Bullying is unacceptable in all environments but still it seems to be surrounding our lives, we all feel as if we have been bullied at one time or another, whether it be at home, work or school, or even at the local social or sporting club. Bullies harass and discriminate other humans, mostly to make them feel better about themselves. Bullying isn't just a problem for children and teenagers at school, many adults get bullied at home or at work. The bully could be one individual or a group of bullies attacking one or more victims.
Some bullying experiences can be one off incidents, although most are not. Bullying can be aggressive like pointing, yelling, punching, stealing or breaking others property and exclusion them from groups, and withholding information. But bullying can also be extremely subtle like whispering, staring, dirty looks or malicious gossip. Bullying is also discrimination of a certain person due to their gender, race, and handicap. Bullying can also include violence, stalking or assault. A bully could be anyone; it could be a group of people, a peer, a parent, a sibling, a teacher, a boss or someone else who may be in a position of power.
Has somebody you know had an experience with a bully? To help a victim the first thing to do is to tell them how good it is for them to come to you, as to admit that they are a victim is a huge step. It's best also to reassure the victim that it is not their fault that they were targeted, and that they are not the only one being bullied. If you have a case that you overcame where you were bullied, share your story. Let them also express the negative feelings and details of the bullying events. Try not to take everything into your own hands, as this takes away more of the power the bully has already taken.
It is best for a child to work out the best possible ideas to fix their particular situation. Agree to choose an outcome. You're there for advice, help write a list of things that they can do to stand up for themselves, ignore the bully or steer clear of the perpetrator, then choose one, together. Practice what you have decided together, pretend you are the bully and they can use the chosen response in that particular situation. This way they will gain more and more confidence so that they will act next time the bully attacks.
As bullying isn't just a problem for children these suggestions also work for adults and teenagers. It is significant that adults are taken seriously when they claim they are being bullied, whether it is at either the home or in the workplace. If something is upsetting you in your workplace, and ultimately making you unable to perform as well or unhappy consult your manager to speak about the incidents, whether they be on going or a once off.
A parent helped her child through role-play to ignore bullies and those that hurt the child in the playground at school. Together they made it easier for the student to ignore taunts. The child was told to repeat over in her head "I am not, I don't believe you, and nobody else thinks that, you can't hurt me". The adolescent repeated this over and over, while walking away, until they were out of hearing range. The statements that were being repeated where true and also meant that they could block out whatever the bully was saying about them.
It can help if the victim builds an invisible wall around them, this way all the bad names bounce of the wall, straight back at the perpetrator. Another idea is to visualise the bully looking silly, while they are saying negative things, think of them sinking into the ground and falling through the cracks. Then you can just walk straight away.
As a parent don't bully your child, like call them names such as "cry-baby" or refer to them as "weak" and ensure no-one else does either. Ensure that you practice with your child how to stand up for themselves. Teach your child to ignore those who are mean by walking past with their head held high not showing any consideration for the bully. Ignoring the person who continuingly hurts them is a good way to show strength, and then the bully won't be gaining anything from bullying. Hopefully this will then deter them. Help improve your child's confidence by congratulating them on the things that are good at, as one of the major effects of bullying is the loss in confidence.
If you are being bullied you can stand up for yourself, this will show that you are emotionally strong and they can't hurt you with their untrue words. By simply saying "get off my back" or throw them right off track and be really nice by saying "your hair looks great". The bully may become more hurt than yourself if you say "I am better than that, I don't have to pick on other people to prove how great I am."
As another example for parents, one parent used this response when their child was continually being called hurtful names and being injured at school. The student was called a monster on a regular basis, one way they decided to combat this was to shock the bully and in turn no longer become a target. They decided to call the bully a 'monsters bottom' or a 'monsters breath' when they were called a monster. This shocked the bully and then they stopped, the bullying did completely stop after one day, the bully decided to say the same thing the next day, but after two days of the victim finally standing up for themselves and winning, no longer where they a target. The parents role-played at home to help their child, who through bullying was losing confidence, gain it back. In other cases hopefully this idea will alarm the bully enough to stop and give up.
All of these tips work for adults also, if you are being bullied in the workplace by a boss or someone in a superior position to yours although it may seem harder it is just as easy to prevent and fight this type of bullying. It may be easiest to become assertive, but statements such as "I feel" or "it would be grateful if" can work also, if you are too shy to say this to your bosses face, email it.
As a victim show that you can't be pushed around or made to feel as if you are not as important as another person. If you can stand up for yourself you'll look stronger and ultimately you won't be a target for bullies anymore. The target needs to develop assertive skills without being controlling, to alert the bully or guardians. The best thing to say to yourself is "I don't listen to them and walk off and make sure I'm not worried so they don't get the better of me". If you have been successful in deterring a bully share your experience with others in need, anonymously, in the online blog. http://femail.com.au/blog/
Even if you are not the victim, bullying that you see around your peer group can take a toll on you. Whether it be watching an innocent boy get badly injured by a large group or a large group of girls attacking, by chanting, yelling or gossiping and pointing at one or two other individuals. The important thing to do when you become the audience of the bullying is to not encourage the perpetrators, don't laugh, don't film, and don't gossip about it to others then or afterwards. Everyone understands that you don't want to jump into that fight to protect the victim or stand up for them in front of everyone, as you may become the next target, the easiest thing to do is to tell another person that you know can help. If it's at school, tell a teacher or a parent, if it is out of school tell a guardian or even the police. If you act to discourage the bullying, the harassment will decrease. If the event has upset you it may be worthwhile to speak about it with an olderguardian.
If you find that there is bullying going on within your home, between parents, children or siblings it is painful to think about it but important that it stops immediately. Parents can learn tactics when they see bullying between their parents or between a parent and a child. To change this attitude, you need to educate everyone in the family to treat each other with respect. It is vital that those who are caught bullying are disciplined though, otherwise they won't understand that this is unacceptable behaviour inside and outside the house.
If you have been subjected to any act of bullying it may be important for you and if it continues for it to be recorded. Give details such as dates, what happened, who and how it made you feel.
The reason most bullies gave for why they bully was that their target "annoyed them". Many bullies feel better when they have a pact following them, when the perpetrator is not alone it makes it easier for them, however making it terribly worse for the victim. As long as a bully gains satisfaction, such as followers, laughs or making the victim cry, the bully will continue, as they have received positive feedback.
Why do people bully? Is it because in another location they are the victim and feel as they have power over another group. Could another bully because they are not receiving attention at home? Or is it because they think it is enjoyable and feel power when another human being suffers. Many bullies have an extremely low self-esteem or are bullied elsewhere.
Bullying can result in the victim not wanting to go anywhere they fear they could see the bully or bullies. Examples you could see of this is the victim finding excuses, being tense, headaches due to stress and damage or loss of belongings.
Bullying is clearly not fun for anyone, especially the victim and those who surround them. So why is it still happening? Tell us what you think, anonymously, at our blog: http://femail.com.au/blog/
Other useful sites: Cyber Bullying prevention and education http://girl.com.au/cyber-bullying-prevention-tips-for-teenagers.htm
>Workplace Bullies: http://www.girl.com.au/workplacebullying.htm
"Bully Blocking, Bully Busting: Six secrets to help children deal with bullying:" http://www.girl.com.au/bully-blocking-bully-busting.htm