When you witness bullying taking place, don't look the other way or just be a silent bystander. Speak up and say something! Step in on behalf of the person who is being bullied. Let the bully know that what they're doing isn't right and isn't cool. Join forces with your friends in standing up to the bully's mean and hurtful behavior. The more that people stand up for each other, the less the bully can get away with it. And, when you speak up on behalf of others, it helps you get better at speaking up for yourself too!
Always talk to your parents about what you're going through. The good and the bad, the positive and the negative. Tell them about your situation, what you're struggling with, and how you're feeling. Your family wants the best for you, and they will do everything they can to help. If you're being bullied, you may be hesitant to report it at school - maybe you feel like you'll be labeled a tattle-tail, or that the teacher won't be able to stop the bully. Keep communication with your family open and honest. Asking for help takes courage, but it's worth it! Your parents can probably give you some great advice on how to deal with the bully, and they can also assist in getting help from teachers and school staff if needed. When bullying (or anything else) is hurting you, remember that your family is on your side. Talk to them!
When bullies tease, insult, and make fun of you, it hurts. But it hurts a lot less when you don't take it to heart. Bullies want to make you upset, to push you around and push your buttons, and to make themselves feel better by making you feel worse. Know that you are not the mean things they say! Believe in yourself! Don't buy into the bully's cut-down's, lies and rumors. Those things aren't true. What is true is that you have power and strength to rise above all that - you just need the courage to build it up and bring it out from inside you. Believe in your own awesomeness, and you won't get caught up in the bully's attempts to bring you down.
It's a natural reaction to being bullied - you're angry, you're upset, and you want revenge. You want the bully to feel hurt just like they hurt you. Sometimes it happens without even thinking - you tease right back at them, or respond physically yourself. It doesn't have to be this way. Don't let yourself get drawn into the bully's conflicts and fights. Stay cool, calm and confident! Respond to the bullying, but not out of spite. Be firm and assertive in speaking up and standing up for yourself, without over-reacting. The bully wants to get a negative reaction out of you. Don't let them! Be calm in the storm, and show the bully that you are stronger than their attempts to harass you. Be loud and clear in your voice, and say things like "Stop NOW" or "That's NOT Cool". Stand up strong, look them in the eyes, and let your body language convey the same message that you are willing to protect yourself. Being bullied can set off all sorts of negative emotions in you - but you can still control how you react and respond to it. Choose the better path, not the downward spiral of revenge.
To be as prepared as possible for standing up to bullying - in case it ever happens to you - it is very helpful to role play possible situations and how you will react / respond to them. Act out likely scenarios with your family, friends, or classmates. Decide what words you will use, what tone of voice, how you will stand, and what actions you will take. Will you raise your voice at the bully? Walk away? Defend yourself? Report it? Rehearse these situations over and over again until your chosen response becomes second nature. By practicing your bully defense skills in advance of it ever happening, you will be as ready as possible for the real thing.
Some bullies aren't aware how badly they're making you feel. They may think that what they're doing is just a joke, or that it's all in good fun, as if they didn't really mean anything by it. Speak up and tell them! Let them know that what they're doing hurts, that you don't think it's cool, and that you want them to stop. Maybe speaking up is all it will take to stop the bullying. Maybe confronting the bully and being straight with them will change their perspective about what's going on and how they're treating you. If you never say anything, they may just keep doing it. Find your voice! Try to put an end to the bullying by telling them to stop.
A good martial arts and self defense program will teach you how to protect yourself in all kinds of dangerous and threatening situations - including bullying. If a bully tries to hurt you physically, you need to know how to stop their attacks and get away safely. That doesn't mean you should get into a full-blown fight! Depending on the situation, defending against the bully could be pushing them off of you, or escaping from a grab or hold, or blocking them from hitting you, or even restraining them until help arrives. If you ever get into a physical confrontation with a bully, knowing how to keep them from injuring you is vital! Take the time to invest in gaining the skills - and especially the confidence - that martial arts and self defense training give you. It's worth it!
Are you being bullied? Get help by reporting the incidents. If it's happening at school, tell your teacher what's going on. Alternatively, speak with the school counselor, resource officer, or another staff member you trust. Many schools have specific policies and procedures for helping kids who are being bullied - but they can't help you if they don't know. You may even be able to report the incidents anonymously if you prefer. Work cooperatively with the people you're reporting it to, and help them get a clear picture of everything that's going on - who, what, where, when, how and why. If you're being bullied, keeping quiet and hoping it will stop isn't the answer. Report it! Let others help you when you need it. And don't forget - you can report bullying on behalf of others too.
The torment and harassment of bullying can make you feel hurt, rejected, hopeless and alone. You may think that the bullying will never go away, that no one understands what you're going through, or that help is nowhere to be found. Reach out to someone! Talk to a person you trust. Call a friend. Contact people online, Write a a text message or email or letter. Phone a help line. Reach out in any way you can - the support is there. Help is available. You are not alone! It's hard to tackle tough challenges like bullying by yourself. Don't give up. Speak up, and let a helping hand come your way.
Learn to deal with it. Disagreements, arguing, fights, bullying, and all kinds of conflicts - small and large - are a part of life. Take the time to work on how you handle with it when it happens to you. Develop your communication skills. Work on your self-control. Be respectful, even when you stand up for yourself. Learn about conflict de-escalation and resolution. Build your self-esteem and self-confidence as a shield against others' attempts to bring you down. Aim to stay cool, calm and collected even in tense situations. Be nice, until it's time *not* to be nice - and protect yourself from harm when you need to. Strive to master yourself, so that when conflict comes your way - as it inevitably will - you will be ready and able to navigate through it just fine. Choose your battles wisely.