Bullies can be stopped. It isn’t easy, but it can be done. But only if you take constructive action to make them stop.
It is hard to confront a bully. Bullies are scary and mean and it’s just easier to avoid them. The problem is that avoiding them doesn’t normally work. In fact, it almost always make things worse.
I liken the ignore it and they will go away approach to bullying elimination as a form of wishful thinking. If I just wish they will leave me alone, maybe they will. Everyone who has tried to ignore a bully can tell you, it doesn’t work.
If you are being bullied, stop wishing they will leave you alone and start doing something to make them stop.
When I was in grade school and someone harassed me, my mother gave me invaluable advice. A bully wants your attention. If you don’t give it to them, they will harass you more. So make sure you give them attention that they don’t actually want. And only give them good attention when they behave
Have something planned that you can say to a bully to let them know – you heard them, and that what they did wasn’t ok puts the bully and the bystanders on notice that what the bully did was not ok. And this is exactly the sort of attention you should be giving to a bully when they bully.
Will this work? Yes, but not right away. It takes time. And that’s ok. If you want them to stop, you have to stop wishing and take a more realistic approach.
What happens when you stop ignoring a bully:
When you stop ignoring the bully and instead respond by verbally putting them on polite notice that what they did wasn’t ok, the bully is going to respond to your resistance by getting more aggressive and mean towards you. This is expected. It means they didn’t like what you just did, which means you should do it more! Don’t allow their increased aggression towards you deter you. Keep doing what you are doing. Keep a log of what they do to you and report them. And keep doing this until either the bully stops or a teacher or manager makes them stop.
Getting a bully to stop is hard to do but it can be done. Learning how to get bullies and other obnoxious people to leave you alone is a basic life skill. There are resources on this website that will help you to learn those skills. Stop wishing, start learning what you need to do to get them to stop.
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