SO WHAT IS BULLYING?
Bullying is a repeated action against a person or group of people. Most of us know someone who has been or is being bullied. Some of us have experienced it first hand or even dished it out ourselves.
Bullying is done to hurt or offend someone. It can also be done to show power or control over someone. People who bully may have problems of their own. They may have been bullied themselves. This doesn’t excuse the behaviour and doesn’t mean that it is acceptable.
Bullying causes great harm. It brings with it so many difficulties. People who are being bullied may feel threatened all the time, isolated and alone. It can have a lasting effect.
Which of the following examples would you call bullying?
• Pushing, shoving, kicking or throwing things at others
• Excluding a person from a conversation, group or activity
• Receiving rude and unwelcome sexual remarks and advances
• Staring at others or giving others dirty looks
• Hiding someone’s stuff so that they will get into trouble
Can you think of any examples of bullying?
TYPES OF BULLYING
There are many different types of bullying. It can be verbal, non-verbal, physical, social, emotional, racial and sexual.
Bullying can happen anywhere and anytime like in schools, work places, university, on the bus home, at gaelic football and soccer clubs, at home and among your mates.
It can happen as a one off situation or can go on for a long time and can be experienced by everyone from your brother/sister or best friend to someone you wouldn’t expect.
BULLYING AND YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
When someone is constantly teasing, threatening or even excluding you, no matter form it takes you're not going to be feeling very good.
What negative effects can bullying have on a young person?
A young person may be left feeling alone, afraid, embarrassed, angry, stressed or even depressed. Bullying can affect your relationships with others, your confidence, and your experience of school. It can stop you enjoying life.
Different people react differently to bullying (e.g. crying, ignoring etc.).
Some of these strategies may work in the short term but some might make the situation worse and not actually stop the bullying.
WHAT THINGS DO YOU THINK WOULD BE BETTER TO HELP STOP BULLYING?
Look at the situation and be prepared to deal with it
Try to look at the bullying situation from all different angles. What do you know about the person or group doing the bullying? You might try talking to someone you trust to see if they can help come up with some solutions to stop it. Look at how you reacted to the bullying - did your reaction stop it? How could you do things differently the next time it happens? Ignoring bullying could make it continue longer.
You don’t have to put up with it
Bullying is totally unacceptable. The first thing to remember is that everyone has a right to feel safe so bullying in any form is unacceptable. You don’t have to deal with it on your own. Tell someone.
Get some support
Most schools and work places have strict rules about how to deal with bullying and harassment. If bullying happens at school report it to your teacher/ guidance counsellor. If you don't get the support you need then don’t stop there, try someone else i.e. a classmate you trust or the Principal.
If it's happening outside school, seek the support of your parents, family or friends. In really serious circumstances, the gardai may need to be involved. So always seek support so you can feel safe.
Communicate clearly and assertively
This is another option that might work for you. Try to talk to the bully. You might want to do this away from their friends, but with someone else around for support.
When you do talk to the bully be bold, stand up tall, look them in the face, and assertively tell them that you don't like what they are doing or saying and tell them that you want them to stop it. Talking to the bully assertively lets them know where you stand and can get the message through to them.
Keep yourself safe
It is sometimes safer to walk away. You don't have to stand there and take it and leaving an unsafe situation isn't a sign of weakness. This doesn't mean you should ignore the problem; no-one has the right to constantly put you down, push you or pick on you. If the bullying occurs when you are by yourself, then try sticking with your mates or stay in more public areas.
WHERE TO GO TO FOR SUPPORT
It's important to get support, so find someone you trust, a close friend, relative, school counsellor or teacher and let them know what is going on. You could even ring a help line. Don't forget you don't have to deal with bullying alone.
If you get advice and things don’t work out - don't give up - talk to someone else you can trust. You may be embarrassed or worried but you will need support for this. Talk to your friends and ask them what you can do. There are many different ways of dealing with bullying - some ways work and others don't.
WHAT COULD YOU DO TO HELP SOMEONE WHO IS BEING BULLIED?
Sometimes people don’t like to get involved or are afraid to do something about it. However, as a bystander you may be able to prevent bullying or stop it continuing. You could get support and advice from someone else. You could really help someone out by even just telling the bully to “cop on” or to leave him/her alone. You could also talk and listen to the person being bullied. All these things could make a real difference