TARGETS AND BULLYING
If you or a friend are being targeted by a bully (or concerned that you may be targeted), the tips and advice presented here will give you some ideas of what you can do.
Bullying is aggressive behavior that is intentional, hurtful and repeated.
No student should ever have to worry about dealing with a bully at school, after school or on-line.
If you are the target of a bully, it’s important for you to know that it’s not your fault. No one deserves to be bullied, harassed or intimidated.
PREVENT BEING A TARGET
Using these tips will help you avoid being the target of a bully.
Watch your body language:
Since bullies often target those who are quiet or seem passive, doing the following will help reduce your chance of being singled out by a bully:
- As you walk through the halls at school, hold your head up, make eye contact with others and give a friendly smile.
- Stand tall, walk confidently and use body language that shows you’re self-confident and self-assured.
- When someone speaks to you, stand up straight, smile, and speak clearly in a friendly tone of voice.
Control your environment:
- Avoid situations and places where bullying is likely to happen; however, don’t let a bully stop you from doing the things you need or want to do (walking to school, to a game, etc.)
- Bullies are less likely to target students in a group. Sit with friends at lunch.
WHAT TO DO
You don’t have control over another’s actions, but you do have a choice as to how you respond. If you are dealing with a bully, try doing the following:
Speak up and speak out. Look the bully in the eye, remain calm, and speak in a confident, respectful voice. Be assertive and tell the bully to stop.
Walk away. Calmly walk away and ignore the bully. Don’t show fear. Fear, anger and other reactions give bullies what they’re looking for.
Use humour. Say something funny to show that you’re not upset.
Keep a record. Include the people involved, dates, times, places and the specific things that were said, done, sent or posted on-line.
Tell an adult. Talk to a teacher, counselor, coach, parent or adult you trust. Explain what’s happening and ask for their advice. Show your record if you can.
Get involved. Find one or two school activities you might enjoy and get involved. This is a good way to make new friends. (Having friends around is important when dealing with a bully).
THINGS TO REMEMBER
If you or a friend are being targeted, tell yourself (or your friend) to do the following:
- Believe in yourself.
You and the people who care about you know what you’re really like. Remind yourself of your positive traits, and replace any negative thoughts with positive “self-talk.” I’m a good person. I am strong.
I can handle this.
- Don’t take it personally.
Remember, it’s the bully who has a problem, not you. Although it’s hard to feel sorry for bullies, just remember that if bullies were happy, they wouldn’t feel the need to hurt others.
“Everyone has in them something precious that is in no one else.”
- Tell as many people as you can. Sometimes just having things out in the open can be enough to make bullies stop.
- If the bullying is happening at school, your counselor, principal or any of your teachers can help. Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School has an anti-bullying policy.
- Tell your parent(s) and friends what’s going on.
- Don’t think of telling as “ratting” or “tattling.” Think of it as standing up for yourself and for what’s right.
- Bullying can have lasting effects. Holding fear, frustration and anger inside is not healthy. Speak up and speak out.
- If you are being bullied, chances are the bully is causing problems for others. By stopping the bully, you are not only protecting yourself, you’re making your school a safer place for everyone.
- Bullies try to isolate those they’re bullying. Do not let that happen. Tell someone.
“Never be bullied into silence.
Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
Accept no one’s definition of your life,
but define yourself.” Harvey Firestone.
Targets and Bullying
Author – Jody Johnston Pawel