- Use your mind
- Use your words
- Use your legs
- Ask for help
- Defend yourself
How should you deal with bullying?
Bullying continues to be a major issue despite the fact that awareness of the problem is at an all-time high, 28% of students between the ages 12-18 are bullied each year. About 28% of students between the ages 12-18 are bullied each year.
Remember the steps below will help give you a basic understanding of how to deal with bullying, but nothing replaces attending a good martial arts program to give you the tools necessary to deal with bullying and aggression.
Step 1 – Use Your Mind
Use Your Mind means thinking about all of the things that you can do to stay safe. It means to create safe habits.
Here is a list of possible safe habits you should have.)
- Always use your seat belt
- Avoid bullies
- Look both ways before you cross the street
- Never dive into the water until you know how deep it is
- Think of ways to make friends with bullies
So, always try to use your mind to create safe habits and stay out of trouble. When it comes to bullying, the easiest way to avoid being bullied is to stop it before it ever begins. You can begin this by being aware of your surroundings and avoiding contact with bullies whenever possible. You are NOT a chicken when you avoid a bully. You are smart for doing so.
It is also important that you develop the habit of carrying yourself in a confident manner. You can do this by standing tall and using a strong voice, even when you are afraid.
Step 2 – Use your words
If you ever find yourself being bullied you oftentimes can use your words to talk your way out of trouble.
Now let’s look at some ways that you can talk your way out of trouble.
Let’s pretend that someone bully’s you by making fun of your shirt. Here are some ways you can respond:
(Bully) “Hey kid! That is an ugly shirt. You look like an idiot wearing it!”
Respond with a question
“Why would you say that?” or
“Are you trying to hurt my feelings?” or “And you tell me that… Why?”
Agree with them
“Maybe it is ugly, But I like it anyway”
“Did you really just say that?”
“I am glad you noticed because that is the look I was going for.”
Say Their name
“Bobby, I consider you a friend and would never say that to you!”
“I thought you were my friend.”
“I can’t believe you said that to me. I never expected you to be a bully.” “Rude.”
Rule 3 – Use your legs
If you are unable to talk yourself out of the situation, you try to ignore it and walk away if you can. Just pretend the bully is invisible. Try to look completely unfazed. If you are feeling really unsafe, the best thing to do is to run.
Some people will tell you that running away makes you a chicken. Remember, it’s okay to be a chicken… that just means you’re afraid. Sometimes, the smartest thing you can do is be afraid and run. There is a difference between being a chicken and being a coward. A chicken just runs away from a dangerous situation. A coward is someone who won’t stand up for what they believe in.
Step 4 – Ask for help
It is always good when you can handle your own problems but it is perfectly OK to get help if you need it. Let’s say you have tried ignoring the bully. You have tried standing up for yourself, but nothing is working. You are NOT a tattling if you ask for help. Tattling is when your motive is to get someone else in trouble. Reporting is when you let someone who can help you know that you (or another person) are being treated in a disrespectful manner.
Rule 5 – Defend yourself
Defend yourself is the last step because we want you to try everything else first. You should try to avoid a physical confrontation if at all possible and only defend yourself as a last resort. But at the same time, it is important to remember that no one has the right to harm you, and sometimes you have to fight back.
For this part, I highly recommend taking some self defense classes.