What to do When You’re Being Bullied

  • Bullying may be a natural part of childhood, but that doesn’t make it right. Here’s what you can do to reduce the impact of bullying on yourself, or a friend who’s being bullied.

    • Talk to a trusted adult. Your parents, a teacher, counselor or building administrator. You may think it’ll make it worse to involve an adult, but research shows it leads to better results. You never have to face a bullying situation alone!
    • Be confident. Hold your head up, stand up straight, make eye contact, and walk confidently. Bullies tend to isolate and pick on those who don’t show self-confidence.
      Don’t blame yourself. Bullies have issues, not you. Come up with a plan with a trusted adult to end the situation.
    • Don’t fight back aggressively, it only makes the situation worse. Defensive blocking, breaking holds and other types of protective maneuvers are fine.
    • Look for an out. Make a joke, ignore the bully, look for an escape route. Don’t let them know how much they’re getting to you, it’ll only make the situation worse.
    • There’s power in numbers. Make friends and make sure you’re with them in typical bullying situations. Stick up for each other. If you see someone else being bullied, tell the bully to stop.
    • Don’t fall into the trap of arming yourself. Carrying a weapon is against school policy, is illegal and only makes it more likely for someone to be seriously hurt.
    • Bullying situations come and go, getting seriously hurt can last for life.
    • Parents shouldn’t take it on themselves to straighten out the bully or the bully’s family. Unless your parents know the family very well, it’s not a good idea to confront strange families about the bullying problem.