The bullying game cannot be played without the victim. For bullies to gain power, they must find a victim to take it away from. If we help the victims not to be easy targets, it will make it a bit harder for the bullies to take anything away from them.
Many of the tips described in list series are useful both for kids and for adults. Much like any other list, some are easier to implement and others are less so, but I promise you that if you go over each of them and dedicate time each week to implementing at least one, the bullying will decrease and may eventually stop.
Again, if you are a parent concerned about your child being a victim of bullying, some of the tips here are mainly for you. You can arrange for your kids to get to school in a safe way, order food for them so they do not take money to school and even talk to their teachers and ask them to get involved. Do not expect your kids to figure this out all by themselves. It is hard to be bullied and harder to think clearly and come up with mature solutions, so take charge!
How to help bullied victims (tips 75-100)
- Try not to stick out. This is not so easy, because we are all unique and some of our unique attributes are not our choice, although everyone can see them (our physical appearance, for example). Some kids want to stand out to be special, but instead of getting the right attention they trigger bullies’ attention.
- If you hear a rumor about someone else, do not participate and never ever pass it on. If you are spreading a rumor some bully has started, you are helping them bully someone else. If you feel strong enough, say, “Do you really believe this?” This will create 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 anyone else, one day you might be the target.
- If you are thinking of revenge, your bully has won. Thoughts of revenge originate from feeling weak, so try to get rid of those thoughts. Revenge only makes the bullying worse, so it is far better to find ways of stopping the bullying and even to get along.
- If you cannot avoid thoughts of revenge, at least never act on them, because this only makes things worse. Bullies do what they do for power, so if you make them feel weak, they will escalate the bullying and make their actions more dangerous, which might put you at risk – real risk!
- Learn to laugh at yourself. This will show the bully that making fun of you is not a good strategy, because you are “obviously” not sensitive to it.
- Learn not to live by what other people think about you. Directing yourself by what others think of you is living by their rules and being dependent on them, and that makes you vulnerable. Have your own rules of living and stick to them. This is the way to build self-confidence.
- Learn to recognize that everyone around you is human and makes mistakes. Many bullies are bullied themselves. It will help you not to make a big deal out of everything they do.
- If you are cyber-bullied, do not give your contact details to everyone. Switch your online identity, share the new one only with people you trust and stop looking at the old one.
- Keep a record of anything that feels wrong and show it to an adult. Some bullying are criminal acts and need to be reported.
- Be patient. Some things you try to do to tackle bullying may only work the 3rd of 4th time you do it. Keep doing it. Make sure you are more persistent than the bully. They will try to wear you down, but if you are more patient than they are, you will wear them down and they will leave you alone.
- If you are cyber-bullied, never ever reply to a bullying message. If the bully gets no reaction, they will stop.
- Ask for help in blocking the bully from contacting you and make sure they cannot send you anything anymore.
- If the cyber-bullying is serious, change your phone number or email address.
- If you are bullied at home, get help at school. Your guidance counselor, your teacher and your principal will know what to do, and whatever happens, they must keep your privacy by law.
- When communicating with a bully, try to sound like you are suggesting things, rather than trying to force them. Bullies respond to pressure by being even more forceful and using unfair ways to gain power.
- Do not tell bullies they are weak. They do not like the idea of being perceived as weak, so sometimes they act aggressively just to show they are not weak.
- Do not display needy behavior. Others may accept you for a while, but they may also turn on you and exploit your need for friendship or assistance as a weakness.
- Do not show off in front of a bully. Bullies are weak, so do not trigger their jealousy.
- If you are a girl, make sure you do not compromise 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.
- When you are proud of your achievements, choose who to say it to. Bullies will not be happy for you. It will just make them jealous.
- Never use avoidance as a solution. Not going to school or work will not make the bullying go away!
- Never hurt yourself because someone has bullied you. If you hurt yourself, it means your bully has won, because instead of hurting you, they have used you to hurt yourself. You can only win by taking good care of yourself.
- Learn leadership skills. Leaders are usually not picked on, because they can always get support.
- Be successful. If bullies consider you very successful, it will be hard for them to find faults and weaknesses in you. Focus on succeeding and building your self-confidence. Again, confidence is a bully repellent.
- Learn to love and appreciate yourself and your skills. Practice complimenting yourself in front of the mirror or in writing. This will build your confidence and you can remember it in bad moments to feel better. Remember, self-confidence is a bully repellent.
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone, there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
– The Fear Litany of the Bene Gesserit from Dune by Frank Herbert
I hope you put this extensive list to good use if you are bullied or if your child is bullied. I am 100% confident that implementing this list will help any bulling victim be more successful, more confident and a lot safer.
Join me next week for the beginning of “how to help bullying bystanders”.
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