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How To Stop Bullying

How To Stop Bullying

Practical, immediately useful tips from a trained psychotherapist/counsellor on teenage issues about how important it is to get support, and how to use humor and "fogging" to stop bullying before it escalates into a problem.

Hi, my name is Niki, and I'm a counsellor and psychotherapist and I work a lot with teenagers. I'm here to talk to you about some of the issues you might find you're dealing with as a teenager, and to hopefully give you some tips that might be useful. I'm going to talk to you about how to stop bullying.

So obviously, this would be for anyone that is being bullied or if your mate is being bullied, and you want to find a way of stopping that happening. And bullying, just before I start telling you that, and just to know that bullying can also be physical, you can be hit by people or, you know, physically injured by people that are bullying you, it can be verbal, it can be name calling, being disrespectful, intimidating you and putting you down in public. It could be ignoring you and not including you in things, and there can be a kind of cyber-bullying as well.

I mean, all of bullying, obviously, is a horrible thing to go through and the first thing that's really important is that you don't feel like you have to suffer on your own. And get some support, make sure people you tell know that you're going through this and that you can get help with. The affects of bullying, you know, can be helped to mean that someone is going to become withdrawn, avoid school or college, start losing their confidence, become quite depressed.

So you really need to find the ways of supporting yourself and helping yourself while you're being bullied so it doesn't get to such a place that you're feeling that low. So part of looking after yourself and stopping the affects and stopping bullying, is not just telling someone else, but it's also being sure that you don't take it out on yourself; that you don't kind of bully yourself and blame yourself for what's going on. Bullying can happen to anyone, so just remind yourself of that.

But then in terms of stopping bullying, you can try and ignore it if it's only just started happening, if it's just, if it's name calling. Obviously, you can't ignore physical violence, and you'll need to get help with that. But some bullying, if you ignore it, the bullies lose interest and move on.

It's not always possible for this to work and it may mean that you need other people involved. You need the school involved. You need - you know of schools that have anti-bullying policies so it might be useful to you to look at that and the same with colleges.

Or you might need one of your parents involved or a friend involved. You might also decide how you want to react back to a bully. When you are being bullied does it mean that your confidence is being knocked so much that you don't feel that you've got the power to fight back? So if when you're being bullied, your confidence is knocked so much that you don't feel able to say anything back to the bullies, you might want to practice what it is you could say back; how you might stand up for yourself, how you might be assertive, how you might have a go back.

But when you have a go back, when you react to a bully, be careful it doesn't escalate the problem, which it can do, obviously. Some of the most effective ways are using humor, using wit to kind of put them down, or to, you know, find a way to show them that it isn't bothering you. Even if it is, you know you're trying to hide your feelings so they're not getting a rise out of seeing you being humiliated.

You might want to ask them why they're doing it, and put the kind of ball back in their court or something that, anti-bullying strategists use, they call it fogging. It's when you just agree with what the bully's saying. They're picking on you for something, you're just saying, "Yeah, and what's the problem?" So you're kind of defusing it that way.

But there's a lot more information you can find out for yourself, or online, or anti-bullying help lines which are called child lines. The child line has got some information on bullying online as well. The main thing is to understand that bully