Author: LoZz
Title: Bullying


What is bullying?

There is a difference between bullying and teasing. This topic is just to deal with bullying. Teasing is just someone making fun of you, mocking you, perhaps even in a joking manner. Bullying is when someone or a group of people set out to make your life a total misery over a long period of time be it physically or mentally. A fight in a playground in not bullying. However being kicked to the ground but a group of other guys several times a weeks is bullying.

What makes you qualified to speak out about bullying?

Well experiencing something first hand is the best way to learn about it. Before you dismiss me as not knowing what the I am talking about and not possibly being able to understand what your going threw, I think its only fair, if others are to talk about there experience, to share what happened to me briefly. This topic isnít about me though itís about you so this will be very brief. During my 11 years in the British education system I was bullied for around 9 of them more or less in a row. The severity varied from a bit of name calling to being physically assaulted by a teacher, stabbed in the leg with a screwdriver on the school bus and being throw into a skip. I do know what I am talking about when it comes to bullying.

Is bullying acceptable?

No, no matter what anyone ever tells you donít ever think its ok for people to hurt you. Its not.
There is a sizable majority of people, the chances are most of these people where never bullied that badly if at all as children. Who will say bullying is a normal acceptable part of childhood, its character building and is good for you long term. Let me tell you now that is the biggest pile of to do with childhood ever conceived. Never ever accept that as an answer to the bullying problem and never let yourself take that viewpoint. What is true is itís a normal part of childhood. Some 1 in 3 of us will be bullied at school. Quite a sizeable number.

Why are they bullying me?

To say there is no reason and its just pure luck isnít true. Kids can be very cruel and not very sensitive to ďdifferencesĒ. They can pick on you for anything. Anything that makes you stands out or different to the other kids. It could be your familiesí level of wealth, your physical appearance, your mental or physical disabilities and even learning difficulties. It can also be because of your race, the fact you maybe donít act like people of your gender should act. Your sexuality. I could go on, but you get the point. Its whatever makes you different and it could be something very subtle. There is some luck element to it as well I guess. But not as much as people would have you believe. Itís also how you react to there bullying which can make you a target. If you meet their violence with violence. If you give whatever is said to you back and ignore any threats of violence they will be less incline to pick on you. Where as if you hand over your lunch money every time they are going to go for you every time.

What makes someone a bully?

A popular myth is that bullies are victims themselves. While that may well be true for some the reality is that most properly had a similar upbringing to yourself. The idea that when they go home they are beaten by their drunken father or crack addict mum isnít true. Its told to make the victim of bullying feels better. Anyone of us can be a bully; most of us have been, usually to a sibling. All you need to be a bully is to have the nerve to do it and not have any moral objections, which for children isnít that hard. And everyone gets a bit of a thrill from having power over someone. That said though a long-term bully, a serious bully is usually something who is not held accountable for his actions at home by his parents. If your parents do not reprimand you for your behaviour its very easy to just do what you like.

What can I do to make myself less of a target for bullies?

Once the bullying has already started and they have identified you as an easy target itís a bit too late for this. But the answer is, the most obvious thing as well, stand up for yourself. Donít let them push you around; donít go down without a fight. Like I said that sounds like the most obvious thing in the world. But some kids wonít, thatís why bullies go after them in the first place, they are too afraid to stand up for themselves.

Dealing and coping with bulling

I say dealing rather then stopping because sadly, as my experience has taught me pretty much everyone is reluctant to deal with bullying. From the schools to the police. The only people who can stop bullying are the parents of the bully. If they donít care then we have problems. However donít assume this is always the case, Prepare yourself for it and we will go over how to deal with that later but at first you should try telling someone.

Tell people
Tell everyone. Do not suffer alone. People canít help you if they donít know whatís going on. Parents and teachers are not mind readers. If you canít stop the bullying yourself these are going to be the only people who can help.

You should tell the teachers. I know this may feel like something only little kidís do, telling on each other, but they need to know. Because if it continues then they can if they actually care expel the bully from the school. At lest then, regardless of anything else he canít get you anymore. In some cases once the teachers know it can put a bully off.

Your parents have a right to know. Donít be afraid to tell them or embarrassed to tell them. It doesnít matter how old you are they will care. At first your parents might be a bit reluctant to believe you or they might dismiss it totally thinking its teenager emotion getting involved. Donít accept this. Keep at it and get them to believe you and take it seriously. This is doubly important if the teachers and the school refuse to do anything about bullying. They can ignore you but itís very hard to ignore an angry parent who storms into your office demanding he/she sorts it out.

As a last resort you also should consider the police. Again in my experience it was when the law got involved that these no good parents who didnít care what there children did to other kids finally got involved. And surprise, surprise some of them started to leave me alone! However the police are reluctant to arrested kids or do anything more then have words with parents when dealing with bullying. They prefer to let the schools handle it. Therefore the police are only a real option once we get to serious bullying or once all over avenues have been tried.

Defend yourself but do not go on the offensive

This is a tricky and controversial area of bullying. Many people disagree on it. If someone physically attacks you. You have every legal and moral right to defend yourself and while the victims of bullying are often the kind of people who wouldnít you should try defending yourself. Bullies will always go for the easiest and softest targets, donít let that be you.

However know when its time to take a beating. If there is a gang of them fighting back could end up with you getting a much bigger beating then what you would have had. Pride is not worth dieing for; itís not worth being put in hospital for.

Do not go on the offensive. If you attack your bullies. If you respond to a joke about your mum by hitting them in the face you lose all credibility you had with the school and possibly your parents and the law about being the victim of the bullying. They will almost certainly dismiss your clam of bullying and put the whole thing down to just lads having a fight. Your also then get into a situation of escalation, what you did to him he might do back but make it 10 times worse.

Being bullied by a teacher, co-worker or parent

This is not acceptable and while the law will not take the actions of children very seriously a parent or teacher abusing their power is taken very seriously. Go right to the police. Do not allow yourself to suffer because you do not need to.

While very rare, bullying can continue into the work place. However at this stage peopleís tolerances for child like behaviour are at zero. Inform your employer and in 99% of cases this will resolve the issue. Should it be your boss doing the bullying simply go above his head to his boss. Remember unlike school you donít have to be there, Legal action such a suing a company is also an option and a good idea, many people have won for bullying clams.

Coping with bullying

The harsh true in all of this is that while telling someone in a position to do something may solve bullying there is a strong chance it wonít The system and how we deal with bullying has to be changed. But until it is you can only operate within the current system and do what you can and sadly thatís not a lot. The chances are you will have to learn to cope that you are being bullied. If you canít stand up for yourself and no one you have told no matter how many times will stand up for you then you have little choice.

All I can say is donít let them win. I put up with their for 9 years of my life and I didnít let them win. They win when you give up and take your own life which every year around the world 1000ís of children take there lives because some ass hole in there class couldnít leave them alone. You win by not letting them do that to you. There is life after school. School doesnít last forever. This is what you need to remember/do, it helped me cope, it will help you cope (I hope).

  • 1. Have a happy place. By this I mean a place you can go and feel safe and be happy. Itís important that in-between school or wherever it is they get you that you are in a safe place. For me this was home and the support of my parents that helped me get from day to day. It could be your friends who you hang around with after a day at school, etc etc.
    2. Remember your better then them. Think about it, how sad are they really? To spend a good amount of theyíre time making you feel like crap. They may say youíre the worthless one but your not the one who needs to make yourself feel better by making other people suffer.
    4. Donít let them see you crack; donít let them see you suffer. What they want from you is to see those water works, to see that what they are doing is affecting you. Donít give them that. Sure being bullied makes us all feel like crap and you should let out those feelings. But donít let them see that. Wait till you get home or can be alone and then by all means let it out, but donít give them that little victory.
    5. Do your best not to react. As hard as it is, do not over react to every little thing they say or do, thatís what they want from you and thatís what makes it worse. Take it on the chin. The more you play their game the more they will keep doing to you. The less reaction they get from you the less fun it is and the more likely they will give up.
    6. Defend yourself. Like I said if its 8 vs. 1 it might be worth just taking that kicking but donít let one guy kick you around like his punching bag, even if you lose that fight he will be less likely to do it if every time he gets a few punches back, who knows one day you might get lucky and land a decent blow. Like I said donít over react, Do donít fight unless you have to and in self-defence, you want to make sure that everyone knows your the victim.
    7. Talk. When you get home and your mum asks how your day was donít say ďfineĒ. Tell her the truth, even if she canít do anything about it because even a few words of encouragement from your parents or friends can and will make you feel better. Itís quite common when being bullied to forget that actually there are people out there who still care about you. Donít pass up the opportunity to let them remind you how much they care about you.
    8. School isnít all there is in life. Where you and I differ is I lived threw and made it to the other side of what your going threw and I cant tell you just how much better life is after school. Remember that, you have a few years perhaps and then school is over and you will never see these guys again. I am 10x better in every possible aspect of my life since I left school and you know what? You will be as well. You just have to say, ď youĒ to these guys and do not let them ruin your life because school isnít your life. There is so much more to life and the sooner you realise that the much better you will be at coping with it.
    9. Donít believe what they say. If someone is telling youíre a loser and has been for the last 5-6 years its only natural to start thinking ďwell maybe I am a loser? Everyone calls me it after allĒ. Donít think like that. Whatever it is they say you are, your not. Remember while they can hurt, its just words. Donít let them define who you are.

People on the Internet canít really help you with this problem. This is something only people in your life can help you with. Youíre also the one who has to cope with it. We canít make you cope with it only you can. You need to find you release and find something that will help you escapes from it, be it music or games. And to find people who will remind you that people out there do care for you. Once itís all over itís also important to not let it consume anymore of your life then it already has. It wont be something you forget and it will leave a chip on your shoulder for years to come, it did for me, But once its over its over. You cant go back and change it, donít beat yourself up about it. Itís not your fault.

Helping a friend being bullied

This is what separates the good friends from the casual acquaintances. How far will you or how far should you go to help someone being bullied? Let me say never underestimate how important your support is to your friend during these situations. Keeping your friends chin up, and trying to keep them happy will go along way to making them feel better and will really help them cope. At a deeper level you may have to take on some responsibility here. Itís hard for victims of bullying to come forward and tell someone when they have been told if they do ďsnitchĒ or ďtellĒ they will get hurt even more. If your friend wonít go forward, and you canít make him then you need to go forward for him. Tell a teacher and donít be afraid to tell his parents. This applies for a work buddy (obviously you speak to your boss not a teacher) as well as a school friend. It also applies to perhaps a friend who is getting beaten up by his father but in that case obviously itís the police you talk to. Its not easy but trust me when I say your doing your friend a big favour. Donít expect to be thanked right away; this is one of those ďtuff loveĒ situations when doing whatís best for our friends isnít what they want. Be prepared for your friend to be pretty damn peed off with you. But long term its whatís best for your friend, particularly if it helps at lest lessens the bullying if not flat our fix it. He will thank you one day.

Another situation you might find yourself in is do I step in and save my friend from getting beaten up here? I canít tell you what you should or shouldnít do In this one. Some people will, some people wouldnít. What I will say though is if its one guy, even if he is a bit older and stronger then you, and there is half a dozen of you are you really going to stand by and let a friend get beaten up when you could so easily defend him by sheer weight of numbers? Chances are if you all stood up and grew a spine this one guy would back down. However if there is a gang of them and itís just and your buddy and they are after him and not you I wouldnít say youíre a bad friend for not getting physically involved. Getting your assed kicked as well doesnít help your friend and it will more then likely make you another target for the bullying. Which doesnít help ether of you. Your friend will understand this. If regardless of circumstance you did stick up for your friend you will certainly be giving him a big self esteem boost which is what he needs right now