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If you are bullied

  mother and daughter hugging.

If you are being bullied, you may be afraid. You may worry that your friends won’t stand by you. You may think nothing will help. But there are strong steps you can take to deal with bullying. Remember, you deserve to be safe and feel good!

Keep reading to learn about these topics:

What to do if you are being bullied arrow. top

Try the ideas below to help deal with bullying. And if the effects of bullying are making you feel bad, get emotional support from your friends and trusted adults like your parents, school nurse, teacher, or counselor.

Tell an adult.

Kids sometimes don’t want to look weak or like a snitch. But an adult often is needed to end the bullying. Also, it may make you feel better just to talk to an adult. Keep a record of what happened and who saw it, so the adult can figure out how best to help. If one adult isn’t able to help enough, try another one.

Stand up for yourself.

If it feels safe, tell a bully to leave you alone. Practice what you might say with a friend, your mirror, or an adult. Try using a firm, confident voice. Standing up for yourself may even help you gain respect from others and inspire them to defend themselves, too.

Calmly walk away.

People who bully often want an audience. If you leave, they won’t be getting any attention.

Do not fight back!

It’s hard to do, but try to walk away and ignore the person who is bullying. If you fight back, you could end up getting in trouble instead of the bully! If someone is hurting you physically, try to call for help or get away fast and get help from an adult.

Lighten the air!

Make a little joke to lighten up the mood. Don’t make fun of the person, though. That might make matters worse.

Make new friends and get involved.

Making friends and pursuing your interests can help you feel better about yourself and the bullying situation. It feels good to connect with people who have similar interests. Try to stick with friends in school, since there often is safety in numbers. Read more about making friends.

Don’t blame yourself.

It’s important for you to know that it’s not your fault. No one deserves to be treated badly. The person who bullies is acting wrong — not you!

Be strong!

Bullies like to upset people, particularly those who can’t stand up for themselves. Be in control so that the person won’t feel in control. Even if you don’t feel confident, acting like you are can help. You may find that you are pretty good at handling the situation after all. Then the next time, you won’t have to fake the confidence. Learn more about boosting your self-esteem.

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Print these tips.

Tips to prevent bullying before it starts arrow. top

Some smart steps can help protect you from being bullied. You can try these tips:

  • Avoid bullies. If a group is known for bullying, stay away from it. And try to stay away from places where bullying happens.
  • Stay near adults. Most bullying happens when adults aren’t around.
  • Be confident. People who bully often like to pick on kids they think seem weaker. If you don’t feel confident, try acting like you are. Pretending may turn into the real thing! You also can try some ways to boost your confidence.
  • Stick with a friend. There usually is safety in numbers. Try to walk to school and eat lunch with a friend. Try making new friends, too. Smile at people, say hi, tell someone if you like their outfit. Think about joining a club to meet people with similar interests.

Things you can say to someone who bullies arrow. top

It can be hard to know what to say to a person who bullies. You might want to practice what you’ll say with an adult. Of course, don’t try talking back to someone who seems dangerous. Remember to try to keep your tone calm and cool even if you’re upset. 

You could keep your reply short, so you don’t give the person too much attention. You might try something like, “Okay, good to know,” “Thanks for sharing that,” “Nice try,” or “So?”

You could also try to lighten the mood by playfully agreeing if that seems like it might fit the situation. You could try something like, “That was kind of funny, but now it’s time to stop.”

You also might take the bully by surprise and just say what you think is true: “You are acting like a bully, and it’s not cool.” “What you said is pretty ridiculous.” “You know, that’s not really funny. Please stop.”


Content last reviewed April 15,2014
Page last updated August 19, 2014