Lots of people who bully like to have an audience. They get an extra ‘buzz’ from talking about it or actually doing the bullying in front of other people. We know that children and young people can often do more than anyone else to help someone who is being bullied. It can be scary and you should never put yourself at risk, but if you know someone is being bullied:
- Tell an adult you trust about what is happening
- Don’t join in, it’s not cool to bully or to encourage bullying
- Tell the person or people doing the bullying to stop, if it is safe to do so.
- Form a friendship group for the person being bullied to make sure they are not isolated.
If you know someone is being bullied and you don’t try and help them, you are making it worse. Don’t be a bystander or laugh when someone bullies another person in front of you. If you don’t feel confident enough to tell them to stop these are the things you can do.
- Don’t laugh or appear to join in any bullying
- Do tell a responsible adult about what is happening
- Do tell the person being bullied that you do not agree with the bully
If you are bullying someone
Sometimes people who bully don’t understand what hurt they are causing. Most people who bully do it because they need to feel more powerful – maybe they have been bullied themselves or maybe there are other things going wrong in their lives and this is a way to make themselves feel better. The trouble is, the feeling of power doesn’t last very long – so then they have to do it again. If you are bullying someone, think about the following things:
- How would you feel if it was you on the receiving end? How would you feel if it was your little brother or sister?
- What other things are going on in your life that you need to get power this way? What could you do about them? Who could help you?
- What might happen to you if you carry on? If you get excluded from school, or get into trouble with the police, how might that affect your life?
- It takes more courage to admit you are bullying someone and to ask for help than it does to bully someone – are you tough enough?