Compared to all of the things kids can become involved in this day and age, bullying behavior might seem to be insignificant. But, it isn't. More than 160,000 kids skip school every day because of bullying.
What is bullying? It's more than just a part of growing up. Actually a form of aggressive, violent behavior, bullying occurs when someone repeatedly does or says things to gain power over another person, or to dominate them. And, studies show that one in four children who bully will have a criminal record before the age of 30.
Bullying can take several forms: physical, emotional, verbal or a combination of these. It might involve one child bullying another, a group of children against a single child, or groups against other groups.
Recent data indicate that bullying is pervasive in most schools.
The National Threat Assessment Center, run by the Secret Service, reported last fall that in more than two-thirds of 37 recent school shootings, the attackers felt "persecuted, bullied, beatened, attacked or injured."
The National School Safety Center estimates that there are more than 525,000 attacks,shakedowns, and robberies per month in public secondary schools in this country.
The NEA estimates that 28 million missed school days per year occur due to fear of attack or intimidation by a bully.
In a survey of 558 students in a Midwestern middle school, the researchers found that 80 percent of the students had engaged in bullying behaviors in the previous 30 days.
Bullying is destructive and unhealthy behavior period.
Victims of bullying behavior are most likely targeted because of psychological traits more than physical traits.
Typical victims tend to be shy, sensitive, and insecure.
How can we recognize bullying behavior? Here are some examples:
name calling, put-downs, cruel teasing;
saying or writing nasty things about them;
deliberately excluding them from activities;
not talking to them;
threatening them with bodily harm;
taking or damaging their things;
hitting or kicking them; or
making them do things they don't want to do
Bullies can be aggressive and outgoing, or they can be reserved and manipulative. But they all have some similar characteristics in common.
are concerned with their own pleasure;
want power over others;
are willing to use and abuse people to get what they want;
feel pain inside;
and find it difficult to see things from someone else's perspective.
1. Aggressive bullies are likely to abuse physically and without hesitation. Try to feel the inner: You always think you have your life that he/she cannot take away from you. Believe you will be stronger than him, you are stronger than him.
2. Taunting bullies are verbally abusive (calling names, making jokes, teasing, etc.).
3. Indirect bullies spread rumors, exclude others, and harass their victims whenever possible. Try to overcome the rumors, tell everyone its not true and the bully just wants attention.
4. Cyber bullies harass other kids through instant messaging, e-mail, and any other electronic means. There are more specific ways to deal with online bullies. The best way is to delete them and not read anything they say. Be sure to block the bully as well.
5. Work your way around the bullies. Try and avoid them in school and social situations. If they go somewhere the same way you do, try a different way, if they can't find you, they can't bully you. Don't go anywhere near them,try your best to avoid them but don't show that you are avoiding them. They will usually read this as fear/success, and they will bully you more as a result.
6. Show minimal reaction to bullying. Do not show the bullies that you feel hurt if they do something that makes you uncomfortable; just walk off. Bullies gain satisfaction from making others feel hurt or uncomfortable, so giving them a reaction may only encourage them further. The bully wants attention and if you show them that they are emotionally hurting you, they will get more pleasure out of doing this. This tactic may backfire depending on the bully, so read the situation carefully. Some bullies will feel safe tormenting you,(as they enjoy that action itself) if they see that you aren't suffering from their actions. You cannot talk sense to an irrational person. Walk away with dignity, saying you have better things to do with your time. If it continues, stand up for yourself. If it continues or does not continue, be sure to stand up for others.
7. Do not make jokes at your own expense to try to prove that there is nothing they can do to hurt your feelings. This will only please them, and they will often chip in with their own ridicule and humiliation to lower your self-esteem.
8. Reflect an insult back to a verbal attacker. If accomplished in public, this can elicit laughter from surrounding peers or victims at the bully's expense. This is a bully's worst nightmare, as they are de-throned from their position of power over you. Remember not to show the bully the attention they are hungry for, as this will allow the bully the pleasure of actually hurting others emotionally. Avoid insulting the bully if they have a history of being able to physically bully you, as this instigates a conflict that you can't win. Instead of exacerbating the situation, walk away. Report this to an authority figure if you believe you are in danger.
9. Report all bullying to an authority figure. Consider your parents, school guidance counselor, principal, or someone else who can deal with or punish the bully and protect your safety. It's important that you talk to someone about your problem to get it to end. Do not worry about revenge that the bully may take if you report the incident; they will hurt you anyway and appeasing them doesn't solve your problem. You can also go to tell a good friend. A good friend includes them standing up for you and you standing up for them as well at all times. If there is a bullying survey in your school always write your name down. Do not be embarrassed. You will probably start to talk to someone who is very experienced and this can be surprisingly helpful. You might feel very small but in reality you are bigger then the bully.
10. Help others. Bullies are people who try to make themselves look good. All they want is attention take that away from them and they have nothing. But you can look better by helping others! Try asking the bully why they pick on people. There is never a good enough answer to this question. If you dont want to ask the bully this force them into being uncomfortable but, make sure your not bullying them!
11. Take Martial art lessons. Consider Karate, Kung Fu, Taekwondo or something that will give you the confidence and the ability to defend yourself and fight properly. You will also learn how not to appear to be an easy target. Walk with a purposeful confidence and a 'don't you dare mess with me attitude.' Be aware of your surroundings. Walk with your head up looking forward in the direction you are walking, use your peripheral vision to be aware of the people around you. No matter how untrue this is, act confident and stand tall.
12. Learn self defense. This is very important should you need to fight, do so with all your strength, not reluctantly. A Tang Soo Do Self-defense class will teach you to do this. A quick kick in the groin will make the person feel dazed and look embarrassed long enough for an escape. Bullies aren't always used to others getting the best of them. If the bully's grabbing you or pushing you, it's actually an advantage. Try real hard to keep your balance. Grab one of his arms with your left hand and hit his / her elbow with the other. Then, using your left hand, push away the remaining arm. If the groin doesn't work, try the solar plexus (right below the ribs), or kick a knee to make the person trip. Run, get to a safe place, and call for help.
13. Outsmart Them. Bullies usually aren't very smart or witty, so you can use this to your advantage. Agree with them on everything. For example, if the bully says, "What's WRONG with you!?" say, "Pretty much everything, why do you ask?" To agitate them even more, even if they attempt to compliment you after that, DISAGREE with them. So if the bully says "You're a genius," say "No I'm not, but I am an idiot." Laugh at everything they say, and the worse the insult, the harder you should laugh. No faking! Try to think of it as something really funny and actually laugh. This is undeniably frustrating to bullies, because they want you to cry, not laugh. (Laughing so hard you cry probably doesn't count.) Scream a quote at the top of your lungs to their face. You should only try this when they've tread on you feet or in general doing something wordlessly annoying.