Liz Morrison, LCSW
How to Cope With Bullying – What Do You Do If You’re Being Bullied?
One of the main issues with cyberbullying is that the internet doesn’t sleep, so any negative or harmful content that someone puts out there about you doesn’t go away. This makes it hard to find relief from the bullying. It’s difficult to get away from it. You can’t just go home and close your door to cyberbullying.
People who use cyberbullying tend to get away with it more than in-person bullying because your teachers and parents may not hear about or see the bullying taking place. If you’re feeling embarrassed and ashamed of things other kids are posting about you on the internet, you might not reach out to your teachers or parents to tell them what’s going on. Often kids who are cyberbullied suffer silently.
In order to protect yourself from cyberbullying, be careful with what you post on social media and put online. You never know what other people might share or forward with others.
Don’t post anything that could hurt someone else. Treat other people online with the same respect you would in real life.
Don’t let anyone except your parents know your passwords. Use privacy settings to control who sees what you post online. Also, be aware of what you say to others online because you never know how people might react.
We know it seems lame, but let your parents follow you on social media. Keep them in the loop about your online activities. You can ask them not to write embarrassing things on your posts, but it’s important that they know what you’re doing online so that they can help you if something bad happens. Let your parents help you learn how to cope with bullying.
How to Cope With Bullying
We’ve come up with a few ideas that will help answer the question, “What do you do if you’re being bullied?”
Spend Time With People Who Make You Feel Good About Yourself
There are plenty of people who won’t treat you badly the way a bully does. Find the friends who make you feel good and hang out with them.
If your pool of friends is small and you’re being bullied, it’s easy to feel alone. Try to step out of your comfort zone and join a club or try something else. You’ll learn new things about yourself, maybe find something that you like, and meet other people who like the same things as you.
Talk to your family. We know it’s hard sometimes to tell your parents what’s going on in your life, but they care about you and want what’s best. If you’re feeling bad about yourself because of other people, your family would want to know about it.
Communicate Respectfully and Honestly if You’re Feeling Peer Pressured
When your friends try to get you to do things that make you comfortable or could get you into trouble, don’t go along with it.
Tell them why you don’t want to do what they’re doing. If they’re real friends, they’ll respect what you say and will leave you alone. If they try to bully you into going along, think about the consequences if you say yes. If you really don’t want to do something, be honest. You can disagree with your friends and still respect them. Don’t let friends bully you into doing something you know is wrong.
Stand Up For Yourself
You don’t need to fight back to stand up for yourself. Ask the person or group of people who are bullying you to stop.
Walk away from negative comments. If you can, avoid areas where the bullies hang out. Try not to sit near them in class or at lunch.
If you’re being bullied by someone you thought was your friend, try to have a conversation with them about why they’re treating you so unkindly. They may not even realize how their words and actions are affecting you. It might help to tell them how they’re making you feel.
And of course, sometimes the best strategy is to go to an adult you trust, particularly a teacher if the bullying is happening at school, and let the adults get involved if things get really bad.
Treat Other People With Respect and Kindness
You never know what other people are going through. Someone who is bullying you might be the victim of bullying themselves.
Instead of retaliating, be the bigger person and walk away from a bully. Kill them with kindness and they might actually stop! Be nice to kids who are getting picked on, especially if you can relate. Let others know that you understand how it feels. You might even make some new friends just by being kind to someone who’s having a hard time.
We know it can be difficult figuring out how to cope with bullying. If you’re looking for support, we’re here to help. Book a free consult to talk to our professional social workers today.