In the News
Take a stand: How to deal with bullies
Sometimes, we think about bullying as being just limited to school, to the tween and teen years. But Karen’s story shows that bullies can target others of any age, any gender, any status. Is it ever justified? Absolutely not. That’s why it’s up to us to take a stand. Here’s what to do when you see someone being bullied.
Understand what’s going on
People bully others because they feel insecure about themselves. Pointing out someone else’s flaws, real or imagined, makes them feel superior. This isn’t an excuse—it’s just the way a bully’s mind works.
Bullies work by themselves or in a group, as in Karen’s case. When it’s a bunch of people ganging up on one or a few others, the bullying often becomes a case of one-up-manship. Karen has said that the kids who taunted her were perfectly fine one-on-one; they only became troublesome when in a group. Several have since apologized, regretting their actions once they were forced to understand how their actions made Karen feel.
Before you rush in to diffuse a situation, think about the
dynamics, first. If you don’t feel safe taking a stand, go find help,
first. If you feel comfortable stepping
in, though, speak confidently, hold your head high and calmly suggest that
the bully back off and stop saying such hurtful things. Don’t offer up a
challenge or an insult—that won’t help.
A lot of times, people who are bullied won’t say anything to anyone else. Maybe they’re ashamed, maybe they think no one will care, maybe they tried telling someone and that person didn’t listen. Whatever the reason is, it shouldn’t stop you from telling someone with authority about the situation. And if that person won’t listen? Tell someone else. Keep up until you get the help you need to make the bullies stop.
Support the victim