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Are You Being Bullied?

Anyone can be bullied and it’s not always easy to recognise if it is happening to you. Bullying behaviour is when someone is nasty or hurts you, on purpose, again and again. Always remember STOP …

Our video explains more about bullying behaviours and what to do if they affect you or, if you prefer, take a look at the questions below:

  • Does anyone make nasty comments to or about you?
  • Are you being called hurtful names?
  • Are you being made fun of for how you look or act?
  • Do you feel alone or isolated at school?
  • Has anyone spread spiteful and/or untrue rumours about you?
  • Are you purposely excluded from a group?
  • Has anyone physically hurt you on purpose?
  • Have any of your personal belongings been purposely damaged?
  • Do you feel constantly harassed at school?
  • Do you ever feel that someone you believed to be a friend is trying to control you?
  • Has anyone ever posted or shared something about you online without your permission?
  • Do you ever receive nasty emails and/or text messages?
  • Has anyone pretended to be you on a social media site?
  • Do you ever feel anxious and afraid about going to school?

The more questions you answer yes to, the more likely it is you are being bullied. The first thing to understand is no-one deserves to be bullied and you have the right to be safe. Secondly, you are not alone. There are people who are able to help you. Thirdly, it is important to talk to a trusted adult and tell them what has been going on.

What you can do

There are a number of things you can do and not do if you’re being bullied. Different strategies can work in different situations. Don’t be afraid to let someone know that you are being bullied – other people can be a great help. If you are being bullied at school, tell a close friend or a trusted teacher. Of course, you can always speak to a parent or other family member.

  1. Don’t Think it’s your fault. Nobody deserves to be bullied. Don’t let anything negative that is said about you to take root in your mind. If you allow this to happen, you will believe them and be robbed of your self-confidence and they would have won.
  2. Don’t fight back. Fighting back may deter further bullying but in a bullying situation, emotions run high and hitting back can make the situation far worse and result in a serious injury.
  3. Don’t keep it to yourself and just hope the bullying will just ‘go away’. Bullying very rarely just ‘stops’. As hard as it is, it is important to tell someone if you are being bullied. Keeping it to yourself can cause stress, make you feel distracted and disengaged. When someone is bullied, it can also cause embarrassment, isolation and fear and it’s important to let someone know what is happening to you.
  4. Don’t skip school because you’re afraid of the person . For some people, the risk of getting caught truanting is better than facing their bully, however, missing school is not the answer. Not only will you isolate yourself from your friends, but your school work and grades will suffer. Of course, the main issue with this is that you will get into trouble. This can then add to the stress you are already going through.
  5. Don’t be afraid to tell. As hard as this might be, it is so important to tell someone if you are being bullied. It may seem scary to tell someone but telling will not only get you help, it will make you feel less afraid. If you have told someone before and they haven’t done anything – tell someone else. If you tell a teacher or school counsellor about the bullying, ask them what they are going to do to help you. It is their job to help keep you safe. Most adults really do care about bullying and will do everything they can to help you. Keep telling until someone does help you and the bullying stops.
  6. Remember STOP

 

Photo by Sam Balye on Unsplash

We understand that it can be really frightening to talk to someone who is bullying you and making you feel so bad, but it’s worse to ignore it, have it continue and to allow them to get away with it. If you decide that you’re able to talk to the bully, it’s always better to speak to them when you are both alone. Make sure you are somewhere neutral and not in an isolated place – maybe use a local coffee shop.

If you want to speak to the person who is displaying bullying behaviour to you, but are concerned about being alone with them, you can always use a Mediator. A Mediator is a third person (usually an adult) who will facilitate a conversation, in a safe environment, between the person being bullied and the person doing the bullying to ensure that the situation is managed effectively and safely.

Mediators are trained to ensure that both sides are able to speak and will work to ensure that the issue is resolved. Some schools and colleges provide Mediation Mediators and in more serious cases, where a crime is involved, it is provided by the Police.

Talk to us: Our trained Mentors are available to chat to you by email and can offer help, support and guidance.

Once you have identified who you would like to speak to (parent, teacher, close friend, sibling etc.), it will be important to have all the details to tell/show them – what has been happening, who was involved, where did the bullying take place. Our ‘Bullying Behaviour Incident Log’ will help you record everything that has been happening to you and you can then use it to show whoever you tell.

Click here to download and print our Bullying Behaviour Incident Log

The document includes three steps:

Step 1: Describe what has been happening to you. Include dates, location, who is involved, details of the bullying behaviour and how you are feeling.

Step 2: Describe what you would make things better for you. Think about how the situation could be stopped or prevented.

Step 3: Use the School Contact Log to discuss with a Teacher what steps can be taken to make that happen? Include who could help, what they can do, and what you can do.

Remember, if you are being bullied, it is not your fault and it is never your responsibility to make it stop, however, it is important that you take a stand —and learning to advocate for yourself is important. By thinking through a plan you will have a voice in the solution.

Coping Strategies

There are a number of ways to cope with the sadness, anger, fear, and isolation that can accompany bullying.  This can be something as simple as counting to ten or thinking of your favourite, happy memory.  It’s important that you identify coping strategies that work for you: think about what makes you happy or calms you and try to incorporate those things into your life.

In the moment, use strategies that help you act appropriately and feel better.  It can be a mantra you repeat to yourself or taking calming breaths. In the long term, there are a number of ways we can help ourselves cope with the feelings being bullied creates:  exercise, watching funny movies, talking to friends, playing with the family pet.  Find something that works for you and if it helps, make a list of those things so you can remember all of the activities you’ve found helpful.

Download and complete our Gratitude Journal. You may find it a huge help.

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Need to talk?

If you are being bullied or are concerned about someone who is, you can receive help and support from one of our trained Mentors through our e-mentoring service.

If you would like a Mentor to email you, please contact: mentorsonline@bulliesout.com

If you would rather speak to someone over the telephone, you can call Childline on: 0800 1111

For any community-related issues, such as anti-social behaviour, we would suggest contacting your landlord, the local police or your local environmental health department (where applicable), as we are unable to deal with these types of complaints.