What is bullying?
There are three things that a situation needs to be to be bullying:
- It needs to be unfair- not right, not fair and not equal
- It needs to be one-sided – one person or group is trying to hurt another
- It needs to be repeated- this means it doesn’t just happen once and is not an isolated incident.
- There are 4 main types of Bullying:
- Physical: hitting, kicking, pushing, shoving, spitting, kicking, stealing, taking belongings, intimidation
- Verbal: name-calling, insulting, mocking, taunting, teasing, racist remarks, gossip, rumors, threatening
- Indirect/Emotional: excluding from groups, pointing and facial gestures, dirty looks, embarrassing, humiliating
- Cyber Bullying “The Invisible Bullying”: via mobile phone, texting, computer, email, chat rooms, internet, Social Network sites such as: MySpace, Facebook, YouTube
How do I know if it’s teasing or bullying?
- Good-Natured Teasing
- Playful between BOTH people
- Uses a friendly tone
- Encourages friendships
- Doesn’t lead to physical confrontations
- Sometimes lightens a tense moment
- I Was Only Joking!
- Can’t you take a joke? Does following up a rude or insulting comment with the phrase “I was only joking” mean it didn’t count to you?
- Does the sting of the words vanish, having no lasting effect?
- Hurtful Teasing
- Uses angry tone
- Angry body language
- Continues even when distress is evident
- Continues even when the topic is upsetting to others
- Accompanied by “showing off”
Bullying can cause some negative long terms effects so if you are being bullied, don’t be afraid to say something:
- Being bullied can make it hard to concintrate and learn when it comes to school.
- Victims of bullying often feel feelings of loneliness, anxiety, low self esteem or may and even consider suicide
- Being bullied can make it scary to go to school. You may be afraid to use the bathroom or even ride the bus.
- Be Calm
- Do not do or say anything aggressive
- Be confident and in control.
- Do not keep the bullying or your feelings from the people you trust.
- Teach others how to treat you. We all deserve to be treated well. We teach others how to treat us by our reactions to them. If bullies insult someone who doesn’t care what they think, they’ve wasted their time. Model for all how relationships should go. Being the victim of a bully is rarely, if ever, something that you can control, but you can control your own responses to others.
- Keep a record of events. It can help to express your feelings by writing them down, and if things get too bad, showing someone the diary is a good way to help someone understand what you are going through. It can also be good evidence if ever needed to support your case.
- Talk to someone. As well as asking for help, just sharing your feelings and knowing that you are not alone is very important. Ideally, this should be a trusted friend you feel comfortable with. If you don’t have any friends you feel you can trust, go to an adult in a position of responsibility such as a parent, teacher, spiritual leader or school counselor.
- Ask for help, and keeping asking until you get it. If you are being bullied at school, tell a teacher, counselor, school nurse or administrator. You could also get your parents to write to them. Educators have a legal responsibility to look after you while you are at school, and all schools should have an anti-bullying policy. This isn’t just for your own sake. It’s very rare that a bully only has one victim, and by demanding that the people in charge deal with the situation, you may be able to save others from going through what you’ve had to suffer. You can even call the media or a lawyer if all else fails.
- Find your (true) friends. If you’ve been bullied with rumors or gossip, all of the above tips (especially ignoring and not reacting) can apply. But take it one step further to help ease feelings of hurt and isolation. Find one or two true friends and confide how the gossip has hurt your feelings.
If you are being bullied and don’t know where to turn for help, here are some resources that may be able to help you:
- Teen Lifeline – This is a confidential and free peer to peer hotline where other teens can help you through your tough time. 602-248-TEEN (8336)
- Tell your teacher or a counselor. They may seem distant, but it is their job to make you feel safe at school.
- Tell your parents. They can’t help you if they don’t know what’s going on. Sit them down and talk about what’s happening and how its making you feel.