Growing up is not easy, and school can be a nightmare for reasons other than tons of homework and strict teachers. Bullies form a big part of those other reasons. A ‘bully’ is defined as “a person who uses strength or influence to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.” All of us have either experienced being bullied, or known someone who was being bullied. And it’s definitely no cakewalk. Bullying can be of different types- Physical Bullying (hitting, damaging property), Verbal Bullying (abuse, discriminatory remarks, insults, spreading rumors), and Cyber-bullying- but what all kinds of bullying have in common, is that they are inherently unreasonable. No problem can be resolved through it, and no person is superior by being a bully. Bullies have a way of bringing out the inner insecurities of people, and use fear and intimidation tactics to make others submit to their will. It’s not only frustrating, but also confusing because it’s almost impossible to understand why one is being subjected to such cruelty and unfairness. And in such situations, all we need is a little help, and some answers. So, here are 10 Effective Ways to Deal With Bullies, that could help you, or someone you know out-
10. ACKNOWLEDGE THAT IT’S HAPPENING
No, it’s never “friendly teasing” if it persists for a long time, or makes you feel bad about yourself. Do not try to ignore that it is happening to you, because it makes a bad situation worse. If you acknowledge that you are being bullied, it won’t make you lesser or weaker. In fact, it just means that you can get yourself out of this vicious cycle, and restore some normalcy to your life. School doesn’t have to be a daunting prospect anymore, and you can find some much needed support.
9. DO NOT BLAME YOURSELF
Once you’ve acknowledged the fact that you have a bully, don’t believe for a second that you are lesser because of it. What the bully does has nothing to do with you. They do it out of their own inner weaknesses, to make themselves feel greater at your expense, because they lack inner strength. It is famously said “the biggest bullies, are actually cowards themselves”. So in the face of such mean spirited cowardice, you must be brave. None of it is your fault, so your spirit and your heart will always be greater. Your bully doesn’t stand a chance the day you understand that it’s not your fault, and you are better than him/her.
8. SEEK SUPPORT
You can’t go through a tough time alone. You always need someone to lean on. It’s very important for you to confide in someone you trust. It could be your friends, or your parents, or a trusted relative. Don’t be scared or ashamed to do it. Your parents especially, love and want the best for you, in every way possible. They could come up with some valuable solutions for your problem. They are after all, the voice of experience! Your friends and trusted relatives could give you a much needed outlet to vent, while giving you love, care and a calm atmosphere where you can sort out your thoughts, ponder over advice and think of what to do next.
7. TALK TO THE GUIDANCE COUNSELOR
Many a times, we find that teachers are unable to understand the situation completely, being that they are already burdened with too many responsibilities. And sometimes, talking to a teacher is perceived as “complaining”, and can make the situation worse. This is precisely why most schools have guidance counselors, who are a link between authorities and students, and are there to listen to your problems and provide ways out of them. Talking to your guidance counselor helps you unburden your troubles, and also provides some very practical solutions, because they tell you how to address the problem within the proper framework, and guide you out of your misery. They are professionally trained to help and counsel you, and give some solid advice you can trust!
6. GO TO THE AUTHORITIES
If you’re in a school which doesn’t have a guidance counselor; and you believe that your physical or mental health is in danger because of your bully, you must go to the higher authorities to inform them of your situation. No institution condones bullying. It is illegal and amoral, and most schools have a zero tolerance policy for the same. Bullying can take the form of delinquency, and you could be the one to stop it. Not only will it help you, but also your bully, because he/she is clearly not in a stable state of mind if they’re engaging in such disturbed activities. Being punished could be a chance for them to get some much needed help as well.
5. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR BULLY
If you’re having a tough time because of your bully, chances are he/she is having a tough time because of someone else, and are working out their own frustration in a negative way. They are probably confused and scared and unaware of the extent of harm they are causing. They may not even see themselves as bullies at all! Remember, there are two sides to every story. The mature and rational way to deal with bullying is to first try to find out your bully’s side of the story as well. They might open up to you, and even show remorse for their actions, if you just try to have an open and honest conversation. Don’t use accusatory tones, and don’t be bitter and resentful when you do so. Stay calm and optimistic, and try to be unbiased as you hear them talk!
4. DO THE THINGS YOU LOVE
Sometimes, all you need is a way to distract yourself from all the negativity at school. You can do this by focusing on doing something you love, like playing music, social service, cooking, playing sports, painting or writing. This will give you a way to channelize all your positive energy, and keep your mind occupied and not drifting to thoughts of fear and shame. You can lessen the impact of your own bullying if you take focus away from the negativity and concentrate on the positives in your life. Spending time with pets, watching new movies, reading some new books- all of these could increase your happiness quotient. Take time to do the things you love!
3. DON’T BE PASSIVE
Never laugh off bullying, or believe any word of insult that comes your way. You must live your authentic self. The best way to stand up to a bully is to not let them stand in the way of your happiness. Do all the things you used to do; don’t alter your lifestyle to suit a bully. Be vocal about it, talk to people about how bullying is unfair and unnecessary. You’ll find a lot of people who share your opinions, and you’ll be able to gain a lot of support to stop something that is unjust and amoral- the act of bullying itself. Chances are, you may be able to convert your Bully to share your opinion too! Don’t be a silent sufferer, spread the word and live out loud.
2. STAY CALM
It’s very easy and natural for you to be swept up in your own anger, and you may end up lashing out against your bully, or do something you may later regret. It’s important for you to remember that you can’t fight fire with fire, and doing something out of anger equates you to your bully. Rise above, and treat the situation with love. As long as your conscience is clean, you have a world of support and opportunities.
1. LOVE YOURSELF
The most important thing is to keep a check on your self esteem. It is this essential aspect that the bully wants to break down, and it is also the very thing the bully is tragically low in. If you’re able to love yourself through a storm of negativity that another person is trying to build, you emerge victorious. Connect to your inner voice, and understand that as long as you are true to yourself, there’s nothing you can’t beat. Hold yourself in high esteem, and believe with all your heart that you hold the key to changing your life, if you trust yourself. No bully can break down your personality if you have a heart of gold! Stay strong, stay positive, take love and give love. It’s the only way to win at life!