You are not alone. Bullying is a global epidemic.
Bullying is a global epidemic. So if you are being bullied, you are not alone—and there is plenty of help available. When a bully picks on you, it isn’t about you or any flaws you might have; it’s about the bully’s own issues. So try not to take it personally.
There is no single infallible strategy for dealing with each and every bully. Your best bet is to work on building strength from within and strategies for every scenario you might face. If a bully attacks you, defend yourself but get away as fast as you can. If you have any reason to think a bully is going to harm you physically, you need to talk to an adult who can help you before that happens.
Figure out who you are so no bully can tell you differently.
Once you know who you are and feel secure about yourself, no bully can make you feel insecure or steal your joy. You were created for a purpose, and that means you have value and a future of unlimited potential that you don’t want to miss.
You grow stronger and more bully proof when you accept and love yourself, even as you work every day on being the best person you can possibly be.
Take responsibility for your own life so bullies have no power over you.
Self-love and self-confidence come to you when you accept responsibility for your own happiness and success. You have the power to choose a positive response even when you encounter negative feelings and experiences like bullying. It’s like a superpower, so use it to make yourself bully proof!
Set a course based on strong values that no bully can shake.
Strong values can give you the strength to deal with bullying and other challenges throughout your life. We can all benefit by building our lives around values such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Establish inner security and strength that make you bully proof.
You can create a safety zone within your mind where you can go mentally and emotionally to soothe yourself and build strength when bullies come around or other challenges arise.
Short-term thinking can make being bullied seem even worse, so when you go into your safety zone, find peace by looking ahead to better days and a future of unlimited opportunities. Things may seem bad right now, but this too shall pass.
Build strong and supportive relationships for backup against bullying.
Strong and supportive relationships are your greatest defenses against bullying and other challenges. Mutually supportive friendships are invaluable. The best friends are those who want the best for you, so that just knowing them and being around them will make you want to be your best too.
Teens often want to have a whole posse of friends to run around with. And if you have a big circle of friends you can trust, that’s great, but having even one mutually supportive and trusting relationship is a great blessing. The best way to attract and build friendships is to be a good friend to others.
Monitor and manage your emotions to successfully deal with bullying.
Emotions like fear and anger are natural feelings that you can’t control, but you can control how you act on those emotions.
The space between feeling an emotion and responding to it is critical. In that space lies the secret to self-control and emotional intelligence—two gifts that can help you be more successful, confident, and happy.
Develop a spiritual foundation to help you be at peace and stay strong.
Faith is a wonderful thing, but only if you use it. So if you believe in God, put your faith into action in your own life and in service to others.
Faith is a powerful shield against bullies and other challenges, so always be aware that you can “put on the whole armor of God” by asking Him for strength and support.
Know that as bad as being bullied can be, you can walk away wiser and stronger from every challenge.
Believe it or not, there are ways to benefit from every negative experience, even bullying. So when dealing with a challenge, remind yourself to focus on what you can learn from it to make yourself stronger.
When dealing with a bully or other negative experience, keep in mind the words of James 1:2–4: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Prepare yourself to successfully handle your bullies.
Every coach has a game plan. Every general has a battle plan. Everyone who is bullied should have a plan too. Taking the time to prepare for your bully and the situation you are dealing with can make a huge difference. If you prepare yourself ahead of time by planning your responses and your escape methods, as well as lining up backup, you will have a lot more confidence and less fear when your bully shows up.
You should always tell at least one adult you trust if you feel threatened, trapped, manipulated, or isolated by a bully. You don’t have to handle it on your own; in fact, you should ask for help as soon as you feel threatened or stressed. Even if the adult can’t do anything about it, you should have someone who knows there is a problem in case anything happens to you.
Be a good Samaritan and help eradicate the bullying epidemic.
Be a good Samaritan and reach out to anyone who is being bullied. Stand up against bullying in your neighborhood, your school, and your community so that no one stands alone in dealing with a bully.
Break the cycle of bullying. If you have been a victim, don’t turn around and bully someone else. Even if you haven’t received the miracle you seek, be a miracle for someone else!
Bully Defense System
- Bullies can’t hurt me or define me because I have defined myself. I know who I am and where I am going.
- I don’t give anyone else the power to make me feel badly. I take responsibility for my own happiness.
- My values are unshakable. I have a plan for my life guided by them.
- My strength comes from within, and no bully can make me feel insecure.
- I know my family and friends will always stand up for me, just as I will for them.
- I am aware of my emotions, especially anger and fear, and I control my response to them so that I stay positive in my thoughts and actions.
- My spiritual life is strong and empowering. I know I was created for a purpose and I am loved unconditionally. Where I am weak, my Creator is strong.
- I find something positive to take away from every challenge, including being bullied.
- I reach out to help others at every opportunity, especially those who are being bullied in any way.