain of command from your parents to your teachers to the principal to the police. You have the right to live without fear.
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