More techniques to help you deal with a bully

Here are a few other suggestions to help you deal with people who bully:

10. Don’t react. If you react, you are liable to show emotions, and that is just what the person who bullies is hoping for. When you respond calmly and cleverly, you think before you act (this is a concept discussed and developed in the books). Think about how you are going to deal. Hopefully you already have some strategies and a plan.

Most kids have something about them that a person who bullies will find to ridicule – what is your ‘thing’? Studies show that individuals who are overweight, gay and/or disabled in some way are more at risk for being bullied. Is this you? If so, we KNOW that you KNOW that none of these categories are a reason to feel embarrassed or shame, but people who bully chose these differences to target. So be prepared. First, remind yourself that different is not negative (build that sense of self). Second, have some comebacks ready that are specific to what a bully might target in you. For example, is it such a hot-button that if anyone came along and called you ‘fat fanny face’ you would crumble? Or would you say, “Wow. That’s original” and keep staring at them? Look, if you are overweight and it bugs you, then it will be the trigger every person who bullies pulls on you. Don’t show your triggers. If you have them, remove the ammunition. Make your triggers meaningless to her. Sure, you may be upset, but don’t let the person who bullies see that you are upset! Pretend you are on stage and you are going for the Oscar performance of your life, because you are. Fake it. Pretend nothing bothers you. And the person who bullies will most likely back off. But if things get nutty, tell a parent, trusted adult, etc.

Also, when you walk away, do it confidently.  People who bully like to know that they have bothered/scared you. If you whine “stop saying those things” and then run away with your head down, you will have just empowered the bully. However, if you stand tall and react with confidence in words with eye contact and then you choose if you want to walk away, you more likely have deflated (meaning decreased) their power play on you. No one should stand there and just take abuse. Definitely walk away the moment you feel it’s the right thing to do. Just remember to do it in a way that shows confidence. 

11. Avoid the person who bullies and the bystanders. This means to literally figure out where they are and don’t be there. It may be a challenge at first but think of it as a game you are playing. And by the way, if you are getting emails and texts and feeling cyber–bullied, show it to you parents and even the cops. Meanwhile, don’t engage. How can you avoid the person who bullies? First, do some detective work. Don’t walk the halls where he is. Sit away from her even if that means that you have to privately ask your teacher to move your seat. Some kids we know have had their schedules reworked to avoid the person who is bullying.

12. Have some “come-backs” ready. No matter the insult (and by now, you probably know what it is about yourself that they may target), be ready with some disarming tactics to get them off your back. If you take a moment to look them in the eye and say these things, chances are you will be viewed as less of a target in the future because you have stood your ground. Never stand your ground if you think you might be in danger. Here are a few good examples of what to say:

“That’s fine, say whatever you want.”

“Okay, if you say so.”

“You may be right about that.”

“Thank you.”

Remember, part of their power comes from anticipating what you will say and loving the idea of being right. When you surprise them by showing no emotion, looking them in the eye (conveying no fear) and by NOT walking away until the power is even again, then they are at a loss. Keep that up a few times and the person who bullies will likely find a new target. (Then go to the new target and give him or her the 411!) Meanwhile, never take chances – if you think for one second that you may be in danger then walk away. 

13  If the bullying involves a previously friendly group who are all of a sudden ignoring you or not including you in their “club” then find another group. When you feed into their plan of hurting your feelings, then they have won. When you walk away (but not in an I’ve-been-hurt-by-you way) and find other (real) friends, those old “friends” will be out of power and out of your friendship.

14. Victims need friends. If you have a solid group of friends, the less  likely you are to be bullied. Being bullied can be a bit of a downward spiral in the friendship arena: not many people want to hang out with someone who is being bullied because they are afraid of being bullied too and of seeming “unpopular” by hanging out with the kid who doesn’t have many friends. This isolates the victim even more, making the problem worse and giving the person who bullies more power and opportunity to do harm. Don’t support the person who bullies in this way. Try to rise above this mentality: Include people in your group who may be at risk for being bullied.

15. Gossip is a gross form of covert bullying. Don’t get sucked in. Avoid gossiping about other people. Oh, if only it were so easy, right? After all, you see grown-ups do it all the time. Don’t continue the trend. Try to notice how often you say nice things about people versus how often you say mean, gossipy things. Think about how you look as a gossip? Does it send the message that you are trustworthy? Kind? Respectful? Not really, right?

If you are the target of the rumor or the gossip, don’t let it get to you.

Here is one idea:

Answer a question with a question. Someone says, “I heard that you cheat on all of your tests! Do you?” This comment from a gossip gal/guy won’t get anywhere when you ask, Would you like to know what I heard about you?” Or, “Let’s talk about something else, because generally I like the things you have to say.” (In the eye, straight face, no emotion!)

16. One of the worst feelings is when exclusion happens (another covert form of bullying). Here are two examples and what to do in each case:

*You are walking into the lunchroom with your tray of food and you don’t see anyone you know. As you approach an empty seat at a table everyone at the table moves so you can’t sit there. Although you probably feel horrible, your best bet is to look them right in the eye and say, “Oh thanks, saved me the trouble,” and walk away. They may be left wondering what you meant but you can leave confidently since they won’t have a clue as to whether they bugged you or not. Remember, these kids are making themselves feel better about themselves by leaving someone (you) out. Do you really want to be a part of that? Do you feel good about yourself when you leave someone out?

*You walk into a room and a group of people who were laughing and talking suddenly turns silent as they stare at you and then turn their backs on you. Just go about your business. Did you walk in the room to chat with them? If so, go right up to them and act as if nothing happened. You’ll know soon enough if you were just being paranoid or if they are not your good friends after all.

Post Question:

Do you see gossip as bullying? Why do you think people gossip?

Answer the post question here

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  • WLKHS 1409
    Posted at 14:38h, 13 December Reply

    I do see gossip as bullying because its usually people spreading rumors about other people. People gossip mostly they have nothing else better to do.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 13:45h, 10 June Reply

    This is the best article I came across. Thanks so much.