If you’ve ever been bullied, you know how bad it feels. Bullying is a big problem and it can lead to low self esteem, poor body image, self harm, social isolation, decreased academic achievement, anxiety and depression. Bullying robs you of your personal power and it can leave you feeling afraid, helpless, shamed and very angry.
According to psychological sources, bullying can be defined as a specific type of aggression in which the behavior is intended to harm or disturb. The behavior occurs repeatedly over time and there is an imbalance of power. There are 3 types of bullying: Physical (hitting, punching, pushing, beating people up), Verbal (name calling, put downs, insults, racist or sexist comments), and Emotional (ignoring, rejecting, threatening, humiliating, intimidating).
Bullies feed off being in control; they love having power over people. The question is how to take back your personal power? Here is what you can do:
- Retain your self-control and preserve your sense of self.
- Tell a friend, your parent, or teacher. Report the bullying to a trusted adult.
- Tell someone who will listen and support you.
- Write out your feelings.
- Remind yourself that being bullied is not ok.
- Remind yourself that being bullied is not your fault, so don’t blame yourself.
- Be proud of who you are.
- Stay calm and walk away from the bully toward your friends or a crowded place.
- Stand up straight, look the bully in the eye, and say calmly and assertively in a firm voice: “stop it!” or “leave me alone!”, “I am not interested in what you have to say!”, or “I don’t like that!”.
- Find things that make you feel powerful such as kickboxing, karate or exercise classes or learning a new sport.
- Ask for help. You don’t have to go through it alone and do it all on your own.
Remember: No one ever deserves to be bullied, there is no reason for you to ever put up with it. You are worthy of being treated with respect so demand that respect and take back your personal power.
Authored by Stephanie Gosset, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at Coral Gables Counseling Center who specializes in working with children, adolescents and their families in a variety of concerns including anxiety disorders. depression, behavioral problems, ADHD, poor self-esteem, adjustment disorders and parenting skills training. If you have any questions about bullying or know someone who has a child that has to confront this form of abuse everyday, you can contact Ms. Gosset at 305-445-0477 or firstname.lastname@example.org