Why are they bullying me?

Why are all the guys bullying me I didn’t even say hi to them We are BTW 13 to 15? – A.


It doesn’t matter why they are bullying you. Bullies have a variety of reasons they bully. Maybe they are jealous. Maybe they are insecure and trying to make themselves look good by belittling you. Maybe they just don’t like you. Maybe someone in their lives is abusing them and abusing you is the only way they feel like they have control.

You will never really know why other people behave the way they do. The good news is it doesn’t matter why they are doing it. It only matters that they stop.

The bad news is getting an unwanted behavior to stop is difficult. You have to stop rewarding the behavior you want to stop. This triggers an extinction burst, which is an escalation of behavior directed at you. You have to continue to not reward the bad behavior until they eventually stop. This is very hard to do, but it can be done.

What you need to do is figure out something you can say in response to their taunts. It must be neutral, bored and indicate that you are not emotionally concerned about them, but that what they did wasn’t ok either.

You need to practice saying this phrase in role play with a friend of family member so that when you are challenged by these bullies, you can say your piece in a neutral bored tone of voice while making eye contact if possible. This is what standing up to a bully is. Standing there and making eye contact and being calm and bored by them. Make them back down.

What normally happens is they up the ante – and bully you some more, make threats or whatever. You stand your ground and remain bored and calm and restate your phrase – the exact same thing and eventually – they will leave and go elsewhere. Do this enough and they will stop. That’s the ideal.

The reality is that by 13 yrs old – they have been playing this game for several years and will not like being challenged. So document what is happening in case the escalation gets out of hand. But if the bullying is verbal – you can handle it verbally.

If they threaten you, tell them, if you do that, I will report you. Again, calm, bored, eye contact. If they do – report them. I always like to give people the opportunity to behave properly before reporting them.

This website has a ton of free resources and videos to help you learn these techniques. Also consider getting my book – The Bully Vaccine.

(originally posted on quora)

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