If you're being bullied, whether it's online or at school, university or work, it can be really difficult and leave you feeling hurt - but you are not alone. We have advice on how you can tell someone and get help.
What is bullying?
If somebody physically hurts you, or verbally abuses you, that’s bullying.
Specific types of bullying include:
- homophobic bullying based on your sexual orientation
- racist bullying because of your skin colour or ethnicity
- religious bullying because of your beliefs or faith.
- sizeist bullying referring to your body size
- sexist bullying focusing on you being of the opposite sex
- cyberbullying targeting you online, often anonymously
- bullying because you are different
Bullying can be a one-off or it can go on for a long time. And bullying can happen to anyone.
Top tips to deal with bullying
- Remember it’s not your fault. You might feel scared, sad and embarrassed but it’s the person or people doing the bullying that need to change, not you.
- Get help. Don’t suffer in silence. Think of an adult who could help you. Tell them you think you are being bullied and you need their help to stop it. If they don’t give you the advice you need, go to the next person until you find someone that can help you stop it.
- Keep a record. Try and keep a diary of events. This should include what happened, when and with who. Your parent or carer might be able to help you do this.
- Know your friends. Make sure you only hang around with people who make you feel good about yourself. If someone makes you feel sad, scared or makes you do things you don’t want to do they are not your friend.
- Practice standing up for yourself. It can help to practice standing or sitting up tall in the mirror, making eye contact and saying a clear, firm ‘No’. Don’t let the person bullying you get a reaction from you.
- Seek a place of safety. If you are at risk of harm there is no shame in taking yourself away from the situation. Do whatever it takes not to get hurt. If that means finding a safe place at break or lunch time like a classroom or the library then do it. Just make sure you seek help as soon as you can.
- Remember no one has the right to hurt you. If someone has physically hurt you in any way, has touched you in a way that made you uncomfortable or is trying to get you to do something dangerous or risky then seek help. If the person you talk to doesn’t listen or take you seriously, don’t blame yourself, find someone who will help.
- Love yourself. When you are bullied it can make you feel sad and lonely and like you are rubbish. You are not rubbish. You are amazing and wonderful and life will get better. Do things that make you feel good about yourself. That might be playing with a pet, going for walks, doing sports, singing, watching funny videos, playing games, writing down your feelings as poems or songs.
- Stand up for others. We all have a part to play in stopping bullying. If you see children who are scared or lonely stand or sit with them. Don’t join in bullying behaviour by laughing or sharing cruel posts. Make it clear to those doing the bullying that you don’t find it funny or like it. Stand up for others who are different. Show them you think they are great just as they are.
Kidscape provides practical support, training, and advice to challenge bullying and protect young lives. Visit their website here.