It is important to take action as swiftly as possible where bullying is involved. A bully cannot continue to function without your compliance. They count on you being silent about their behaviour. Remember that most bullies are manipulative and controlling. They are covert in their behaviours rather than overt and bully in subtle ways.
Bullies undermine their victim and can chip away at their self-confidence so that they can feel better about themselves. Ensure you do not fall prey to a bully by the following:
- Do not laugh it off or minimise your feelings around bullying behaviour, as this enables the bully to carry on hurting others. You are ALWAYS worthy of being treated with love and respect.
- Stand up for yourself. Bullies rely on you being passive, as being passive allows them to get away with the behaviour. DO NOT BE PASSIVE. Being strong takes enormous amounts of courage and fortitude, but you are worth it. Your silence and kindness often serve as a green light for the bully to continue.
- Talk to a trusted friend who can give you some support during this stressful time and may be able to see the situation with more clarity. If the bullying is toxic and aggressive, a friend can help you in finding a healthy perspective. If you are a child, definitely go and get the support of a trusted adult, as soon as the incident occurs. A trusted person in your life can offer compassion, kindness and support when you most need it.
- Take space if needed. It is possible to rebuild relationships with people who are truly authentic and interested in you as a person and changing their ways. However, if they are self-serving and if it does not feel great to be around them, continuing the relationship is probably not for you.
- Refuse to be a victim. Do not give the bully your energy. Ask yourself: “Do I deserve to be bullied?” Of course not! Recognise the inherent goodness in yourself and your beautiful value. No-one deserves to be bullied!