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Bullying is intentional tormenting in physical, verbal, or psychological ways. It can range from hitting, shoving, name-calling, threats, and mocking to extorting money and treasured possessions. Some kids bully by shunning others and spreading rumors about them. Others use email, chat rooms, instant messages, social networking websites, and text messages to taunt others or hurt their feelings

Boys tend to use physical intimidation or threats, regardless of the gender of their victims.  Bullying by girls is more often verbal, usually with another girl as the target. 

Types of bullying

Any child can be bullied, particularly younger children and those who have few friends or are easily intimidated. At any age, bullying can take many forms. For example:

  • Physical bullying includes hitting, punching, kicking and other types of physical harm, as well as destruction of a child's property.
  • Verbal bullying includes teasing, name-calling, taunting and racial slurs, as well as spreading gossip or malicious rumors.
  • Cyberbullying happens most often through:
    • Web sites (including social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, or Twitter)
    • Blogs
    • Instant messages (IMs)
    • E-mail
    • Chat rooms
    • Text messaging/texting
    • Cell phone photo messages
    • Virtual worlds

Who Are Bullies?

Children who regularly bully their peers tend to be impulsive, easily frustrated, dominant in personality, have difficulty conforming to rules, view violence positively and are more likely to have friends who are also bullies. Boys who bully are usually physically stronger than their peers.

Moreover, several risk factors have been associated with bullying, including individual, family, peer, school, and community factors. With respect to family factors, children are more likely to bully if there is a lack of warmth and parent involvement, lack of parental supervision, and harsh corporal discipline. Some research suggests a link between bullying behavior and child maltreatment. Also, schools that lack adequate adult supervision tend to have more instances of bullying.

If you are bullied…

  • Tell an adult. Many young people fear telling an adult because they don’t want to look like a snitch or seem weak. However, adults can help end the bullying. Also, it may make you feel better to tell an adult.
  • Stand up for yourself. Believe it or not, this will help you gain respect from others. Practice what you might say to a bully with a friend, your mirror, or an adult. Practice saying it in a firm, confident voice. You may even encourage others to protect themselves from bullying, too.
  • Tell the bully to stop. Calmly walk away. Believe in yourself and tell others how you feel and what you think. You will gain respect from others. Also, by leading the way and showing others that you can’t be bullied, you can help prevent bullying in the future. You can also encourage others to protect themselves from bullying.
  • Do not fight back! It’s hard to do, but walk away from a bully and ignore them. If you give in to a bully and fight back, you could end up getting in trouble instead of the bully! If someone is hurting you physically, try to call for help or get away fast and get help from an adult.
  • Lighten the air! Make a joke to lighten up the mood. Say something funny to distract the people involved.
  • Make new friends and get involved. Making friends, and having interests and extracurricular activities, will make you feel better about yourself and the bullying situation. It will introduce you to people who share similar interests. When making friends, make sure you have positive friendships that are fun and free of bullying. 
  • Don’t blame yourself. It’s important for you to know that it’s not your fault. No one deserves to be treated this way. If you’re being bullied, try to stop it either by yourself or with help from an adult.
  • Be strong! Bullies like to upset people, particularly those who can’t stand up for themselves. Be in control so that the bully won’t feel in control. It’s important to feel confident and have good self-esteem. Even if you don’t feel it at the moment, acting like you do will help. You may find that you are pretty good at handling a bully after all, and the next time you won’t have to fake the confidence

Here are some tips that may help protect you from cyberbullying:

  • Don’t give out personal information online, whether in instant message profiles, chat rooms, blogs, or on Web sites.
  • Don’t tell anyone your e-mail or instant messaging passwords, even your friends.
  • If someone sends a mean or threatening message, don't respond. Save it and show it to a trusted adult.
  • If someone is sending mean messages to you through IM or texts, just log off or shut off your phone. You can also ‘block’ certain people from sending you messages on some Web sites. You can’t be bullied if the bully can’t access you!

If you see someone being bullied…

Although you may not be directly involved in the bullying, there may be times when you see others being bullied. And even though it may be easier to stand by and watch or ignore the bullying, try to keep in mind, we all need a little help from time to time. Think about how you might feel if the bullying was happening to you. Here’s how you can make a difference:

  • Stand up for the victim. It takes a lot of courage, but try defending the person being bullied. This can shock and embarrass the bully so much that they leave their victim alone.
  • Don’t join in on bullying. If you see someone being bullied, don’t join in. If the bully tries to get you to help, refuse and walk away.
  • Stop the rumors. Don’t help spread rumors about another person. You wouldn’t want rumors spread about you, so don’t do it to someone else! If someone gossips to you, let it end with you – don’t pass it on to others. You can even tell that person you’re not interested.
  • Tell an adult. Don’t just stand there and watch, especially if someone is being hurt physically. Tell an adult about the bully and what’s going on. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe telling an adult, ask the adult to keep your comments private.
  • Offer help. When the bully is gone, try and help the person who was bullied and make sure he or she is okay. Encourage her to talk to an adult and stick up for herself.

When you help someone who’s being bullied, you are not just helping someone else, you’re also helping yourself. It’s important to stand up for what you believe in and help others when you can.

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” - Dr. Seuss

Why should I care what other people think of me? I am who I am. And who I wanna be.” - Avril Lavigne

Remember It's not your fault if you are being bullied- The Bully is the person that has serious issues

A Bully is not Cool....A Bully is a Fool!




Credit:American Psychological Association, NIH, The Mayo Clinic, Girlshealth.gov, U.S. Department of Health