Advice And Tips On Beating Bullying
Bullying. The unfortunate reality is that it happens in lots of different ways, to countless people, every day. But what can you do if you’re getting bullied and don’t know what to do about it? Or if you’re the one doing the bullying and want to stop? Or what if you know someone who needs some help but don’t know where to start? Well, we’re here for you. Here’s a list of helpful actions and resources for you to take a look at...
IF YOU’RE BEING BULLIED…
Sometimes, it can feel hard to stand up and speak out when you’re being bullied. But, it’s the best thing you can do to put an end to it. Young Minds - the UK’s leading charity fighting for children and young people’s mental health - have some great information about what actions to take in different situations:
They say if you’re being bullied at school, the best thing you can do is talk to your parents/guardians and your teacher. It might feel tough to do, but your teacher may have no idea that you are being bullied, and the school will have an anti-bullying policy to tackle it. If you feel like you can’t speak to your teacher, maybe a friend can do it for you. And if your school has one, you can also speak to a counsellor, welfare officer or nurse. In extreme cases, if the bullying is interfering with your education, it may be possible for you to change schools if it doesn’t stop once you have reported it.
If the bullying is happening outside school, Young Minds recommend confiding in your parents/guardians or close relatives like your grandparents, aunties or uncles. If it feels too hard to talk to someone in your immediate family, they also suggest talking to your friends’ parents - then maybe they can relay the information on to your family. If you don’t want to talk to your family first, youth workers may also be able to help.
The National Bullying Helpline - who work towards eradicating anti-social behaviour in all corners of society - say that by the age of 14, 47% of young people have reported that they’ve been bullied. With the rise of mobile phones and hand-held devices, social media has become part of everyone’s life and the use of social media has seen the growth of online bullying. Social media gives a bully a safe environment to say what they want and target whom they please. Forms of cyberbullying via social media can include the following:
- Spreading malicious and abusive rumours about you
- Sending you threatening or intimidating remarks
- Harassing you repeatedly
- Trolling you repeatedly
- Intimidation or blackmail
- Stalking you online
- Posting embarrassing or humiliating picture or videos without your consent
- Posting your private details online without consent
- Setting up a false profiles and catfishing
- Posting on your account without your consent
If you feel like any of these things are happening to you, The National Bullying Helpline suggests that you block the person who is bullying you and report them to the social media site (you can find a full list of how to do this on lots of different platforms, here). They also say to try and document the bullying with a screen shot of any messages, comments, or actions they take, so you have it as proof. And of course, talk to your parents/guardians or someone you trust to let them know what is happening.
WHO TO SPEAK TO...
You might find it difficult to talk to people close to you about what is going on. Sometimes it can be hard to open up and be vulnerable with people that care about you (even though they do want to know!) Luckily, there are lots of places out there that offer services for young people who are experiencing bullying or mental health issues.
National Bullying Helpline
The National Bullying Helpline is run by volunteers and is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You can call them on 0845 225 5787 to get impartial, practical advice to help you understand the options open to you. Their volunteers will help you deal with the situation you’re facing, help you understand your rights and give you the confidence to resolve it.
Young Minds Crisis Messenger
Young Minds’ Crisis Messenger provides free, 24/7 text support for young people across the UK. By texting YM to 85258, you’ll be connected to a trained volunteer. They’ll introduce themselves, reflect on what you’ve said, and invite you to share how you’re feeling. You’ll text each other, only sharing what you feel comfortable with. By asking questions, listening to you and responding with support, they will help you think through your feelings until you both feel you are now in a calm, safe place. They may also signpost you to other services, so that you can continue to get support.
Childline is a free, private and confidential service where you can talk about anything. If you’re under 19, you can call 0800 1111 anytime between 7:30am and 3:30am, with any issue that you’re having. Calls are confidential and can be anonymous, and they won’t show up on a phone bill. You’ll be connected to a Childline Counsellor who will listen to you and support you. You can also have video chats with a BSL interpreter if you are deaf or hearing-imparied.
The Mix - who are here to take on the embarrassing problems, weird questions, and please-don’t-make-me-say-it-out-loud thoughts that people under 25 have in order to give them the best support through digital and phone services - offer support in many different ways. You can call them for free on 0808 808 4994 any time from 3pm to 12am. They’ll explore your situation with you and find organisations that may be able to help you further. If talking on the phone isn’t really your thing, they also have a crisis messenger service. Just text THEMIX to 85258 and you’ll be connected to someone who will provide in-the-moment support and problem solving. You can also email them using this form, use their 1-2-1 webchat service, or take a look at their counselling services.
IF YOU ARE BULLYING OTHERS…
It might be hard to admit that you are bullying other people. And you might not always understand why you’re doing it. But there are actions you can take to stop. Ditch the Label - a leading and global youth organisation, helping young people overcome the issues that affect and hold them back the most - have a helpful seven step guide on how to stop bullying others:
1. You are not a bully
First and foremost, stop labeling yourself as a bully. It isn’t productive and will not benefit you. You may be bullying another person but that does not mean you are a bully. It is a behaviour and not your identity.
2. Understand why
Bullying is a learned behaviour and is often used as a coping mechanism for a stressful situation. Common examples could include being bullied by somebody else, abuse, a traumatic situation, stressful home life, or competitive feelings towards others. Once you are able to gain an understanding as to why you are motivated to bully others, this will give you hugely valuable insight.
3. Seek a resolve
Once you have identified the source of your behaviour, it is important to find a productive way in which you can resolve the situation. If you find this difficult, we would recommend speaking with an adult who you trust. Alternatively, you can contact Ditch the Label themselves.
4. Reprogramme your stress
What is the one thing that we all have in common? Stress. We all feel it, but it’s important to recognise stress and deal with it accordingly. By that, we mean – don’t store it up and let it fester, as it can have significant impacts on your mood and health. Why not give Ditch the Label’s Stress Reprogramming system a try.
5. Speak about it
You’d be surprised at how powerful it can be to just sit down with somebody who you trust and talk about everything that is bothering you. A problem shared, really can be a problem halved.
6. Is it a good strategy?
Pulling somebody else down will never, ever take you any higher. Using bullying as a coping mechanism for something stressful in your life is only going to make things worse; not just for you but also for the person who is at the receiving end of the bullying.
7. Understand the impact
To you, it may not seem serious, but to another person, the impact could be significant. For every 10 people who are bullied, three of them will self-harm, one will go on to have a failed suicide attempt and one will develop an eating disorder.
Ditch the Label also have a number of blogs that you can read about all things bullying. Why not take a look at 10 In-the-Moment Things to Remember When You’re Being Bullied, Top 10 Tips for Overcoming Bullying, the Are You Being Bullied Quiz, a blog about the difference between Banter or Bullying, Why People Bully - The Scientific Reasons, and How To Overcome Cyberbullying.
IF YOU WANT TO HELP SOMEONE BEING BULLIED
If your classmate, friend, or someone else you know is getting bullied, you might not know exactly what to do about it, or what to say to them to help.
Youth Era - creating lasting positive change in the lives of young people and the systems that serve them - have a quick guide on what to do if your pals are getting bullied:
Talk - Try to find out more about the situation. Remember they could be very sensitive and could be scared to talk, so be gentle with them.
Care - If your friend is being bullied it could affect their confidence. Let them know you’re their friend and you care about them. Point out all the great things they have to offer.
Include - Make an effort to include them in your group to raise their confidence.
Stick up - If you see them being bullied, speak up and say something, whilst ensuring that you and them are safe.
Speak up - They may not feel like they can speak to someone about what is going on, so why not speak to your parents/guardians or a teacher for them. Or let them know you’ll go with them to talk to someone.
It may feel like this is a lot of information to take in, and it may feel a bit overwhelming, so just remember to take your time, read through everything at your own pace, and take a deep breath. You will get through your situation, and there are lots of people out there ready to help.
And don’t forget to show that you are ready to beat bullying by using our Insta filter: No We Can Beat Bullying! Take a pic, show your support and tag us @NCS...we’ll repost our faves!