In the last bullying post, I wrote 25 tips to help bystanders who are involved in bullying. In the bullying game, there are the bully, the victim and the bystanders. Each of them is very important in eliminating the bullying phenomenon.
The bystanders are the people that watch a bully act and either get themselves involved or not in favor of the bully or the victim. As a reminder, here are the 5 types of bystanders:
- Ring Leaders
On average, when another person gets involved to defend a bullying victim, the bullying will stop within 10 seconds. Think about it: 10 seconds are enough for the bully to take a step back and for the situation to improve for everyone. Therefore, I am sure you understand how important it is for us to give power to the defenders (and inspire more of them), because they hold the key to making a big shift in bullying elimination.
- Do not ask a bully for favors. It makes them feel you need them and they might use it against you (much like seeking their approval).
- Learn to stand up for what is right and when bullying happens and say in a confident voice, “Stop!”
- Do not call people names in front of a bully. It is better never to engage in name calling, but when you do it in front of a bully, it gives them great ideas of who is weak and who is their audience. This way, you are exposing the victim to even more abuse.
- When you watch a bullying act, and you are afraid of the bully, use the poker face. No laughing, no smiling and no movement in your face, because these gestures give the bully the idea that you support him.
- Do not get into conflict with the bully. If they start bullying you, you are no help for victims. Humor and involving others (adults) are better strategies.
- Always believe a kid who tells you they are bullied. Bullying acts that are ignored because no one believed the victim can end up very badly, so do not take that risk. If the burden is too heavy for you, pass it on to a responsible adult.
- To help a bullied victim, threaten to tell a teacher/parent/adult. Many times, it is enough to scare the bully away, especially if you “see them coming”.
- If you know of places risky places for victims, tell an adult. They will pay more attention to those places and monitor them more closely. When there is more monitoring, bullying stops. The adults may open those paces, have them painted brightly or put more lights, which will also help.
- If your friends are bullied, go and help them. Even if you go after the bullying act and show sympathy, it helps. Your friends will be more likely to do the same for you when you are the victim and your joint courage will drive bullies away.
- Gossip is natural, but sometimes it is used to bully others. Never gossip about others so you do not give bullies ammunition against them. Make the habit of saying only good things about people behind their backs. It will pay back when the time comes and they talk about you.
- State out loud that you think bullying is not cool!
- Learn to use some sentences that support the bullied victim, “Oh, come on, will you stop this?”, “Leave him alone”, “Aren’t you tired of bullying kids who are younger than you?”
- When you watch a bullying act, call other kids and say, “Let’s go someplace else. This is not a nice show” and walk away with a group of kids. Try to take the bullied child with you.
- If you hear a rumor about someone else, do not participate and never ever pass it on. If you spread a rumor some bully started, you help them bully someone else. If you feel strong enough, say, “Do you really believe this?” This will create a doubt in the bully’s mind that this strategy is good. If you are afraid to say anything, listen and keep it quiet. Remember, if you take part in bullying against someone else, you are responsible too and one day, you might be the target.
- Tell the bully, “This is wrong”. Say it in a confident voice. It may not stop them totally, but it will create a bit of a doubt that may build up over time.
- If your friends are cyber-bullying someone, do not participate.
- Tell your bullied friends, “This was not a nice thing to do to you”. Make sure they know you disapprove and support them.
- If you know of someone who is cyber-bullied, tell your parents or your teachers. Grownups know ways of stopping it.
- Build your confidence. Confident people are not bullied and it increases their chance of defending the weak.
- When anyone wants you to connect them to your online friends, never give out contact details without their consent. Ask the other person for their details and let your friend decide what to do.
- Girls, if you want to be accepted, make sure you are not compromising who you are in order to be accepted. Girls use lots of social bullying and name-calling. Do not join in, because one day, you might be a target too.
- Distract the bully to give the victim a chance to run away. Saying a teacher is coming or creating any other diversion may break the tension and make both the victim and the bully aware of your presence.
- Welcome new kids. New kids are vulnerable. When they make friends, they are less likely to be picked on.
- Associate with other kids with good social skills. These kids often know how to diffuse a tense situation and together, you are much stronger against bullies.
- Learn leadership skills. Leaders are usually not picked on. They have a strong sense of social justice and are great defenders. They hold the key to changing the face of bullying. Be the change!
Remember, participating makes you a bully too. Watching and supporting, even by smiling or encouraging the bully, is bullying too. Being afraid for yourself is OK, but by talking to an adult, you can make a huge difference in the life of bullied victims around you and make sure that bullies will not get support for what they do. You are the most important player in the bullying game and you can make a huge difference!
Join me next week for How to Stop Workplace Bullying. I believe that when we stop that, we will be able to support the kids too, because family matters!
This post is part of the series Bullying:
- Bullying Facts and Myth
- Bullying Statistics are Scary
- What is NOT Bullying?
- Types of Bullying
- Why Do People Bully?
- Victims of Bullying
- Bullying Bystanders
- Home of the bully
- Home of the bully (2)
- Workplace Bullying
- Workplace Bullying (2)
- How to Help Bullying Victims
- How to Help Bullying Victims (2)
- How to Help Bullying Victims (3)
- How to Help Bullying Victims (4)
- How to Help Bullying Bystanders
- How to Help Bullying Bystanders (2)
- How to Stop Workplace Bullying
- How to Stop Workplace Bullying (2)
- How Workplace Bullying Bystanders Can Break the Cycle
- How Organizations Can Stop Bullying
- How Organizations Can Stop Bullying (2)
- Bully Parents
- How to Stop Parental Bullying
- How to Stop Parental Bullying (2)
- How to Stop Parental Bullying (3)
- How to Stop Parental Bullying (4)
- How to Stop Parental Bullying (5)
- How to Stop Parental Bullying (6)
- How to Stop Parental Bullying (7)
- How to Stop Parental Bullying (8)
- How to Stop Parental Bullying (9)
- How to Stop Parental Bullying (10)
- How to Stop Parental Bullying (11)
- How to Stop Bullying with Empathy: The Story of Two Apples