What to do if you are being bullied
We hope that these little illustrations and messages might offer you some ideas as to how to stand up and have your voice about how you wish others to treat and respect you.
It's not your fault!
It is really important for you to know that if you are being bullied, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. We all need to take responsibility for our own actions and learn to respond in a healthy way. When someone uses bullying behaviour there is usually an underlying issue that needs to be resolved for that person.
Build a support team
You DO NOT have to deal with bullying behavior on your own. Tell others so that they can help. If you have tried and someone won't listen, keep trying or think of someone else you can ask until you get the support you need.
Some ideas of people you may be able to talk to are:
- Teachers or another adult you trust at school
Telling someone is important
You might be afraid about the consequences of telling an adult about bullying behaviour but remember this is not the same as 'telling on someone'.
REPORTING bullying behaviour helps to get someone OUT of trouble by helping to stop someone being bullied. It also helps the person using the bullying behaviour as they often also need support to change their behaviour which will allow them to be happier too.
Be kind to yourself
Remember that the bullying behaviour that you are experiencing doesn't define you. YOU ADD VALUE TO THE WORLD AND DESERVE TO BE HAPPY.
Do things that bring you joy such as playing an instrument, sports or other hobbies or simply relaxing or spending time with people that make you feel good.
Surround yourself with the right people
Only hang out with people who make you feel good about yourself.
If someone constantly puts you down, or makes you feel uncomfortable in any way they are not a behaving like a good friend does.
Sometimes letting go of the wrong friends makes space for the right ones.
Connect with nature and move your body
To get a break from difficult thoughts and feelings for a while it can be helpful to move your body and connect with nature.
If you can, go for a walk and just try to notice the sounds, smells and sights around you.
Alternatively, you could ride a bike, jump on a trampoline, go swimming or anything else you enjoy doing that gets your body moving.
It can be tempting if you are being bullied to retaliate; to say something nasty back, send a horrible message in reply or to embarrass and hurt the other person in some way. This might just end up getting into yourself into trouble or you might get even more hurt.
Even when it feels scary you can practice standing up yourself by telling others what behaviours are ok for you and what are not. These are called your boundaries.
You can also stand up for yourself by reporting bullying behaviour and making sure you get the support you need.
Where there is courage, first there was fear.
Keep a record of what happened, when it happened and who was involved. If the bullying is online, keep the evidence by saving or copying any photos, videos, texts, emails or posts.
Because bullying behaviour is repeated over time, keeping records helps others to understand exactly what is going on and provide support.
Things I can do to make my body feel braver...
Here are some little things you can try to make your mind and body feel braver:
- Putting on my confident body posture.
- Keeping a smile on my face :)
- Looking straight forward
- Noticing what I can see and hear and touch and smell
- Noticing my big deep breaths in and ALL the way out
- Playing and moving
- Having a drink of water
- Splashing my face with cold water
- Being around people that show care & kindness
- Share your feelings with someone you trust. This takes away some of the power the feelings have over you.
How to use "I Statements"
These are words that tell others what happened for us in a brave honest way but without any blame. When we are not blaming other this helps them listen to us.
1. Name the behaviour - for example, pulling faces at me.
2. Name how the behaviour effected you & made you feel - for example, it makes me feel yucky & scared inside.
3. Name what you need - For example, I want it to stop today so my parents won’t need to tell a teacher.
Putting these three together would give you the following example:
When you pull faces at me it makes me feel yucky and scared inside. I need this to stop today.
My next time it happens plan...My next time it happens plan template
Having a plan for responding to bullying behaviour if you experience it can help to build confidence in our ability to deal with and get through tough situations.
Bullying is complex and different for everyone so please note that these are our ideas and should not replace professional support. Follow the link below for information about other websites and professional services that may also be useful to for you.