How to Cope When You're Being Bullied
Bullying doesn't just happen on the playground
“Bullies are just jealous.” No, they’re not. Bullies are not just jealous, they’re just jerks. They’re just mean-spirited, horrible people who want to make other people’s lives miserable because it makes them feel better, like they have actually achieved something. And saying that they’re jealous isn’t helpful. Neither is saying things like, “Just ignore them and they’ll go away,” because they won’t, trust me.
And sadly, some bullies don’t grow up or grow out of it, instead they just have more time to practise.
But whether you’re being bullied at school or at work, there are some things you could try to help resolve the situation.
Tell Some Friends
Bottling up your fear and frustration will only make you mentally and physically ill. Tell a close, trusted friend what is happening. They may be able to help, but even if they can’t do anything, they can still be there to listen.
What They’re Saying Isn’t True
If they tell you you’re ugly, you’re not, and if they tell you you’re stupid, you’re not. They are not saying these things because they think they’re true, they’re saying them because they know that they are the most hurtful, nasty things to say.
Try to remember this, it can be so hard, it’s been 19 years since I was bullied and I still forget it sometimes. But try your best to like yourself; just because they don’t like you, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be liked.
Try Not To Show Fear
Another difficult one, but bullies are like Pennywise, they thrive when they know someone is afraid. And they lose their power if you’re not afraid of them. It’s hard because being tormented every day can be terrifying, but if you realise there are limits as to what they can and will do to you, you’ll start to realise that they’re not as scary as they might seem.
Try To Find Friends Or Allies
If you have friends, try to keep them as close as you can. Having a support network can really help when you’re being bullied. The nice people around you help you remember that the world isn’t such a horrible place and that not everyone is a total jerk.
Again, another tough one, but bullies of any age want a reaction. They need it to keep doing what they’re doing. And when I say no reaction, I mean none. Act like they didn’t even speak, walk away, stare past them. Do anything that lets them know that they are not going to get a rise out of you.
Remember You Deserve Better
Some bullies are really good at making people think that they deserve to be treated like this. These are the most dangerous types of bullies. They are the devious ones who get inside your head and prey on your worst insecurities. I used to think I deserved to get beaten up because I was so ugly and that if I was prettier, they would leave me alone.
But you don’t deserve to be treated like this, you’re better than that and you’re better than them.
Would You Let Them Do It To A Friend?
If the answer is no, so please stop letting them do it to you. If you would stand up to them to save a friend or anyone else, stand up to them to save yourself. You’re worth fighting for too!
Should You Tell?
This is the age old question, and officially I am supposed to say yes. But realistically, telling someone in authority really can make it worse sometimes. Every school and workplace always says that they have a “zero tolerance policy” when it comes to bullying. But let me tell you a secret: for the most part, they don’t really care if someone is bullied unless they threaten to go public with the fact that it has been allowed to happen.
So if you’re going to tell, make sure that you tell everyone if something isn’t done. Take it to the papers, social media and tell everyone you know. Then and only then will something get done about it.
What If It’s Your Boss?
This is an awful one, but if it’s your boss or someone in authority is bullying you (and it happens even more than you think), then there’s very little that will be done about it. There is plenty they COULD do, but probably nothing they WILL do. Unless you know your company's policy really is no tolerance, and even then there is no guarantee that anything will happen unless you have evidence. I know I sound grim, but I’m trying to be realistic. It is your word against theirs, and without evidence then you’re probably not going to win, sorry.
Looking for a new job will probably be the most sensible thing to do here. I know it seems like you’re admitting defeat and letting them get away with it, but you have to think about your mental health and put yourself first.
If you’re being bullied, there are people you can talk to in confidence who won’t tell anyone, but they will be there to listen to you and offer support when you need it most.
There are different organisations all over the world who can help you. Just look online and you’ll find the best ones for your country.