11 Helpful Ways to Deal with Bullying ...

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There are a number of effective and helpful ways to deal with bullying, all of which you should know. Bullying is now a widespread and dangerous problem. It's also patently unnecessary, because there is no reason one person should bully anyone else. This is an issue that is near and dear to my heart, especially in regard to the bullying of gay youth. Learning how to deal with bullying takes time because it's so hurtful, not to mention terrifying. You should never be quiet about it, however, and you should never stoop to the bully's level. In order to hopefully help you as much as possible, I've got several helpful tips for dealing with bullying.

1. Talk to Someone

If someone is bullying you or you see someone being bullied, you have to tell someone. Whether you're a teen being bullied by kids at school or an adult being bullied by your boss, go talk to someone in authority. Talk to a manager, a parent, a counselor, a teacher. Speaking out is one of the most essential ways to deal with bullying. You're not a snitch or a tattletale. You're doing a good deed, one that will help you and others.

2. Make Yourself Heard

Sometimes you have to tell more than one person. It's a sad, unfortunate fact that sometimes the people who should care don't do anything. They don't think it's serious, they don't know how to proceed, they think it's just child's play – there are various reasons but they really don't matter. What matters is successfully dealing with bullying, and that means making yourself heard even if you have to shout it from the rooftops. Keep talking. Tell other people. Keep a journal of everything you're going through.

3. Understand Your Bully

Understanding your bully won't always make him or her stop, but it will help you. Understanding why a bully acts the way he or she does can let you know, once and for all, that there is nothing wrong with you. Your bully might be insecure, unhappy, or even abused at home. He or she might be taught hateful or bigoted philosophies, might want to get ahead, might lack self confidence. There are hundreds of reasons people bully others; trying to understand your bully may help your own peace of mind.

4. Try to Avoid Your Bully

This is tricky. It goes without saying that one of the most effective ways to deal with bullying is to take yourself out of the situation. You can find a new way to walk to school or sit somewhere else in the cafeteria. However, you also shouldn't let a bully control your life to such an extent that you have to change the way you do everything. Avoid situations where the bully bothers you or always stay in a group, but don't change your whole life. You shouldn't have to.

5. Show No Fear

Showing no fear is also an important way to deal with bullying. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that bullies have instincts like wild animals. They sense fear and weakness, they prey on those traits. As hard as it will sometimes be, never let a bully know that you're scared or hurt. Doing so just gives him or her ammunition and you don't need to make yourself vulnerable to someone like that.

6. Don't Stoop

Never become a bully yourself. In researching this article, I saw so many sources advocate insulting a bully in return but I don't agree with that at all. You shouldn't respond to hate with hate. That creates an ongoing, vicious cycle, and it turns you into someone you're not.

7. Stand up for Yourself

That being said, it's still important to stand up for yourself. There are several ways to do that, including telling someone about what's happening and making sure your voice is heard. Even avoiding a bully is way of standing up for yourself, because you're letting him or her know that you choose not to be around that kind of ugly, hurtful behavior. You can let a bully know verbally that you aren't going to stand for that behavior and that you don't deserve it.

8. Don't Give the Bully Power

In line with the last two points, don't spend too much time engaging a bully. Again, he or she will see that you are vulnerable, and that just gives the bully power. Ignore the behavior when you can, until you're able to document and report it. Don't engage in name-calling or violence, don't show fear, and don't let a bully see you cry. Bullies thrive on those kinds of reaction.

9. Find Support

You simply can't learn how to deal with bullying on your own. You need help and support. Seek out other victims, because together you'll be strong. Keep your friends around you for additional strength. There are even support groups that may be helpful, especially in cases of extreme bullying. The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone, other people go through this as well, and you're stronger together than you are apart.

10. Don't Accept Blame

I can't emphasize this enough: this is not your fault. I don't care if you're overweight, underweight, tall, short, white, black, gay, straight, goth, preppy, or if your hair is red, blond, or blue. You do not deserve to be bullied, you have not done anything wrong, and you do not need to accept the blame for being bullied. This is unequivocally one of the most important ways to deal with being bullied. It is not your fault.

11. Stay Vigilant

In addition to keeping an eye out for anyone who bullies you, be vigilant on behalf of others as well. If you see someone else being treated badly, intervene. Help them. Tell someone. Never, ever let a bully just get away with that behavior. It could escalate into something very tragic if it isn't stopped.

There are different ways to deal with bullying, it mainly depends on your specific situation. Remember that you do not deserve to be bullied, no matter what. Furthermore, if you see someone else being bullied, please do what you can to help. Whether someone is suffering because of their weight, their sexual orientation, or the color of their skin, it's undeserved and unnecessary. By intervening or by doing what you can to stop your own bully, you could literally be saving a life. Dealing with bullying is brave, necessary, and the only way to make it stop. Have you ever been bullied yourself or witnessed someone else being bullied? Please share your story.