It could be someone you know or someone you barely know. Bullying is the act of directing aggressive, intimidating, or threatening behaviors that are directed at an individual with the intent to cause physical or emotional harm.
Bullying can take on a variety of forms and can be in-person or through the use of electronics and technology, called cyberbullying. While this list isn’t exhaustive, you may be a victim of bullying and/or cyberbullying if someone:
- Subjects you to verbal taunts aimed to embarrass or humiliate you
- Manipulates you into giving up possessions or money for fear of harm or embarrassment
- Pushes, shoves, kicks, or otherwise physically harms you
- Sends and/or forwards to others any insulting emails, texts, videos, photos, or social media posts that are derogatory or untrue
- Impersonates you on social media to embarrass you or share your private information
- Uses electronic messages (texts, Facebook posts, etc.) with angry or threatening language
What can you do?
Bullies are weak people. They derive pleasure by pulling other people down since they are insecure about themselves.
Other things you can do
1. Get Emotional Support - Consider reaching out to your counselor, school administrator, human resource manager, victim services specialist, or advocate to get information on help that may be available to you and safety planning ideas.
2. Document Every Incident – Make a log of encounters with the bully. Record in-person encounters, texts or social media messages, online postings, etc.
3. Obtain a Protective Order – Consider filing for a protective order. Protective orders are issued differently by each state, so be sure to contact your local courts to determine what you’ll need to file the order. Ask about the type of order you can file based on the evidence and your particular situation. Bullying should be treated as a criminal act and is reportable to law enforcement.
4. Create a Safety Plan – Develop a safety plan for all situations in which you may encounter the bully. You can enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member to plan for what you will do if the bully contacts or confronts you.
Remember the actions of other people to bring you down are testimonials of their own state of mind. They are not a reflection to the person you are.
Whatever you do, be the positive person who lights up everyone's life. Life is your reaction to what happens to you.
You can never control what happens but you can always control and determine how you react to what happens.