What is bullying?
Bullying usually involves a person (a ‘bully’) or group of people (‘bullies’) acting in a harmful way towards the person being bullied. The bully or bullies put themselves in a position of power over the person being bullied, which they then exert by treating this person in a negative, often derogatory way. Being bullied has a negative effect on how a person feels about themselves and can in some circumstances lead to an individual being abused.
Bullying can occur when bullies target a person for something that makes that person different from them; the difference might be based on race, ethnicity, size, appearance, disability, religious background, sexuality or gender.
Bullying is often thought to usually occur in a school setting but it can take place in different contexts:
How do you know you are being bullied?
Bullying can occur in a number of different ways, some of these include:
Calling someone derogatory names
Making racist, queerphobic or sexist comments
Teasing, taunting or winding someone up
Starting and spreading rumours about someone
Giving someone the silent treatment – refusing to acknowledge or talk to someone
Excluding someone or singling them out as different
Pushing someone about
Violently attacking someone
Stealing, moving or destroying someone’s stuff
Posting videos, photos or comments about someone against their will
How to look after yourself and get help for bullying
Positive self-talk: Only say things to yourself that you would say to your best friend; treat yourself like you would treat your best friend.
Do activities that you enjoy like your hobbies. Watch a feel-good film and create a playlist of your favourite songs.
Spend time with people who care for you and make you feel good about yourself.
Join a peer support group to surround yourself with people who are supportive and can respect your uniqueness and individuality.
Talk to someone outside of the situation like a counsellor or trained listener at Childline (0800 1111) and Samaritans (116 123).
If the bullying is taking place at school, talk to a teacher or school nurse – your school might have adopted an anti-bullying policy which should include strategies to address it.
Bullying in the workplace can be reported to a line manager, senior staff member or human resources (HR). If this does not help then you can consider seeking support from a trade union representative.
Report abusive posts, videos or comments to the social media platform where they have been posted.
Try limiting the time you spend on social media or plan a social media detox every now and again.
Consider making your accounts private and only accept follows and friend requests from people you trust.
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