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What can you do if you are being bullied?

You think you’re a good person and you don’t make anyone mad, at least not on purpose. So what do you do if you are bullied? Should you let it happen? Here are tips on what you can do if you are being bullied:

  • A mother talking to her daughter.Tell an adult. Many young women fear telling an adult because they don’t want to look like a snitch or seem weak. However, adults can help end the bullying. Also, it may make you feel better to tell an adult.
  • Stand up for yourself. Believe it or not, this will help you gain respect from others. Practice what you might say to a bully with a friend, your mirror, or an adult. Practice saying it in a firm, confident voice. You may even encourage others to protect themselves from bullying, too.
  • Tell the bully to stop. Calmly walk away. Believe in yourself and tell others how you feel and what you think. You will gain respect from others. Also, by leading the way and showing others that you can’t be bullied, you can help prevent bullying in the future. You can also encourage others to protect themselves from bullying.
  • Do not fight back! It’s hard to do, but walk away from a bully and ignore them. If you give in to a bully and 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 joke to lighten up the mood. Say something funny to distract the people involved.
  • Make new friends and get involved. Making friends, and having interests and extracurricular activities, will make you feel better about yourself and the bullying situation. It will introduce you to people who share similar interests. When making friends, make sure you have positive friendships that are fun and free of bullying. Read more about making friends.
  • An Asian girl smiling.Don’t blame yourself. It’s important for you to know that it’s not your fault. No one deserves to be treated this way. If you’re being bullied, try to stop it either by yourself or with help from an adult.
  • Be strong! Bullies like to upset people, particularly those who can’t stand up for themselves. Be in control so that the bully won’t feel in control. It’s important to feel confident and have good self-esteem. Even if you don’t feel it at the moment, acting like you do will help. You may find that you are pretty good at handling a bully after all, and the next time you won’t have to fake the confidence. Learn more about boosting your self-esteem.

 

Content last reviewed September 22, 2009
Page last updated October 31, 2013

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health.

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