Bulling is wrong and can be very hurtful to someone on the receiving end of it, but there are ways to stop it from happening. If you are being bullied, we've got some advice for you on what you can do and where to get support.
There are a few different types of bullying, inc physical, verbal, social and cyber bullying. This page is intended to help you if you are the victim of ANY BULLYING, but we have split it into sections incase there is a particular type you want to know about.
If you are experiencing bullying there is help available.
Under 18 > Childline 0800 1111
Over 18 > Samaritans 116 123
You can always talk to us too!
Verbal and Social Bullying
Verbal and social bullying can be interlinked in some scenarios.
Verbal bullying is when someone says unkind, intimidating or offensive things designed to hurt you. Social bullying is when people talk about you behind your back, spread rumours to humiliate you or play nasty jokes on you. Both of these things are wrong and unjustifiable, however they can be more difficult to identify because they aren’t always as visible. The can however be equally damaging to your mental wellbeing and confidence.
The bully may…
Lie + spread rumours about you
Insult or tease you
Consistently try to embarrass or humiliate you
Mimic you unkindly Persuade other people to leave you out or join in in bullying you
This might make you feel hurt, upset or angry. You might also feel you’ve lost your self-confidence, or like you want to withdraw from everyone,. You could also start feeling anxious or depressed. These are all perfectly normal reactions and it might take some time to process them and return to your normal self, but that’s ok. Talking to a friend/ family member about how you are feeling can really help. Don’t like the sound of that? Don’t forget about us! We can talk to you for free and confidentially about it all give you some strategies to process what you are going through.
If someone is bullying you because of your sexual identity, race, gender or you have a disability, this is against the law and you can talk to the police about it if you’d like to. If this is not the case, don’t worry there’s still lots you can do! You’ve probably guessed by now, but the same old trick with anything like this of going and sharing what’s happened with someone you trust really is a good first step. You’ll likely be surprised at how relieved you feel by sharing the worry with someone, and even better, they may well be able to help stop the bullying!
If someone is saying hurtful, offensive or untrue things to you, there are other things you can do too.
You can walk away if that is what you feel most comfortable doing
Ask them to stop saying those things and explain that it’s not true/ is unkind
If you are at school for example, go and share whats happening with a teacher – this is not a weakness!
Of course you can stand up for yourself too and challenge what they are saying, but try not to retaliate and make offensive comments about them (we understand its tempting) as this could get you in trouble – not what you want right?
More often than not, bullies like this are trying to get a rise out of you and cause a scene. If you are able to ignore the comments, or avoid retaliating/ creating a fuss, it may well fizzle out quickly as they will get bored and move on from it. However if they persist and it does not stop, take the next step and share your experience with someone you trust.
A little food for thought:
I’m pretty sure most people will have experienced losing friends due to social conflict, social bullying, disagreements etc. If someone you consider a friend is being malicious/ bullying you, they might not be acting much like a friend anymore. It can be difficult deciding not to spend time with someone anymore. You might worry about losing other friends as a result or that you’ll offend them. In reality it's often a very health decision that gives you some closure and gets you away form a situation that’s hurting you. It could open up doors to other friendships you wouldn’t have imagined and allow you to start rebuilding your confidence and get your mojo back!
This is a form of bullying that happens online rather than in person, but can involve similar actions/ behaviour from the bullies doing it. Bullying of any form can be very hurtful and damaging to the person on the receiving end, and it's important to remember that if you have/ are being bullied, it's not your fault, and there are lots of people who can offer you support. This can include family, close friends, a mentor or here at Youth in Romsey. We are eager to help young people in any way we can and offer various forms of support.
Cyber bullying can happen on platforms including:
Social media via posts, direct messages or photo sharing
Via text and video group chats
When people share or support unkind comments about someone
Via online gaming
Often, if a bully doesn’t get a rise out of saying something unkind, he will be less likely to continue, so one of the best things you can do the try and stop the cyber bullying is to not reply. You could screenshot or save the messages in case you wish to show them to someone helping you, but by not replying they have no ammunition to come back at you with.
A couple of tips if you are being cyber bullied
Block the bully from social media etc.
Report what you’ve experienced on which ever site it has happened
Try not to engage with the bullying
Talk to someone you know and trust about it – this can be a huge release of pent up emotion and a relief to share your experience with someone else who will have your best interests at heart
Know someone who is being bullied online? Here’s what you can do
Don’t engage, like share or comment on any posts etc. that are unkind to someone and make sure you keep your own online presence positive.
Report the post where possible. This can be really helpful when the person being bullied may not have the confidence to do it themselves or is worried about making things worse.
Try and speak to the person being bullied and show them you are there for them – bullying can make people feel very alone so showing a little kindness will go a long way.
Some people may think that because it doesn’t happen in person or they aren’t being physically hurt, cyber bullying isn’t something they can ask for support with or talk about. That is not the case. It can be equally hurtful and leave you feeling very lonely, but luckily there’s a lot you can do to improve this and get back to feeling your normal self!
Some things to remember…
We are here for you! Go to the contact us page to get in touch with us. We will do all we can to help you, it's what we’re here for.
There are things you can do – block, report, talk to someone, don’t engage.
Physical bullying is when someone makes contact with you and does something to intentionally hurt you. It could be that they hit you, trip you over, pinch or shove you. It is never ok for someone to try and physically hurt you, but there are always people here to help you, and ways to stop this from continuing to happen.
The best thing you can do to begin with if you have been bullied this way is to talk to someone you trust. This could be a family member, teacher, friend or someone here at Youth in Romsey. Just text us on 07443 508418 or talk to us via social media or our contact page. We know it can be daunting to do this, but it’s often the best way to find a solution and keep you safe.
Other things you can do if you are being physically bullied:
Keep a diary of what has happened and when as this can create evidence of what’s going on
Try to back yourself without becoming aggressive or angry. Just stand up for yourself but try not to give the bully an emotional reaction ie. Stay calm but confident.
Physical violence and assault is against the law, along with stealing, so you can speak to the police if you are being physically hurt or stolen from.
Your health and safety is a priority and you should not have to experience being hurt by someone else. If you are in immediate danger, call the police on 999. You can speak to Childline on 0800 1111 for free support and advice if you are under 18, and we are here for you too. Get in contact with us, we are eager to help you.
Bullying due to Race, Gender, Sexuality, Disability or Religion
Unfortunately, sometimes bullies chose to pick on someone because of their sexuality, gender, religion, race or because they have a disability. In many cases this is considered hate crime which is illegal and can be reported by calling 999 in an emergency or 101 if not. To find out whether what you are experiencing is hate crime, click here to visit Childline's page on hate crime, discrimination and equality.
Bullying for any of these reasons is not OK and it can be a very hurtful thing to experience. Being singled out for part of your identity, your appearance, or something you can't or don't want to change about yourself is unfair and the way in which someone might bully you because of this can range. They may try to discriminate or humiliate you online (cyber bullying), physically hurt you, or say unkind things about you to you or others (social/verbal bullying).
If you are going through anything like this, we really want to help you, both to feel safer wherever it is you are being bullied, and to stop it from continuing to happen. If you are being bullied in school, the first step is probably to speak to a teacher about what you are experiencing, they will be eager to help you. You can also contact us, or head to our Helplines & Support page for more ways to get help.