Bullying is an ongoing and deliberate misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that intends to cause physical, social, and/or psychological harm. It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power, or perceived power, over one or more persons who feel unable to stop it from happening.
Bullying can happen in person or online, via various digital platforms and devices and it can be obvious (overt) or hidden (covert). Bullying behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time (for example, through sharing of digital records).
Bullying of any form or for any reason can have immediate, medium, and long-term effects on those involved, including bystanders.
Single incidents and conflicts or fights between equals, whether in person or online, are not defined as bullying.
Dealing with bullying is never easy or pleasant, but it comes with the territory of being human. Bullying happens not only on sports teams and in schools, but also in the workplace and in other organizations. I hope these tips will help you deal with the cruel people in your life and come out on top.
5 tips to deal with bullying.
1. Don’t Cross the Line Just Because They Do.
Remember that just because someone else crosses the line that doesn’t mean you have to cross it as well. You’re not responsible for what someone else does to you, but you are responsible for how you respond to it. Stay calm and rise above. Take the higher ground and try to respond in a rational and professional manner. There’s no point in trying to beat a bully at their own game, as it will only add fuel to the fire. Instead, address the conflict head-on by letting them know — in a non-accusatory tone — how their actions are making you feel.
2. Don’t Let Their Opinion Define Your Reality.
Don’t let a bully change the way you view yourself. The next time a bully says something to you that isn’t true, pause. Then calmly say, Oh, really? Shrug your shoulders and move on with your day. The bully will most likely be neutralized.
They are looking to get a reaction out of you and feed off your defensiveness. When you show them that their opinion means little to you, they tend to leave you alone.
3. Meet New People.
A bully is one person. There are lots of great people out there in the world for you to meet. Don’t let one bad egg, or a few bad eggs, spoil the bunch.
If you are in school, join other groups that interest you. If you are in the workplace, attend networking events and other kinds of social outings outside of work each month. The person who will change your life in a positive way is one step beyond your biggest doubt. Don’t be afraid to get outside your comfort zone because it will show you that the world is filled with awesome people.
4. Talk to a Close Friend or Family Member.
You are only alone if you choose to be alone. Reach out to a trusted friend or family member you feel comfortable with and vent your innermost thoughts and feelings to them. It feels good to have a listening ear, someone who reminds us of our values. Sometimes we get so caught up in the problems that we forget about the wonderful person we are.
5. Go to the Authorities When Needed.
Be the bigger person, but only do so up to your limits. When a bully turns into a criminal, please do not ever be afraid to take action. The bully wants you to live in a prison of fear, but when they see you will not tolerate their actions, they will stop. The last resort before turning it over to the authorities is to tell them directly, “If this doesn’t stop, I’m going to [person in the position of authority.”
They may try to make you feel like less of a person for doing this, but remember that their opinion doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you do what you need to do to find a solution.