you being bullied by someone? Then it’s time to take a stand
and do something to change things. It can and should be done. Smriti
Daniel offers a guide
You’re surrounded… you have
nowhere to go and nowhere to hide. If it’s possible you hate
yourself more than you hate them, simply because they have the ability
to make you feel more weak, more isolated and possibly more ‘uncool’
than you’ve ever felt before. Bullies – we sure hate
living with them, but let’s face it… there’s just
no living without them.
of us have been bullied in school, be it in playgroup when the big
guy took our crayons, or in the first grade when the same person
turned our lunch box over. It is at this crucial juncture that you
begin to perceive the existence of ‘The Great Divide’
– the people around you split up into Group X and Group Y.
Now Group X (the ones with a backbone and a healthy homicidal streak)
set up their own bloodthirsty bands and proceed to enact the schoolroom
version of “The Bullied Strike Back” with enthusiasm
and flair. At this point (if things have gone well) the bullies
have become the bullied and everyone else is left in peace. Unfortunately
this strategy has some potential for disaster, in other words it’s
a lose-lose situation. You see, there are only two logical outcomes:
You don’t defeat the bully; so he’s still around and
riding hard on your case or you have defeated the bully, but in
his place another dark power has risen and that power is you!
Group Y follows a different path, which is comprehensively described
in their oath. Raise your right hand and repeat after me:
I will stay unobtrusive at all times, even if it means hiding in
the bushes along the driveway when the Bully comes along.
will protect my body from kicks/name calling/chokeholds/mocking
laughter and assorted terrors by making myself the smallest possible
target, even if it means curling up in a ball of sobbing misery.
will be nice, and I will always laugh at the Bully’s jokes
in the hope that the Bully will simply leave me alone. I will in
fact go so far as to try and make friends with the bully.
truly, by this point, help is getting a little hard to find…
not that you’re really looking, because you’ve already
given up on yourself.
the years go by you try to bury those traumatising moments as deep
as you possibly can. You shrug them off and tell yourself you’re
over it – that you’re big now and that no one can get
at you. You do realise, however, somewhere deep inside, that you
are still carrying those old war wounds, and what’s worse
that you may still be getting bullied. It’s just become a
little subtler now; transformed from out-in-the-open viciousness
to nasty rumours, back stabbing and petty personal politics. You
feel helpless, believing there’s very little you can do to
change something so intangible.
that we’ve looked into the deep dark hole, let’s take
a nice (long overdue) deep breath and look at the positive side.
Between Groups X and Y, there is a large category of people who
successfully learn how to outwit bullies, and grow up to be well-adjusted
human beings. Even once they are older, there are also loads of
people who figure out better ways to deal with bullies than fight
fire with fire. You can stop getting bullied. Now. All you need
is a crash course in the psychology of the bully.
where do we begin? Let’s start with compassion – bullies
are essentially insecure, immature and socially challenged, or at
least one of the three. They do what they do, because they can’t
think of any other way to feel good about themselves. Individuals
who are jealous of colleagues/classmates, have difficult home lives,
or can’t cope with the demands of work or play are very likely
to resort to bullying as a sort of defence mechanism. Some of them
are even deluded enough to believe that this will make them popular,
while others aren’t even aware of how much they are hurting
their victims. Notably, many of them come from homes where all the
communication is loud and aggressive and where very little love
is shown. That doesn’t make you feel for them? Perhaps if
you consider the fact that many of them feel deeply unhappy and
unloved, you just may feel a stirring of some feeling.
that’s all talk, isn’t it? What you need is a solution
to your problem. So here are the Six Techniques of Defeating the
Even if you don’t feel it, act it and (hopefully)
soon you’ll be it. You’re probably not feeling your
bravest at moments when you are about to be emotionally or physically
tortured, but try to keep your chin up and your head high. The bully
is bound to feel less inclined to tangle with someone who is not
afraid of him.
Bullies can’t have half their fun, if there would-be
victims act as if they’re not there. Initially this might
cause them to try harder to get your attention, but they’ll
soon have to give up. You just won’t be entertaining enough.
Acting as if you don’t notice and don’t care is like
giving no reaction at all, and this just might stop a bully in his
If ignoring the bully hasn’t worked, use words.
Use them to tell the bully to simply quit bothering you and then
walk away. If the bully has been spreading lies about you, face
him or her in front of some other witnesses and make sure he or
she can’t keep on saying untrue things. This way, other people
who have similar problems with the bully can also have their say.
Together you’ll be much stronger and what’s better is
that you’ll feel a whole lot more in control.
a stand when someone else is getting bullied
Don’t allow a bully to isolate and then victimise
someone else. It might mean that the bully turns on you, but stand
up for your friend/colleague anyway, especially if you know it’s
unfair. Sometimes you may just be grateful to be left alone, but
work on the principle that the sooner you stand up to him or her,
the less likely it is that you are going to be the victim the next
a friend to help
If you’re actually being physically hurt, having
other people around may offer you some protection. Make sure you
move around with at least one or two people so that a bully can
never catch you alone. If lots of you are being victimised, hang
together. If it still continues don’t hesitate to get the
authorities involved. This may mean going to your parents, teachers
or even the law enforcement authorities. Don’t try to hide
what’s happening to you, if you do that no one can help you.
become a bully yourself
Freshman become seniors, right? So why do people who’ve
been traumatised and tortured just go ahead and do it to someone
else? Make sure you don’t become the thing you most despise.
remember, though the bully may tell you differently, it’s
not something that’s wrong with you; it’s something
wrong with the bully. Lots of people have gone through similar situations
in the past and lots more will do the same in the future…
but if you just keep a cool head and stay strong, you needn’t
be one of them.