How to Deal with a Bully (without becoming one)

“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.

Stay calm.

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.

Report it.

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.

Develop friendships.

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

  1 comment for “How to Deal with a Bully (without becoming one)

  1. Teresa
    September 26, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    How and what to do when it was an adult in our community/coach/outside of school who bullied my son and his friend. This person was suspended from coaching for a year, but continued to spread rumors & distorted truths(lies) about my son.
    I have reached out for help, been threatened by him to get me for slander of his reputation for reporting this. I also thought of getting a harassment prevention against him, but have been told by several lawyers, people to just drop it and move on. But I can not and see myself now staring at him when he is around watching his moves out of fear and shaking my head at him.
    I tried to approach him when this originally happened, but he wanted nothing to do with talking with my son or his friend and had done nothing wrong.
    I now see myself becoming the person I do not believe I am or want to be
    because of feeling frightened of his potential accusations of my son, potential physical harm, and a lawsuite filed against me for standing up to this. I feel powerless for my son & family and only want to do the right thing.
    Please help… I have not told you the entire story because I am not a writer and would not want to do injustice to what needs to be told.
    Thank you,

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