If you’re experiencing bullying, you probably feel powerless, humiliated and alone. Remember: it’s not your fault, and you are NOT alone. Bullying isn’t a result of anything you’ve done, but having a coping strategy up your sleeve can make it easier to deal with a bullying situation.
6 tips for dealing with bullying in the moment
If you’re experiencing bullying, it can be tempting to start skipping school, uni or social activities to avoid being in a situation where you could encounter the person who’s bullying you. However, you shouldn’t have to miss out on things because of the way someone’s treating you.
Here are our top 6 tips for dealing with bullying in the moment. They might not all work for everyone, so keep trying until you find one that works for you.
1. Get a buddy (and be a buddy)
Tell a friend, or someone else you trust, about your situation. You’re likely to feel more relaxed and calm about things after talking about them. Ask the friend to walk with you to class, or home after school.
2. Take a different route
If there’s a particular place where the bullying situation occurs, try taking a different route (if it doesn’t cause you too much inconvenience).
I lived quite close to the school, and I often opted to walk home, rather than take the bus. So that was good for me to get my exercise and fresh air, but also be able to create some space between me and the people I went to school with. – Sarah
3. Listen to some music
Put on headphones and listen to some upbeat music as you walk past the person who’s annoying you. Wearing headphones has become a universal way of saying, ‘Don’t bother me.’
4. Ignore it and just breathe
Act as if you didn’t hear what the person bullying you is saying. They want to get a reaction from you, so don’t give them the satisfaction of responding to their comments.
Another thing I used to do, when I heard people laughing, was to breathe deeply; to take big breaths and remind myself that it wasn’t [about] me. – James
5. Use sarcasm
If you’re the type of person who wants to have a say, then using sarcasm is one possible way of dealing with a bullying situation, whether online or in person. Coming up with a sarcastic one-liner in response to a taunt can be a way to feel like you’re gaining some control of the situation. But this strategy is recommended only for those who are game, and definitely shouldn’t be used in a situation where you feel threatened or unsafe.
My mum always taught me that sarcasm was an incredibly good weapon against people who just generally suck. So I was sarcastic – very, very sarcastic. I found that sarcasm can be a good weapon against people who aren’t going to be nice with you. – Kate
6. Block and report it
If the bullying is happening online, don’t respond, as this can make things worse. Instead, block the person and report the situation. Most social media sites have policies in place to prevent bullying and harassment. Be sure to save evidence of the cyberbullying to show a trusted adult.
Learn more about how to deal with cyberbullying here.