One out of five students report being bullied.

Even if you don't directly face bullying yourself, chances are someone that you care about has or will. As current high school students and recent students, we've come up with these 5 ways you can deal with bullying.

Ignore It

Photo by Casper Nichols on Unsplash Photo by Casper Nichols on Unsplash

Many people will advise you to block, ignore, or pretend the bully doesn't exist.

Is it right for you?

This works in situations where the bullying is mild and you have supportive friends around you.

If the bullying is more severe, ignoring it will probably not make it stop on it's own.

What it looks like

  • Blocking or muting on social media.

  • Not responding to comments in person.

Talk To Your Friends

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

If you're being bullied, one of the ways you can reach out for help is to speak with a friend or someone you trust about the situation. Your friends can offer advice, or can even help you confront the bully. It's important to keep in mind, our friends aren't experts, and sometimes they don't give the best advice. It all depends on what YOU want to do. Take everyone's opinion with a grain of salt.

Is it right for you?

Every bullying situation is different, and will require a different solution. If the situation is not super serious and is not violent, you might be able talk to your friends about your problems and find a solution.

Not all advice is good advice. Think carefully about what your friends suggest before taking action.

What it sounds like

Asking for advice can really help you figure out how to deal with the problem.

I'm getting bullied, and I have no idea what to do about it. Can you help?

Try and talk about how it makes you feel, or what the bully is doing.

It makes me feel terrible, and it's to the point where I don't even like coming to school anymore.

Then, you can ask them something like:

What do you guys think I should do?

Any advice?

What would you do in this situation?

Talk To The Bully

Photo by Hussam Abd on Unsplash Photo by Hussam Abd on Unsplash

Sometimes direct confrontation with the bully can benefit you, depending on the situation.

Bullies are people with insecurities themselves. If you can identify why they're behaving badly, it will prepare you to confront the bully much better.

Is it right for you?

To make this work, you need to:

  • Understand why they're bullying you (so you know what to say to them). E.g., are they doing it for attention? Are they jealous?

  • Be assertive. You need to feel confident to shut it down and change the dynamic where they have power over you

  • If all fails, fake it till you make it

This is not a good option if the bully might become violent.

What it sounds like

The most important thing to remember is to try not to provoke them, since it could worsen the situation and cause them to act more aggressively.

It's better if you have a friend or someone with you and you do this in a public place.

The first step is to show your objection:

Stop. We need to talk.

The rest of the confrontation might go like this:

I know you think that you're [funny/cool/...or whatever] by being mean to everyone around you, but honestly it just makes you look kinda lame.

Talk To A Parent

Your parent can help you come up with a plan, talk to your school, or just listen to you vent.

Is it right for you?

You know your relationship with your parents better than anyone else. It's possible that getting them involved could make things worse.

Make sure you are clear about your boundaries when you ask them for help. E.g., I just want advice, I don't want any advice, I don't want you to talk to the school, etc.

What it sounds like

I've been having an issue with a bully. If I tell you about it, can you give me some advice but promise not to get involved?

Things have gotten serious with a bully at school. If I tell you what happened, can you please help me make a plan of what to do?

Talk To A Teacher

Teachers have your best interest and want to help, but beware that talking to a teacher usually escalates the issue (making it a bigger deal) - because your teacher may have to follow rules about reporting it to the office or other staff. Choose this option if things have gotten serious and you aren't sure what else you can do. 🤔

Is it right for you?

If you have tried the other options on your own and are still struggling, this may be your best option.

If you want to get advice without formally reporting the bullying, you can also ask your teacher for advice without using names or specific details.

What it sounds like

I've been getting bullied and am not sure what else I can do to make it stop. Can you help?

Someone has been sending me pretty mean messages and I'm not sure what to do. I've asked them to stop but they won't. What should I do?

Take Action

Bullying sucks, but you aren't alone - and you have options.


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