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What can I do if I'm being bullied?

Kidscape is a charity that aims to stop bullying. Here is some of the advice they give...

Tell a friend what is happening. Ask him or her to help you. It will be harder for the bully to pick on you if you have a friend with you for support.

Try to ignore the bullying or say 'No' really firmly, then turn and walk away. Remember, it's very hard for the bully to go on bullying someone who won't stand still and take it.

  • Try not to show you're upset or angry. Bullies love to get a reaction. If you can keep calm and hide your emotions, they might get bored and leave you alone.
  • Don't fight back, if you can help it. If you fight back, you could make the situation worse, get hurt or be blamed for starting the trouble.
  • If you feel threatened, give the bullies what they want. Property can be replaced - you can't.

Try and avoid being alone in the places where you know the bully is likely to pick on you. This might mean changing your route to school, or only using the lavatories when other people are there. It's not fair that you have to do this but it might put the bully off.

Practise 'walking tall' in a mirror. Bullies tend to pick on people when they are weak or timid and they often think shy, quiet people make easy targets. If you look positive and confident, the bully will find it harder to identify you as a target.

A good technique for dealing with taunts and insults is to use something called 'fogging'. When other people make hurtful remarks, don't agrue and try not to become upset. Imagine that you are inside a huge, white fog-bank; the insults are swallowed up by the fog long before they reach you. Nothing touches you.

Reply to taunts with something short and bland; 'That's what you think.' Then walk away. This might seem strange at first but it does work.  

Keep a diary about what's happening. Write down details of the incidents and your feelings. When you do decide to tell someone, a written record of the bullying makes it easier to prove what has been going on.

If you are being bullied by a gang, get the weakest member alone and ask why they are bullying you and how they would like being treated as badly as you are.

Tell your parents or other adults - you need their help. Don't suffer in silence. 

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