Bullying is not a new topic, and it will probably never be a forgotten one either. Whether you are 5, 13, or 35, you have most likely experience some sort of bullying and may still experience it later in your life. You may also have children, or are planning on having them, and will have to teach your kids how to deal with bullies. In fact, according to PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, 1 in 3 students will be bullied each year; that is a large number, and large number of kids being picked on and made fun of. So what are the 4 types of bullying? For this blog, I am joining indirect and relational bullying due to the fact that they both take a less direct and obvious approach, but are common ways of bullying. (*Taken from “The 4 Common Types of Bullying” by Suzanne Peck)
- Verbal Bullying: cruel spoken words, involves ongoing name-calling, threatening, and making disrespectful comments about someone’s attributes (appearance, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, etc.).
- Example: “You’re ugly and stupid.”
- Physical Bullying: aggressive physical intimidation, involves repeated hitting, kicking, tripping, blocking, pushing, and touching in unwanted and inappropriate ways.
- Example: Pushing a kid down on the playground to be funny.
- Indirect & Relational Bullying: Indirect: less obvious, and more often seen in girls; saying mean or untrue things, spreading rumors or ignoring someone. Relational: exclusionary tactics, involves deliberately preventing someone from joining or being part of a group, whether it’s at a lunch table, game, sport, or social activity.
- Example: (Indirect) – Spreading a rumor that James is gay. (Relational) – Openly discussing a sleepover in front of someone who was not invited as if she wasn’t there.
- Cyber Bullying: spreading mean words, lies, and false rumors through e-mails, text messages, and social media posts. Sexist, racist, and homophobic messages create a hostile atmosphere, even when not directly targeting your child.
- Example: Posting a comment on someone’s photo:”Jessica you look so fat and dumb in this.”
So now that we have discussed the different types of bullying and an example of each, how can one overcome being bullied? One big way is to try and think about why someone would decide to pick on you. Many times we think that it is our fault for being bullied when in reality it is the result of some insecurities within the bullies themselves. Hali Tsotetsi published an article on MindBodyGreen on bullying; “5 Things I Wish I Knew Back When I Was Bullied.” Hali talks about how through forgiveness, she has been able to move on from the bullying in her past; but this took Hali some time. She describes 5 things that looking back she wished she knew when the bullying was happening.
- People who are happy with themselves rarely have a desire to be mean to others.
- Unhappy people have chosen to be unhappy; it has nothing to do with you.
- Telling everyone how someone treated you unfairly is a waste of time.
- The same person you thought was being unfair is getting on with her life, while your life is being consumed with negativity about her.
- You are not a victim.
- living successfully doesn’t happen by sitting around and feeling sorry for yourself.
- This too shall pass.
- One day this person won’t be in your life. Until then, take some survival tools so you can reach the point at which you can say, “I did it! I remained calm and true to myself regardless of whatever that person was trying to put me through.”
- Trust yourself.
- Don’t look to others as a guide about someone you think has treated you unfairly, just trust yourself enough to know who’s treating you kindly and who isn’t.
Now these tips work much better for older teens and adults, those that are able to truly understand that it is not them but the bully who is dealing with things. As a kid, we cannot really wrap our heads around this because to we cannot understand why someone would be mean to us as a cover up for their insecurities. So, if you have a child dealing with bullying here are a few tips to help kids overcome bullies; first, teaching your kids not to become the bully! (Taken from “5 Ways to Bully-Proof Your Kid” by Steven Dowshen.)
- Talk about it. Talk about bullying with your kids and have other family members share their experiences. If one of your kids opens up about being bullied, praise him or her for being brave enough to discuss it and offer unconditional support. Consult with the school to learn its policies and find out how staff and teachers can address the situation.
- Remove the bait. If it’s lunch money or gadgets that the school bully is after, you can help neutralize the situation by encouraging your child to pack a lunch or go to school gadget-free.
- Buddy up for safety. Two or more friends standing at their lockers are less likely to be picked on than a child who is all alone. Remind your child to use the buddy system when on the school bus, in the bathroom, or wherever bullies may lurk.
- Keep calm and carry on. If a bully strikes, a kid’s best defense may be to remain calm, ignore hurtful remarks, tell the bully to stop, and simply walk away. Bullies thrive on hurting others. A child who isn’t easily ruffled has a better chance of staying off a bully’s radar.
- Don’t try to fight the battle yourself. Sometimes talking to a bully’s parents can be constructive, but it’s generally best to do so in a setting where a school official, such as a counselor, can mediate.
*To read more about any of the articles mentioned in this blog, please visit the articles by clicking on the article’s title.
If you or your child are experiencing being bullied, give us a call at Life Skills Resource Group Orlando at 407-355-7378 to set up a free phone consultation. Our Orlando Individual Counselors, Orlando Teen Counselors, Orlando Adolescent Counselors, and Orlando Child Counselors are here to help and teach you ways to combat bullying.