It doesn’t matter how much you want a problem to just go away. Wishing it away doesn’t work. This is especially true if the problem is bullying.
Interpersonal interactions are like a dance. Person A does something. Person B responds to what person A did. Person A then responds to what person B just did. And around and around it goes.
If you want to change what is happening – you need to change how you are responding to the other person. If you keep responding the way you always have responded, nothing will change.
The good news is – this is actually fairly easy to do. When people say – you have to stand up to a bully, they are talking about changing how you respond. So let’s talk about what – standing up to a bully really looks like.
- it does not mean you fight them. That is fighting them, not standing up to them.
What does it mean to stand up to a bully?
What standing up to a bully mean is – you don’t give them what they want. If they want you to be afraid, don’t give them that.
Think about how you normally respond. Then think of something you can do that is different. Often just saying – don’t do that – is enough. It’s ideal if you look them in the eye when you say this – calmly. This will let them know – you aren’t scared of them.
Will this magically work to get them to stop? Of course not.
What happens next?
When you don’t give a bully what they want – and they are used to getting what they want – they will try again. And again, you should tell them something simple like – don’t do that.
Don’t argue with them. Don’t engage with them – aside from telling them to stop.
If they don’t stop – then tell a teacher. Repeat until they give up and leave you alone.
Doesn’t this isn’t going to magically make them your friends. But eventually – everyone else will get tired of them hassling you – and since you aren’t giving them what they want – they will eventually stop and try hassling someone else.
There is no magic way to make bullies stop. What does work is consistent calm, refusal to engage with them when they behave badly.
This website has lots of free videos and content to help you learn more about how to do this. Good luck.