Tough Stuff

The best ways to deal with a school bully

What's worse than actually being bullied? Having to figure out how to deal with that bully. Should you retaliate? Yell at them? Get physical? The answer to all three of those Qs is no.

Actually, it's way easier and less stressful to take the high road in these kinds of situations by ignoring the bully, letting your voice be heard and/or involving an adult. Read on for details.

Ignore them
When you hear someone call you a name in the hallway, knock your books on the ground or even go so far as to trip you, it can be difficult to let actions like that go without a response. Doing so can feel like you're letting the bully slide. But in reality, you're doing the opposite. It's possible that a bully is acting the way that they are to get attention or seek a response from you. By ignoring their passes altogether, you're not giving them what they want. Continuing to respond like this to their actions will allow them to see that you're unfazed by them. The bully will likely become bored because of this and decide to leave you alone.

Let your voice be heard
If you're still being bullied even after your attempts to ignore their pokes and prods, now is the time to speak up—but don't yell at the bully out of nowhere. Practice your words before you talk to them so that you know what you're going to say. Then, approach them during lunch or recess and try to have a conversation about what's been happening. Let them know how their words make you feel, and calmly and firmly tell them to stop. If it's intimidating to talk to your bully in such a casual way, talk to them the next time they make a pass at you. Here, a simple "Don't do that" or "Leave me alone" will caution them off. Stepping anywhere near insulting the bully is a bad idea, though, so try to avoid doing so as things will only escalate from there.

Tell an adult you trust
If you can't get through to the bully on your own, tell a school counselor, parent, teacher or another adult you trust and tap them to help you with the situation. If they are an adult at school, they will likely keep an eye on the bully and can de-escalate things when a problem arrises. If they're an adult at home (like your parent or older sibling) they can contact the bully's parents and make them aware of their child's actions. In turn, they can talk to their child and let them know that their actions are not okay. If necessary, set up a meeting with you, your parents, the bully and their parents with a school counselor. That way, you can have a conversation about the your feelings and theirs. Talking things out will likely help get to the root of the bullying, allowing actions to be taken to help stop it.

Overall, one of the most important things to remember here is that you should not bully a bully back. That only makes you an offender of bullying as well (even though it *is* in self defense). Spread positivity and kindness in all situations, even if it's difficult to do so. 

Have you ever dealt with a bully at school? What did you do to shake them off?


by Sydney Adamson | 9/4/2017