What is bullying?
What is bullying?
Bullying can be unwanted teasing, putting people down or intimidating behaviour. It can also include deliberately leaving someone out or isolating them. And in more severe instances it can involve stalking.
People who bully others usually have their own story. Sometimes they are unhappy themselves but trying their best not to show it. Sometimes they are trying to fit in. Bullying, whether it is a one-off or happens often, is very distressing for the person being bullied and wear away at their well-being.
Dealing with bullies
The effects of bullying can take over your life. But it doesn't have to. You are not alone and there are things you can do to help cope and stop it happening.
- Stay cool: Stay calm and confident in the moment that the bullying happens if you can – fighting and reacting in big ways can make bullying get worse.
- Rehearse: Sometimes our brains don’t work well when we are upset, so it is a good idea to practice what you might say next time the bullying happens.
- Reach out: Talk to someone who may be able to influence things or make it better, such as a parent, teacher or manager. This can be hard to do as you may think it will make things worse, but we know this can make things better and help the bullying stop.
- Interrupt: If you see someone else being bullied, and you feel safe interrupting it, you can interrupt by asking the bully to stop or by offering the person being bullied support or comfort, even if you don't know them.
- Report: If you think that someone else is being bullied, it is right to report it to someone in a position of trust or authority – you should not get in trouble for this, you will probably be praised.
- Resist: If you are bullying someone or are part of a group where bullying happens, you can change your behaviour by resisting bullying others, thinking about the consequences of bullying and thinking about other person’s feelings.
- Commit: Lots of people pretend that bullying doesn’t happen when it does. We know this just makes it worse and ‘okays’ bullying. Bullying is not okay, if you know that bullying is happening somewhere and you are in a position of influence, commit to changing the tolerance of bullying to zero.