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Bullying (13): How to help bullying victims

Bullying victimIf this is the first bullying post you are reading, I suggest you start from the beginning of the bullying series or read a few of the previous posts (see the list below).

Last week, I wrote the first 25 tips to help victims bullying cope with and avoid being bullied. As I have written before, I believe in a holistic approach to stopping this phenomenon of bullying, which is a cycle of violence and abuse.

Building the victims' confidence to function as a "bully repellent" is a good start. In some cases, this will stop them feeling so weak they have to bully someone else to restore their personal power.

How to help bullied victims (tips 26–50)

Here are the next 25 tips to help the bully victim:

  1. Agree with your friends what are you going to do during coming breaks and where to make sure you do not find yourself on your own. Good planning can keep you safe
  2. When you walk, look up and around. Looking at your feet sends a message to bullies that you are fearful and this will make you a target. Remember, bullies are sensitive to weak body language, so try to look strong and confident.
  3. Do not carry a lot of money to school or anywhere else where you will be on your own.
  4. Avoid bringing money by preparing food at home. The most common need for money is food and drink, but if that is taken care of, you will be safer. This also helps you avoid being bullied while in line for the food.
  5. Your parents may be able to order your food online. This way, you eat canteen food, but you do not need to carry money to school.
  6. Do not take valuable things to school. As soon as a bully realizes something is valuable to you, they will take advantage of it and try to take it from you. Remember, what they really want is to feel strong.
  7. If you do bring money and a bully takes it from you, let go of the money. It is not worth getting hurt over it. Hand over the money and tell an adult you trust about it immediately.
  8. If a bully takes something valuable from you, give it up. Nothing is worth risking yourself for it. You never know how dangerous the bully is and some of them might kill for their sense of power. Remember, there is always someone more powerful to help you deal with it later.
  9. If you see bullying against someone else and you are afraid of being bullied yourself, walk away! Bullies love an audience, so do not give them the pleasure of watching their show. Also, they may switch victims at any time and decide to pick on you.
  10. If you see bullying against someone else, quickly find an adult or a big group of friends and ask for help.
  11. If someone tries to bribe you, be careful. This is a trap. When you have been bribed once, you become vulnerable. Anyone who finds out might use it to gain power over you.
  12. Bullying victimWhen there is verbal bullying, ignore it! Do not say anything in return, because this says you are vulnerable. This is how bullies know they have affected you. As soon as you get angry or upset, the bully has found your weakness.
  13. When someone says something that annoys you, stay calm! This can be hard, so at least pretend to be calm. Bullies check to see if they have hit you in the right place and if you pretend to be relaxed about it, they cannot be sure.
  14. Whatever happens, do not fight back! This is what the bully wants. Bullies love conflict and will try to draw you into a fight or an argument. Even if you feel humiliated, do not say anything that makes the bully feel powerless, because this will only make them more aggressive.
  15. Find funny things to say instead. Humor is a good way to downplay a bullying act.
  16. When someone provokes you verbally, tell someone you trust, preferably an adult or someone in charge. Hurtful words are a form of bullying. They should not be tolerated or they get worse.
  17. If you are afraid to approach an adult, tell a friend. Your friend may be able to say things to the adult that you are afraid to say.
  18. Telling on someone who is a bully is OK. Bullies will try to put social pressure on you if they think you are going to tell on them. They may call you "snitch", "dobber" or "rat", but you are not. You are standing up for what is right!
  19. Smile - it projects confidence. Confidence is a bully repellent! Find a happy thought or a funny joke and think about it, especially when you feel uncomfortable.
  20. Look people in the eye. Again, it projects confidence and … confidence is a bully repellent!
  21. Be really good at something. It can be a school subject or an after-school hobby, but it will boost your confidence and bullies do not hassle confident people.
  22. Keep a journal. To prevent you from getting depressed, write your feelings and thoughts in a journal and keep it safe. If you are afraid of your journal being seen, you can save it in a password-protected or hidden document on your computer.
  23. Learn to be assertive. Express your needs, thoughts and desires clearly and without hurting anyone else. Assertiveness projects self-confidence and keeps bullies away from you.
  24. Make sure you are clean and neat so that bullies will not pick on you for your clothes or appearance. Even if you do not have fancy clothes, you can still look clean and neat. Very often, how you look reflects how you feel, but this also works the other way around. Present yourself proudly and you will feel better, especially after looking at yourself in a big mirror and smiling.
  25. When you speaking, keep a steady voice. If your voice breaks, it sends a message that you are afraid. If you need practice, rehearse at home how to say things confidently. The best and most famous speakers in the world, who speak in front of thousands of people, stand in front of the mirror and practice what to say for hours. If you think they look confident, it is because they have rehearsed so much they know exactly what to say and how to say it. You can do the same!

Join me next week for the next 25 tips to help the bullying victim.

Happy day,
Ronit

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