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Teen Health: Bullying  Previous Next

Bullying

by: Amy Otis, RN

Bullying: Don't Be or Become a Victim To It!

Bullying can happen anywhere, anytime to anyone. It's not just a school or teenage problem. You can be bullied at home, in your neighborhood, in the mall, at work, on the net and lots of other places. Even adults get bullied (I recently had a nasty experience with this, it was not very pleasant). So it's real important to learn how to combat bullying, especially before you learn to drive... before it can become "road rage". There are really a lot of 'scary' people out there.

If you are being bullied, is there anything you can do to stop it? Is it something you just have to put up with or is there some way to put an end to the abuse? These are good questions.

There are steps you can take to stop the bullying. Remember, they don't always work, all bullies are different and many are very unpredictable.

First, don't let yourself become a victim. Sure, that's real easy to say, but there are some ways to accomplish this. Fighting back against a bully will only escalate the situation, most of the time that is exactly what they want you to do. Arguing with them is usually frustrating, impossible or dangerous -- especially if the person is impaired on alcohol or on drugs. Sometimes just ignoring them just doesn't work either. If you can’t just ignore them, the person, you may have to think fast and reply in a non-threatening or insulting manor. This takes the fun out of the taunting for the bully. There is nothing they can reply with if they think their name-calling isn't getting to you in any way, unless they are very creative and come up with a fast comeback. DON'T try this on someone who you don't know at all, they could be capable of anything.

If the bullying is physical, try to avoid any situation where you will be alone with that person. Also, don't act like you're scared, even if you are. Stand up straight and tall and look the bully in the eye if you are confronted. If it is a group of people, DON'T do this, run like the wind or yell, “FIRE!”

Of course, some situations are more serious, and will require intervention by other people. In a serious situation, you need to tell someone else about it. Go to an older person you can trust, your parent or a friend's parent, the school principal, a counselor, the school nurse, or a sports coach. Keep telling people until you find someone who will deal with the situation. It may be hard to believe, but the bully needs help just as much as you do to keep the bullying from becoming a lifelong habit.

Finally, realize that you don't deserve to be bullied. No one does. Don't live with it thinking that it's something you're doing wrong. You are a great person, so put an end to the bullying now. I learned how to stop it, but it was not so easy and it took a lot of time. Let's see who the "bully person' really is, here is kind of a bully "profile", it will help you understand what's going on with them.

TEN Things You Should Know About BULLIES:

 Bullies come in all ages, sizes, genders, races, and religions.

 Bullies use many tactics to threaten and harass people including, but not limited to, words and physical violence.

 People who behave in openly hostile behavior, who threaten others to make themselves feel powerful, or who build themselves up by tearing others down are bullies.

 Women are more likely to bully with words while guys most often resort to physical attacks. For this reason bullying by females is often ignored or not taken as seriously as bullying by men. The reality is that both types of bullying are very serious.

 Words can be just as harmful as physical violence and can cause lasting psychological damage to victims. The old adage, "Sticks and stones can break your bones but words will never hurt you!" is simply not true.

 Never try to handle a bully alone. Always go to a person with authority over the bully such as; a teacher, a principal, a school liaison officer or a parent.

 No matter what a bully threatens to do, you must tell somebody in a position of authority and your parents. Never suffer in silence. No matter how popular a bully seems you do not have to handle him/her alone. Responsible adults will help you if you tell them what is happening. Studies have shown that bullying stops when adults step in and telling an adult rarely makes the situation worse.

 Bullies often model what they see at home. Sometimes a bully is really crying out for help. Bullies often act out because they feel they have no control over their own lives; they bully in an attempt to take control. Telling an adult about a bully may end up helping BOTH of you.

 Ignoring bullies does not make them stop. Only adult intervention and awareness can end the harassment. Bullies thrive on the reactions of their victims and ignoring them can make them step up their efforts. However, if you tell an adult and then start ignoring the bullying behavior the bully will tend to back off. Only start ignoring the behavior after you have made as many adults as possible aware of the problem.

 As children grow in to teens bullying behaviors often escalate. Death threats, taunts urging suicide, group attacks, and violence with weapons can occur. This sort if behavior is criminal and should always be reported to the police as well as to school officials and parents.

 Don't hide, speak out and tell someone!


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