What is Bullying?
Bully is the continuous and repetitive hurtful behaviour towards one person or group by another person or group.
Bullying can be
- Verbal – name calling, teasing, taunting, mocking
- Physical – hitting, kicking, pushing or the intentional damage of possessions
- Emotional – humiliation, rumour spreading, excluding
Who gets Bullied
IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT IF YOU ARE BULLIED
People can be targeted for many reason, the bully often targets a perceived ‘difference’ associated with a discrimination which can be:
- Homophobic, biphohic and/or transphobic
- Sexual or sexist
- Appearance, weight, height, glasses, braces, acne, scars
What is Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is the repetitive actions through the misuse of digital communications
to intentionally cause offence, harm or humiliation to a person or group.
Cyberbullying can be
- Abusive comments, gossip, rumours
- Sharing picture or videos without the consent of the owner with an intent to cause humiliation or harm
- Hacking with the intent to share personal information to cause humiliation or harm, or to send hurtful content while posing as that person
- Pressurising someone to do what they do not want to, such as sending sexually explicit images.
How to notice a child is being bullied
- Low self-esteem
- Anxiety or depression
- Socially withdrawn, lonely, isolated
- Disengaged at school resulting in poor academic achievement
- Unable to make friends or develop healthy relationships
Are you being bullied?
Do you feel alone and scared, worthless, these are just some of the feelings you may have if you are being bullied – ask for help – it is really tough to go through bullying but there are people who can help you.
It is not because anything is wrong with you, but more often because the bully feels hurt themselves, scared, jealous and feels not good enough.
They may have also have negative and misplaces beliefs about people who are different.
EVEN WHEN THE BULLYING STOPS YOU MAY STILL FEEL BAD ABOUT YOURSELF
as the bully has taken away all your self esteem. Give yourself time to rebuild, try some breathing or assertiveness techniques to help with facing situations that scare you.
where to get help
Talk to your parents or carers, if this make you feel nervous perhaps write down how are you feeling and give to them or ask a friend to come with you.
Tell your school or teacher, it is the schools responsibility to keep you safe. You can talk to them yourself or ask your parents too or take a friend with you for support.
If you do not feel comfortable at first telling your parents or school, can you tell a friend, try and identify who are your ‘good friends’. These are the friends that won’t tease you and tell you that you are weak for being bullied, they will support you, and help you get help.
Or you can use assertiveness…
Assertiveness is very hard to do if you are feeling worthless and your self-esteem has been taken away from your by bullies, but it can help to remind you and others that you respect yourself equally to others. It’s a kind of hidden superpower we can use when we need to, either by using our voice or our body language
You can practice being assertive on your own first or when you feel safe with a good friend or with family.
Start by practicing saying NO, loud and clearly, you may find that once you have said it a few times it feels pretty good and you can use other phrases like, ’thats mine’, ‘ I don’t like that’, ‘stop now’
REMEMBER – YOU MAY HAVE TO SAY IT SEVERAL TIMES FOR A BULLY TO GET THE MESSAGE AND LISTEN TO YOU.
Bullies often continue to bully if they think it is working and it upsets you, if you are able to ignore the words or action and make the bully think it doesn’t upset you ( even if it does ) they often get bored and leave you alone. Can you imagine a protective circle around you swallowing up all the bad and keeping you in a safe place.
Simple breathing technique to use when you feel scared and unable to cope with a situation….
When we find things frightening or difficult our breathing can get short and quick which makes us feel more anxious,
Try to slow your breath down by taking deep inhalations through the nose and longer exhalation through the month, repeat at least 5 times.
We also tense all the muscles in our body when we are frightened this is normal and very useful if we are in the jungle and a lion is standing in front of us!. But it is not good if all our muscles are tense all the time, even when we are doing everyday things.
Take a few moments to stand still and notice how your body feels, are your hand clenched, your jaw and teeth tight together, are your shoulders raised towards your ears, are the muscles on your face tight and squeezed? Can you relax all these areas and make them feel soft. This will help you feel calmer and more able to cope with things that are stressful.
Do you know someone that is being bullied BUT feel scared or frighten to report it?
THIS DOES NOT MAKE YOU AN UNKIND PERSON AND YOU CAN DO SOMETHING TO HELP
How you can help someone that is being bullied
- Don’t face it alone, share with other friends or family what you think it happening to someone and stand together to stop the bullying.
Report it to your teachers or your parents.
- IF YOU SEE SOMEONE BEING PHYSICALLY HURT – TELL AN ADULT STRAIGHT AWAY
- Make a special effort to be a ‘good friend’ to the person who is being bullied, ask them to join you at lunch time, in the playgroup, include them in an activity in and out of school. The person being bullied may be very lonely and not feel confident enough to ask themselves.
- Don’t help spread rumours about another person
- Don’t encourage the bully in any way by joining in