Bullying is not okay
Being bullied does not involve a one-off insult or rude comment. It is deliberate and repeated harassment of someone with the intent to cause harm. It can take many forms, including face-to-face verbal or physical abuse, and cyberbullying. In the school yard, bullies may make rude remarks repeatedly and resort to name calling and purposeful embarrassment and in other cases, they may try to punch, kick, push or try to physically hurt the victim. Bullies are often stronger in groups and usually will not confront you alone.
Bullying can also continue out of school in an online environment. Cyberbullying is a relatively new form of harassment. Social media channels are the most common places for these kinds of incidents to occur- where people who would never confront you in person use applications such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Ask.fm to send hurtful messages. These comments or posts can often be made public for other people to see, but apps like Ask.fm allow anonymous questions and can often lead to disrespectful or hurtful messages. Anonymous or direct rude or threatening texts and calls are another way cyberbullies (or cyber trolls) try to hurt their victim.
Cyberbullying often feels inescapable as in this day and age we rely so much on technology but there are ways to prevent it.
What to do if you’re being bullied
- Talk to someone you trust about what is happening (a friend, teacher, parent, the human resources department at your work).
- Never respond to a bully’s messages or taunts (they thrive on your feedback).
- Block them on your phone, email or social media – better still, keep off social media for a while.
- Be kind to yourself – be with people you love; do things that make you feel good.
- Keep a mood diary – see MoodGYM or ecouch for more help on managing stress.
- If negative thoughts overwhelm you late at night, call or chat online with a counsellor at eheadspace, Youth Beyondblue, or Kids Helpline.
- Remember that life changes all the time. Try to go to sleep (if you can’t sleep, take a safe amount of medication to help you) then see your doctor in the morning.