Did you know that October is National Bullying Awareness Month? Now, you might be thinking, why does bullying need any awareness? Isn’t it just something that happens in the playground? Although school is somewhere that it can be most prevalent, bullying can happen to anyone and at any age. Not only that, but in light of things we have seen in the news in recent weeks, bullying can lead some vulnerable people to take some drastic action, especially if they think that there is no way to get away from the torment.
Bullying is something that can make you feel alone, worthless, and scared. As a result of bullying, many people, more than one third, go on to develop social anxiety and depression, so being able to deal with it and raise awareness of what to do and how to cope is vital. Sadly, if you are experiencing bullying, or your children are, then they aren’t alone. The facts tell us that nearly half of all people have been bullied at some point in their life.
When you’re going through it, someone telling you to just ignore it or they’re just jealous of you, isn’t very helpful. When you’re hurting and feel worthless, you’re not even likely to believe it. Talking to someone is good advice, especially if it is happening at school or in the workplace. But if you report it to a teacher, for example, and then nothing has happened, what can you do? Here are some tips to help.
Tips for dealing with bullying
Try to understand bullying
No one is born being a bully; is it something that is learnt. There are a number of reasons why bullies are the way that they are, and often, it is a coping mechanism for going through something stressful or traumatic. This doesn’t justify the behaviour, but just shows that different people react differently to different situations in their life. It could also be as a result of abuse in the home. When the bully feels that they have no control at home, they will try to take control of other areas of their life, such as at school or at work.
Other reasons why people bully can be because of lack of confidence or jealousy and insecurity. This is why it is important to understand and know that if you are the victim of bullying, you aren’t the problem; the problems are all the bullies.
If you can, speak to the bully
If you are in a situation that is safe enough to do so, try speaking to the bully. Is it someone that you would have considered a friend in the past? In other situations, the other person might not have any idea about how their behaviour is affecting you. In other instances, they might be able to relate to you as they themselves are going through a hard time. If you’re able to, it could help, but please only do so if you’re happy to do this and it is safe to do this.
Don’t be silent
When you’re experiencing a stressful and difficult situation, it can be all consuming and fog your vision, so to speak. This means that you can get stressed and be unproductive in your life. Bullying does impact a number of areas of your life, so don’t forget to report it. You might be afraid, but there is nothing worse than going through it alone. School teachers, employers, colleagues, family, and friends can all help. If you need to speak to someone impartial, then one of us at The Wellbeing Therapy Hut could help. Even if you don’t want to report it, speaking to someone will help you to feel less alone and mean that you have someone there for you; don’t isolate yourself.
It is so important to remember that you are not the problem if you are being bullied, and you can do something about the bullying. Don’t isolate yourself, speak out and get help.
If you’d like to speak to one of our team about bullying or trauma from past bullying, then please do get in touch with us. You may have long-term effects from past bullying, which is something that therapy can help with.