How to respond to cyberbullying

You should not be afraid of this. Cyberbullying is actually easier to deal with than in person bullying. Here’s why.

Cyberbullying is the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.

As unpleasant and scary as cyberbullying is – it has an upside. When someone uses electronic communication to harass, threaten or intimidate someone, they leave proof that they did it.

Think about that for a moment. If someone calls you a name in person – you can’t prove they called you a name. They could deny it. With cyberbullying – all you have to do is take a screen shot – or save the email – and – there is your proof.

Want to report them? Share your proof.

Advice for dealing with cyberbullying

Reporting them – can bring retribution – meaning they could get upset and harass you even more. I have 2 things I want to tell you about why not to be afraid of that.

  1. you can report them – privately. They can’t prove it was you who reported their inappropriate behavior. It could be anyone.
  2. You can ignore them by blocking them.

It’s this last bit that makes cyberbullying so easy to handle. And yes, I know – it’s scary and upsetting. But making it stop – is as simple as blocking them.

Do not worry about your reputation. Yes – a cyber bully will try to destroy your reputation. But they can’t actually succeed. And the people they do convince – can’t really hurt you much.

I have been targeted and harassed in person and online. I’ve had people try to get me fired. None of them succeeded because most people – see through the obnoxiousness and don’t pay it any mind. And the people who do – are petty. And you should pay them no mind.

The secret to getting through a bullying episode – look for the helpers.

Part of what a bully tries to do is socially isolate you. They want others to ignore you and for you to feel alone. The secret to not letting them win – is to actively look for the helpers. Don’t assume everyone agrees with a bully. Many are being bullied too – by the same bullies.

Look for the people who aren’t in the “in group” and reach out to them in friendship. If you have friends – confide in them and ask them for help. Most will give it and support you – because – they’ve experienced things too.

Want to stop a bully – look for the helpers and don’t assume everyone is out to get you – most need friends as much as you do.

I cannot teach you everything you need to know in a blog post. Feel free to browse around. I have lots of free videos and a free toolkit to help you learn how to stop bullies (it does require sign up).