Dealing with bullying

What should I do if I'm being bullied?

1. Remember it’s not your fault. You might feel scared, sad and embarrassed, but it’s the person or people doing the bullying that need to change, not you.

2. Get help. Don’t suffer in silence. Think of an adult who could help you. Tell them you think you are being bullied and you need their help to stop it. If they don’t give you the advice you need, go to the next person until you find someone that can help you stop the bullying. No one has the right to hurt you. It is a strong person that asks for help.

3. Keep a record. Try and keep a diary of events. This should include what happened, when and with who. Your parent or carer might be able to help you do this.

4. Know your friends. Make sure you only hang around with people who make you feel good about yourself. If someone makes you feel sad, scared, or makes you do things you don’t want to do, they are not your friend. Find out more about whether you've got a friend or a frenemy here.

5. Practice standing up for yourself. It can help to practice standing or sitting up tall in the mirror, making eye contact and saying a clear, firm ‘No’. Don’t let the person bullying you get a reaction from you.

6. Seek a place of safety. If you are at risk of harm, take yourself away from the situation. Do whatever it takes not to get hurt. If that means finding a safe place at break or lunch time like a classroom or the library then do it. Just make sure you seek help as soon as you can.

7. Remember no one has the right to hurt you. If someone has physically hurt you in any way, has
touched you in a way that made you uncomfortable or is trying to get you to do something dangerous or risky then seek help. If the person you talk to doesn’t listen or take you seriously, don’t blame yourself, find someone who will help.

8. Love yourself. When you are bullied it can make you feel sad and lonely and like you are rubbish. You are not rubbish. You are amazing and wonderful and life will get better. Do things that make you feel good about yourself. That might be playing with a pet, going for walks, doing sports, singing, watching funny videos, playing games, writing down your feelings as poems or songs. We want you to know you are not alone. Thousands of children go through bullying every day. Together we will stop it and you will be okay.

9. Stand up for others. We all have a part to play in stopping bullying. If you see children who are scared or lonely, stand or sit with them. Don’t join in bullying behaviour by laughing or sharing cruel posts. Make it clear to those doing the bullying that you don’t find it funny or like it. Stand up for others who are different. Show them you think they are great just as they are.

What if someone is pressurising me to do something I don't want to do?

Why me?

Bullying can make you feel alone and scared. If you are being bullied, it is normal to ask the question, 'why me?' But trust us when we say this is not your fault.

Bullying can happen to anyone. Just look at all the celebrities out there who experienced bullying as children and teenagers.

We know it is really tough to go through a bullying situation but we are here to give you the advice you need to get through it. You are not alone.

Why do people bully?

People bully others because they want to feel powerful, and prove something either to themselves or the people around them.

Often it is an attempt to gain power popularity (for example, by making other people laugh or getting other people to be on their side) or to stop getting hurt themselves (for example, 'If I bully others people will know they can't hurt me').

It can also be because:

  • They don't know how to manage their own thoughts and feelings (e.g. they often hit and hurt others)
  • They have been bullied or hurt by other people themselves
  • They are experiencing violence at home
  • They are scared of being hurt by other people
  • They are jealous of other people
  • They feel like they are not good enough
  • They have negative beliefs about people who are different
  • They are overcome by stress or pressure

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