If Bullying Happens To You
Sometimes teens do not know what to do when they are being bullied. Here we will provide you with specific actions to take to stop the bullying.
Verbal bullying can make you feel bad about yourself. This is normal! Learning to stand up for yourself in a confident and assertive way is the first step to stopping the bullying.
- Do not blame yourself! No one deserves to be bullied.
- Feeling sad, hurt, scared and confused happens to everyone who is bullied. Learning to control these initial reactions can help.
- Click here to learn about controlling emotions (DOC).
Here are some tips and ideas to use when you are being physically bullied
Leave the situation.
Try to get safely away from the situation.
- Run or walk, whatever is the easiest. Try to do this before things escalate.
- Imagine you are walking away from a friend. This is a way to make sure your body language does not give away a sense of fear.
Responding directly to the bully.
If you decide to respond to the bully, it might be best to try to do this when others are not around. This will keep the bully from feeling embarrassed and will keep everyone calm.
- Before you respond:
- Take the time to figure out what to say to the bully. Strategizing about what to say will help keep you from over reacting and will help prepare you for the next time it happens. It can also build your confidence. Use our Action Plan (DOC) to help come up with ideas for what to say and do.
- Be assertive and confident. Being assertive and confident can stop the bullying from happening again by showing the bully you are not an easy target.
- Keep a calm steady voice.
- Keep good eye contact.
- Keep your hands to your side
- Say what you think and feel in a confident way.
- Stand up tall and look the bully straight in the eye and tell them to "Stop" or "I don't want to fight."
Ask for help.
Reach out to the people standing near you.
- If you see someone you know, call them by name.
- If you do not see someone you know, ask whoever is standing close.
- Look directly at them and say, "I need help" or "I think she is going to hurt me."
- Ask them to get an adult.
Here Sarah, the victim, shows several possible ways to deal with being physically bullied.
Think you know?
The following questions are to help you better understand what to do if you are being physically bullied. Work by yourself or with a friend to come up with answers on your own before looking at our answers
Questions about the video:
The first time Sarah runs home crying, but we then show her confidently standing up to Susan. What are some other things you can think of that Sarah could have said or done?
- Sarah could have left the situation and talked to her friends about it.
- She could have asked her friend to walk to school with her for a few days and to walk with her to class.
- She could have immediately gone inside the school and talked to an adult about what happened.
Do you think talking to an adult about being bullied helps? Why or Why not?
- It can help you feel better just by talking about what happened.
- It can help get some of the negative emotions out that you might not even know you are feeling
- Adults are good listeners and can offer good advice.
- They can also help you if you feel threatened or unsafe.
What was something Sarah did that you liked and feel comfortable doing if you were being physically bullied?
Here are some things you can do after the bullying has happened:
Talk to a friend.
Being bullied can be embarrassing, but telling a trusted friend about what is going on will help relieve some of the stress. They may have had the same problem and can understand what you are going through.
- You can tell your friend you just need someone to talk to.
- Ask them for advice or help to come up with ideas to stop the bullying.
- Ask them to help you tell an adult.
Avoid places where the bully may be.
By avoiding where the bully is you can avoid confrontation.
- Take a different route to school.
- Take a different way to class in the school.
- Ask your parents to give you a ride to school.
Tell an adult.
If you feel threatened or unsafe, always tell an adult.
- Tell anyone you feel comfortable talking to:
- School staff
- Community leader
- School nurse
- Before you tell an adult the details of what happened, tell them what you want from the conversation such as you want help problem solving, or you just want someone to listen. This will help the conversation go better.
- If you feel nervous or are not sure what to say, write it down or ask a friend to go with you.
Click here to learn how to report bullying to an adult.
Remember it's not tattling if…click here to learn the difference between tattling and telling (DOC).
Try to stay with a group of friends at all times.
Although bullies want an audience, if they see that you are with your friends they will be less likely to start something.
- Carpool or walk to school with friends.
- Walk with friends into classrooms, to your locker, or through the hallway.
Let's take a look at what happens next in Bring It Together →