People often associate the topic of bullying with school, children and adolescents. However, bullying is not exclusive to youth. Bullies and their victims can be any age. What’s more, bullying in the 21st century is a more complicated issue than it once was. Now, both kids and adults have to contend with cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is using an electronic device to harass someone else. It includes hateful emails, text messages, blog entries, and internet forum posts. Are you being bullied by somebody? When someone else is doing their best to make you miserable, it can have a devastating impact on your self-esteem. It can also increase your anxiety levels, so that you find it difficult to focus on anything else other than the fact that you’re being bullied. Nobody should have to live their life in constant fear of someone else. If you would like to stop a bully from ruining your life, read on.
1. It’s Not Your Fault
When someone is bullying you, either in person or via the internet, it’s easy to blame yourself for what is happening. Don’t hold yourself responsible for the fact that someone else is attempting to bully you. The bullying isn’t happening because of a flaw in your physical appearance, character, or behavior towards others. Bullies often choose to bully other people because they are insecure about themselves and feel that they have no control over their lives. Bullying allows the bully to feel more confident for a short while. Don’t let the bully damage your self-esteem because it really isn’t your fault.
2. You Aren’t Alone
When someone is bullying you, it can make you feel rather lonely. The truth is that there countless others around the world who are currently being bullied, or have been the victim of bullying at some point in their lives. There are support groups available for the victims of bullying, and there are people around you that are familiar with the kind of experiences you’re currently going through. Remember that anybody can become the victim of a bully. Bullies themselves often end up mistreating others because they have been bullied. They’ve learned that if they are aggressive and unpleasant towards others, people will be less likely to want to bully them. If you are being bullied, then rest assured you aren’t the only person it is happening to.
3. Remaining Calm
When someone else is bullying you, it’s tempting to react angrily, or get upset. When you’re confronted by the bully, try your best to remain calm and relaxed. The bully wants you to get angry or emotional because when you do, it makes them feel more powerful and gives them control. When a bully knows that he can cause you to react, it will make him want to repeat the behavior that made you angry. If you don’t get mad or let your emotions show on the surface, the bully will soon get bored of trying to bully you.
4. Try Being Pleasant
It’s sometimes possible to stop a bully by treating them with kindness. That doesn’t mean you have to grovel or be sycophantic towards the bully. However, taking the time to say hello or offer to help in some way might just change the bully’s perception of you. Bullies often choose victims that make them feel threatened in some way. For instance, an adolescent girl who feels that she’s ugly might choose to bully an exceptionally pretty school peer. If you show kindness to someone who has tried to bully you, they might realize that you aren’t a threat to them at all. Of course, being kind might not work. Hence you should only try being nice a couple of times, and stop doing it if it’s ineffective.
5. Resolved Reactions
Without a victim, there can be no bully. If you stand up for yourself in a calm but assertive manner, the bully might choose another target. If you decide to confront the bully, stand up straight and look at them directly. In a clear and confident voice, let the bully know that you’ve noticed what they are trying to do to you, and that you’d like the behavior to stop. Try not to show any signs of weakness when you confront the bully.
6. The Cold Shoulder Treatment
The cold shoulder treatment can work very effectively when it comes to stopping a bully. Bullies can be compared to spoiled children who seek the attention of other people. Bullying a person forces them to notice you, and it doesn’t matter to the bully that the attention is negative. You could therefore try reacting to the bully by pretending that they do not exist. Refuse to respond to the bully, and ignore everything they say to you or other people. This technique is particularly effective if the bully is targeting you via the internet.
7. Seeking Help
If you have done all you can to stop your bully and you’re still being victimized, then it is time to enlist the help of somebody else. If you are a minor, then seek the help of a parent, teacher or school guidance counselor. If you are an adult, enlist the help of a friend, family member, supervisor or boss. Simply telling somebody else about your problem can help to put it into perspective and make it easier to cope with. If the bully becomes physically violent or makes serious threats against you, contact the police.
The stress that results from being the victim of a bully can take its toll on your mental and physical wellbeing. If you are being bullied, it is a good idea to see your doctor about it. You may also wish to consider making an appointment with a counselor or therapist. There is a lot you can do to reduce your stress levels at home too. For instance, you might decide to try yoga and meditation.