I will begin this post with the cardinal rules and interventions in fighting back bullying:
1. You are not to blame for this aggressive behavior
2. You must not feel that this behavior is acceptable
3 You have the right to terminate such negative behavior
4. You have the right to complain and report bullying
5. You have the right to confidentiality from those who are aware of bullying
6. You have the right to dignity and respect as a victim of bullying
In order to regain control of the situation, you must recognize what is happening to you. Accept the fact that you are being bullied and it is the bully who has the problem and it is projected onto you.A method of immediately addressing the actions of a bully, if you are comfortable with this technique, is to approach the bully and state the following;
“I wish to make it clear that your behavior is unacceptable. I find it distressing and I want it to stop now.”
Of course, you should use this statement in your own words and display courage and strength no matter how frighten you might feel in confronting this aggressive individual. Perhaps having a friend accompany you during this conversation would be more comfortable. It is advised that, upon completing this statement, you do not discuss the action of the bully or make any comments other than “The matter is closed.”
You should not accept criticisms and allegations about you or your performance since this is about the hostile behavior of the bully.As a victim of a bully, you may feel shame, embarrassment, guilt or fear. These behavioral reactions are quite normal but misplaced and inappropriate. These reactions are the desired feelings of control that is the goal of the bully.
You may feel that you need help and there is no shame or failure in seeking personal support. Bullies are devious, deceptive and manipulative and you may not be capable of handling this assault alone. Indeed, children who are bullied are primarily in need of the support of parents and school personnel.
Keeping a journal on the number of incidents is relevant in providing evidence of this chronic bullying in preparation for legal action to stop this behavior. Keeping copies of emails, memos or a log of incidents is recommended in order to provide proof of the bully’s behavior since they will always deny their actions. If there is a need to seek emotional or physical intervention, it is relevant to document the cause of these problems.
Much of the suggestions and interventions above are relevant to adult victims of bullies. Childhood interventions require parents, teachers and school administrators to intervene. It is important that parents observe closely any changes in their child’s behavior as described in an earlier post. It is important to urge a child to disclose any bullying that has occurred to them or that they have observed at school. Disclosure can eliminate bullying from continuing and prevent victims from experiencing emotional damage or physical symtons from being victimized. Bullying must be stopped! So many of our children have taken their lives as a result of this evil behavior. It takes a village to protect our children.
Please do let us hear your voice and what you are feeling about this topic.