Are you a bully? Are you a victim?

It’s been part of society since the beginning of time, bullying.  One person is bigger or more dominate and they take advantage of someone else.

Who is a bully?

The dictionary says to  bully is  to frighten, hurt, or threaten (a smaller or weaker person) : to act like a bully toward (someone): to cause (someone) to do something by making threats or insults or by using force.  (Source Merriam-Webster Dictionary http://www.merriam-webster.com/).  There are many degree’s and levels of bullying.  A few common examples are:  physically hurting/attacking someone, Malicious teasing, spreading hurtful rumors or gossip, cyber bullying, harassment of sorts, ganging up on someone or isolating someone and intimidating them.  Sending malicious or threatening text, emails, instant messages, blogs, social media and other electronic media is also bullying.

Are you a bully?  Are you hurting, threatening someone or using your strength, size or social status in a mean way? Chances are you are a bully.  It takes a lot of maturity to step back and admit that you are a bully!  The first step to correcting your behavior is to admit that you are a bully.

If bullies would just stop and put themselves in the other person’s shoes and really think about how that would make them feel. if you are a bully you may need to seek guidance from a trusted adult, school official or professional.  There is NOTHING wrong with asking for help to stop a cycle of bullying for the victim or the bully.

School and clubs

Bullying happens in all schools, it’s almost not avoidable.  If you or your child is being bullied, chances are others are as well.  many schools have bullying prevention programs that can help reduce bullying.  It is ALWAYS ok to go to the school’s councilor, coach, trusted adult or family member and talk about any bullying that has occurred.  The person being bullies is NOT at fault,  that person is a victim and needs help!

Adult intervention at school

Parents and adults please don’t be afraid to step up and be the adult in any situation where bullying occurs.  It’s best to keep a writing record documenting the bullying with details, times, dates and whom was there. DO NOT blame the victim, it’s not there fault.  Calling the school and reporting bullying is a great start.  Talk directly to the teacher(s) let them know what you have information on and make them aware of the situation.  Once the teachers are aware of the situation you can expect action to be taken by the school.  Ask the teacher(s) what procedures, rules and actions are in place to help the child.  If this does not help please go to the school’s administration and talk with the child’s assistant principal. The school wants to stop bullying but they can’t without YOUR help, adults.

On-line

On-line many times a bully will hid behind a fake profile, name or account to spread rumors, lies, and false information.   A quick and easy way to help solve this issue is to report and block anyone that you don’t know that sends you a random message or information that appears to be attacking or harming someone else.  Sometimes bully’s think they are trying to “help” others but usually if they are bent on hurting or spreading this type info, they are probably in it for another reason.

Are you being bullied?

If so it is important that you tell someone, a  trusted adult.  Your peers usually cannot help you and that might make it worse.  Get another adult involved.  Don’t be afraid to stand up to the bully in a public place in a non-aggressive posture, Don’t fight them, if if becomes physical get away.  There is NOTHING wrong with walking away from a physical encounter, heck RUN if you need to!  Another strategy to help you is to stay in a group when possible and to always try to have a few friends around.

As a bully it is important NOT to fight back or bully the other person, or find someone to bully them.  I know it’s NOT your fault, they are the one in the wrong.  Keeping it to yourself will not make it go away.  Avoid the bully if possible but don’t skip school or miss other activities because they might be there!

Written by: Matthew Hite, Amarillo, TX

Additional resources:

Stop Bullying
http://www.stopbullying.gov/kids/

Stop Bullying now
http://stopbullyingnow.com/

Stop Bullying Pledge and games
http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/promos/stopbullying/

 

 

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