Being bullied is scary and upsetting. It’s very hard to deal with the emotions that bullies trigger.
But you can deal with them. The technique of dealing with a bully requires you to calmly respond. You don’t have to actually be calm; you just have to pretend you are calm. If you have trouble doing that, then practice.
When my son was younger and was first dealing with bullying, I would role play with him. I would say whatever the bullies were saying to him and have him practice – out load – what he planned to say. This practice does 2 things. 1, it desensitizes you to what is being said. Instead of being a verbal barb piercing your heart, it’s just a silly thing someone is saying and you are saying something equally stupid back to them. Viewing what is happening as rather silly, because it is, will help you remain emotionally calm despite a bullies best attempts to press your buttons.
One of the ways we go wrong when dealing with a bully is we think we need to defend ourselves. The bully wants to tell us we are horrible and no one likes us – and instead of wondering if that is true, you simply say – there is no reason to say that – or thank you for that information, it’s very helpful – in a robotic like voice. Trust me, the bully will be very confused and won’t know what to do. They will most likely try another insult, to which – you will repeat what you just said. Eventually the bully will move on to find another target.
Finding the courage to speak up for yourself is scary. I get it. And when someone is mean to us, it catches us off guard. So of course, in the moment, you aren’t likely to respond the way you want. Don’t feel bad about that. Just plan for what you want to say the next time it happens and have a friend or a parent practice this with you. If the behavior continues, say you piece and then report them. Every single time.
You can do this and once you do, you will realize you don’t have to be afraid anymore.
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