For children, bullying is the stuff of nightmares. And for some of them, they have to live their nightmares. Simple things like walking in the corridor or going to the bathroom become terrifying. When children have to go through these experiences, it is emotionally scarring for them that can last for a lifetime. And, the more they try to run away from it, the more it keeps haunting them.
The only thing left for the children is to face it. The best way to rise above is to deal with it. Here is how you can deal with bullies in school.
In contrast to all the movies we see, confronting your bully and giving them long speeches, or punching them will not work. Dealing with your bully does not mean you have to take them head-on in a fight.
It is not about how physically strong you are. It is about the battle of wits. You can avoid going to the places that they constantly frequent. For example, if they have a fixed corner where they are all the time, you can skip past it.
I am in no way asking you to stop studying or do your routine chores. Nor am I asking you to knuckle under, but you don’t have to go out of your way to meet them. If just making a tiny change is going to avoid you a lot of mental stress, do it. Once you are not under a lot of duress, you can think clearly.
Hold the anger in front of the bullies
Being bullied is no fun. Every ounce of your body wants to do one thing, retaliate. And all you can think about is lashing out. But, hear me out. That is what they want.
For the people who bully, the reaction of the person who is being bullied is the prize. They want to get a reaction out of you. And that is what we will have to consciously work on if we want to stop. When they see that you are reacting, they realize it is affecting you, and then they keep doing it.
So, don’t let them get the satisfaction. Don’t let them think that they got to you. At first, you may have started it out as a conscious effort to not pay any attention, but after a while, it becomes second nature for you and they don’t trouble you anymore. And soon, when they know that their bullying does not work on you, they will stop worrying about you.
Walk with your head held high and ignore them.
Let me tell you this, it is not your mistake. You have done nothing wrong. There is nothing for you to be ashamed of or guilty about in this situation. You have no reason to feel like you are the ‘bad guy’ or it is your fault. It isn’t.
So when you have done nothing wrong and you are not at fault, you have no reason to walk like you are ‘the guiltiest criminal of all time.’ You have every reason to walk around with your head held high.
The people who are bullying you have nothing that deserves your attention. They are not some superstars or your favorite actors, they are just the people who have lost their way in life and now they are up to some bad stuff. They are not worth your recognition. So what do you do? You ignore them. Let those people know that they are insignificant to you.
Talk about it.
Even though we have decided that we are going to be cool and composed in front of the bullies, it does not mean that it will not affect us. We should not bury it inside. Why?
Because if we don’t deal with the trauma that these experiences have caused us healthily, we are going to be living under its weight for the rest of our lives. It is better to get it out of our systems. We are not showing courage if we think that hiding it and putting on a ‘brave face.’ It takes real strength to face the demons.
It doesn’t matter who you share it with, as long as you are willing to talk to that person. It can be a counselor, it can be your parents, or it can even be a friend. You are not alone. And you will know that when you reach out.
Tell your parents about it.
Our parents are our constant support system. They are our own safe haven. So, even if you think that they may get angry or shout at you, it won’t happen. Our parents are always on our side. What they do may sometimes baffle us, but their intentions are never wrong.
Parents have more experience than us, so more often than none, they already have an answer to our problems. But, if we never tell them our issues, how will they resolve it? Hiding things from your parents will never come to any good.
Tell your teachers, it is not tattling.
What happens in school, needs to be told to the school authorities. You are not being a snitch if you report the person who has been harassing you. It is called standing up for yourself.
Tattling is when the whole class is silent and you remind the teacher about the homework (just kidding). By informing the school teachers, you are helping many more people than you. You are not going to be the only person who is being bullied. By stepping forward, you are doing it for others too.
And, it is the responsibility of the teachers to stop such things from happening. But, how will they forbid something that they don’t know exists? It is completely alright if you are afraid. But that should stop you from doing the right thing.
Bullying is a very serious issue. And, if anyone is going through it around us, we should not be quiet. We have to raise our voice, it is our moral responsibility. If you see someone you know, or someone from your family, or even a complete stranger being troubled by some anti-social elements, we have no option but to stand against it.