“Don’t stoop to their level.”
“Be the bigger person.”
“Don’t let them bring you down.”
Have you been given this advice before? It’s very good advice, and the brightest people heed it every time they face conflict with another person.
The Scary Guy has said to us many times that, if you respond with the same negative energy as your aggressor, “you have become them”. The last thing we want is for the good, kind people of this world to become bullies, just because they themselves have been treated badly. In fact, that is how many bullies come to be – from being treated badly and becoming something they were not.
It is possible to deal with a bully without becoming one yourself.
Try your best to remain composed. Reacting dramatically or negatively at all will likely only encourage more harassment. Bullies are often looking to get some sort of rouse out of you. Don’t give them the satisfaction.
Tell them to stop.
The key word here is “tell”. Do not ask, because you do not have to ask. Asking will make them think they have some sort of authority over you. Telling them to stop, with confidence and assertion, will help you gain a certain level of respect from the bully. Show them that they do not have power over you. Just remember to remain calm.
Avoid a fight.
Stay away from places where adults are not nearby, where bullies have a chance to surround and harm you. Bullies are often aggressive and may threaten you with physical harm. If this happens, first call for help and try to get away as fast as you can. If all else fails then yes, defend yourself to keep from getting seriously hurt. Just be careful about how you do it; you don’t want to get into trouble yourself.
Whether it’s a parent, a teacher, a nurse, the principal, or a volunteer, tell a trusted adult what has happened, or what has been happening. Get it out of your head that you are “tattling”. This is not tattling. You are not a snitch, and you are not weak. You are someone who needs help, and adults can help. Do not be ashamed, because what you are doing is not shameful – it’s courageous.
Making friends, indulging in interests and hobbies, and participating in after-school activities will help improve your confidence and support system. Having a close circle of friends may help thwart bullies, because you aren’t alone; you’re not as easy of a target because you are surrounded by people who could back you up.
We want to see targets of harassment, intimidation and bullying get through their conflicts successfully with pride and grace, not hate and violence. By handling their bullies in such a way, they prevent themselves from succumbing to the negative energy that could transform them into a different person – a person with feelings of hate, vengeance, and resentment. It is possible to overcome bullying without being a bully yourself.
“You don’t eliminate hate with hate.” – Scary Guy