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Anti Bullying Tips

Updated on August 21, 2016
Austinstar profile image

Lela earned a B.A. degree in Journalism from Sam Houston University in Huntsville, TX. She has been writing for the online world for years.

Bullying and Fighting

Bully fighting when the opponent is at a disadvantage
Bully fighting when the opponent is at a disadvantage | Source

About Bullying

Thinking that they are so clever, bullies continue their harangues against any and all people that get in their line of sight. Bullies work at being bullies. They research the cruelest things to say to people and say them with cruel intentions.

Getting attention is what bullies are after. They want the power associated with knocking down the people they come in contact with. Some do this rather charmingly, others just come right out and taunt you.

Attention is what bullies crave. They may have been ignored as children or abandoned by their parents. The only other friends they have are other bullies. There is a specific cliché in life that they fail to follow:

"If you can't say something nice about a person, don't say anything at all".

Last year, about one in five school children were bullied. The number is increasing every year and the depression and suicide statistics may correlate with the frequency and amount of bullying.

October is National Bully Prevention Month. Let's jump in and help our community to avoid bullies.

How to Respond to a Bully

What are the Signs of Bullying?

Signs to look for if you suspect your child is being bullied:

  • Unexplained injuries - children come home with cuts and bruises, they try to blame it on normal school injuries like children get while playing sports or just normal P. E. (physical education).
  • Your child keeps losing things like jewelry, books or clothing. Bullies like to 'steal' trophies from their victims.
  • Your child will fake an illness to stay home from school, a lot.
  • Unusual hunger due to having to skip lunch at school. They may want a regular meal when they come home from school, even though dinner is only a couple of hours away.
  • You child may have difficulty sleeping and have nightmares or crying spells at night.
  • Avoiding school and certain classes may cause a drop in grades. Lacking an interest in certain subjects or school in general may be a tip off.
  • Your child will lose friends and may not want to participate in school activities.
  • Expressions of low self esteem will be a clue that your child is buying into the hurtful remarks of a bully.
  • Depression may lead to thoughts of suicide, running away from home and self-destructive behavior.


What if you suspect your child of being a bully? What are the signs that they have become a bully?

  • Your child may spend a lot of time on FaceBook (or other social media) and send out a lot of disparaging posts. Some may even be criminal.
  • Getting into a lot of fights and being boastful about it or just trying to justify the fights may be a clue.
  • Your child's friends may be bullies. The friends boast about their accomplishments as a bully.
  • Your child may become aggressive and talk back to you. They may use curse words and think it's acceptable to do so.
  • Bullies stand out in a class and the teacher may reprimand them or send them to the principle's office frequently.
  • You may find unusual items in your child's room. These are things bullies take as 'trophies' from their victims. They may even extort money from their victims.
  • Your child blames 'the system' a lot. They think they have rights beyond the usual privileges that other children have.
  • Bullies are competitive and always want to come out on top of every situation, but if they fail to do so, they blame others for their situation.

These things are also true of adults - substitute work for school and the list is the same.

Debate Clubs Can Teach You About Bullying

Debate Club - Learn How to Argue Effectively
Debate Club - Learn How to Argue Effectively | Source

Bullies and Bullying

Suicides have recently beat out car accidents as the number one cause of death in the country. The number one cause of suicide is the feeling of losing control of your life, becoming depressed about this and feeling that there is no solution to life's problems other than death.

Bullies contribute an astounding amount of time to making people feel worthless. The bullied child (or adult) becomes unable to fight back. Their self image is destroyed. They wish they were never born. It takes years of psychotherapy to restore the self esteem that is destroyed by bullying.

The more a bully practices the act of bullying, the more adept they become at it. They feel powerful and in control. They brag about how much better they are than so-and-so. A bully needs special counseling to get over their cruel practices. Punishment doesn't seem to work as a bully will note this as a signal of accomplishment. Attention in any form is what stimulates a bully.

Anger Serves No Purpose

Anger Controls Him
Anger Controls Him | Source

Tips to Stop Bullying

Bullying is dangerous. Bullies may be the reason for a person's suicide or suicide attempt. A bully and a bully's victim may need prolonged counseling.

Follow best practices for dealing with bullies and their victims. Never take sides. Provide first aid if needed. Provide counseling if appropriate. Take a community interest in anti-bullying campaigns. Parenting is difficult, learn about parenting a bully or how to help your child if they are being bullied.

How to Deal With Bullies and Victims

What to do or say
Witnessing a bully in action
Intervene, call for help, separate the participants, get participants to a safe location, stay calm and reassuring
Be on best behavoir!
Someone is ignoring the situation
Get involved and offer to help, not judge
Join an anti-bullying group
Bully feels right in bullying
Explain to the bully that these types of actions are inapropriate and there are better ways to handle a situation.
Don't force them, guide them
Witness intimidation
Don't question witnesses, just say that this is not the way to handle conflicts
Don't judge a bully or the victim
If a weapon is involved
Call the police
Express zero tolerance for weapons
Bullying seems to be hate related due to race, sexual orientation or ethnicity
Don't judge, but never accept hate related causes
Get psychological help
Serious bodily harm or sexual violence
Safely intervene immediately, Call the police, separate everybody
Always question perpetrators, witnesses and victims one on one in a quiet, calm place
If extortion is involved - stealing money or items
Call the police and report the crime. Explain that stealing and extortion are crimes.
Recommend psychological rehabilitation.

Resolution Tactics for Bullies

  1. Bullies sometimes 'act out' because of difficulties at home. Try to get at the root of the problem and get a bully some help with positive activities and coping mechanisms.
  2. Just as bullies bully others, it may be because they are bullied themselves. These people need mental health counselors and professional help.
  3. Send a bully to a support class designed for bullies. They may need to participate in discussions, role-playing and other activities relating to cause and effect caused by bullying.
  4. The bully needs to write an apology letter to his or her victim. They may need to provide restitution for their actions.
  5. Community service is a way to help the bully interact with the community. Getting a bully involved with good deeds may teach leadership instead of bullying.

Anti-bullying Tips That do not Work

Attitude and Behavior:

Your attitude on driving fast - You believe you can control your vehicle while driving beyond the posted speed limits.

You are driving above the speed limit along the freeway and see a cop. Your behavior is to immediately take your foot off the gas to avoid a speeding ticket.

The cop moves out of the picture and your attitude re-instates itself. You speed up.

There really is no way to control attitude. Behavior modification is the way to fight against bullying. Therefore, never demand an "attitude adjustment".

  • Never demand peer evaluation - A bully and a victim are not peers.
  • Group treatment does not work with bullies. They tend to reinforce each other.
  • Consequences such as forced separation (expulsion) do not help to integrate bullies with their peers.

To Bully or Not to Bully

Have you ever experienced bullying?

See results

© 2012 Lela

Comments - Do you have any tips for handling bullies or their victims?

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    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Bullies are suffering just as much as the ones they are bullying. Perhaps they don't realize it, but they have no real friends. They may never be able to empathize. They are challenged to succeed in life, but don't have the correct tools to do so.

      Thank you for your comment, cloud. I'm sure it is true for many.

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 5 years ago from New York City

      Bullies and the act or behavior of bullying is definitely something I had had a great deal of experience in handling.

      My brother was a bully for many years, and I learned to fight him mentally, but in a way of using reverse psychology as opposed to giving in to his tactics.

      None of the bullies that ever crossed my path have gotten over on little ole me, and I stay away from trying to behave as a bully myself, and its much more pleasant simply to behave as a positive force of leadership, and with good sound advice, intelligence to offer to others, than to behave as a bully who has no friend, and craves attention by any or all means.

      Bravo on this awesome hub, and thanks so much for visiting and sharing with me in my hub as well.

    • Rod Marsden profile image

      Rod Marsden 5 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

      Of late our Australian Prime Minister seems to do well against bullying.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Nobody should have to suffer from a bully. I'm glad your girls have somewhere safe to turn to.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      So Lela - can you believe this hub so closely precipitated my need for it? Wow!! I just said...never ever thought my kids would be the victims of a bully and it happened!

      So far so good though...I did follow some of your tips (that applied to me) and we now have a hotline established for our district to report bullying or intimidation. They put it into effect yesterday and guess what? Her bully wasn't at school either...I suppose the did deal with it and take it as seriously as I knew they needed to!

    • Rod Marsden profile image

      Rod Marsden 5 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

      Like I said the Australian government is fine when it comes to some forms of bullying but not other forms. Kind of like a horse with blinkers on. Political correctness in Australia inevitably leads to new victims for old. Something worth writing about for sure.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      The Australian government is messed up too? Horrors!

    • Rod Marsden profile image

      Rod Marsden 5 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

      Yes, well, people are people and approach with caution for sure. Thank you for your good wishes concerning my book. It may help some people to look outsise the government box.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Another great sound bite!

      People are people - approach with caution.

      Rod, I hope your book has done well. People need more education about bullying for sure.

    • Judy G Gillis profile image

      Judy G Gillis 5 years ago from Charlottetown, PEI, Canada

      What Rod Marsden said. My comment was on a personal level; bullying takes many forms and sexism and racism are but two. Abraham Lincoln said something like, "Any man can handle adversity, but if you really want to test his character, give him power." The same holds true for governments and workplaces, schools and families, churches and social clubs. People are people - approach with caution. ;)

    • Rod Marsden profile image

      Rod Marsden 5 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

      Judy G Gillis has got it right. Yes, bullying isn't limited by skin color, gender, height, weight or religion. But if a government agency against racism or sexism THINKS and ACTS as if it is limited to a particular skin color, gender, height, etc then it won't flourish in some directions but it will most definitely flourish as an invisible but still quite harmful entity in other directions. This sounds pretty obvious but the Australian government has been oblivious to this logic for decades. Sure, strength in nunbers and power in the truth. Me? I'm getting the word out. Every one can be a racist or a sexist. No special skills required. Every one can also fight against racism and sexism and bullying in general. No special skills required. My book Desk Job is about what they called reverse sexism and racism way back in the 1990s and is no doubt still going on. Whatever happens, I don't want to swap over again old victims for new.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Now that bears repeating:

      There is strength in numbers and power in the truth.

    • Judy G Gillis profile image

      Judy G Gillis 5 years ago from Charlottetown, PEI, Canada

      Bullying isn't limited by skin color, gender, height, weight, religion. It's about power and control, living a life in fear of being someday toppled, having that fear exposed for all to see. It thrives by making the bullied ones MORE afraid. There is strength in numbers and power in the truth.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      I lived in Hawaii for two years and the Japanese control pretty much everything and I agree, they are quite racist and sexist. I lived with an old Japanese lady who rented out rooms in her house. Fortunately for me, I thought she was priceless. She was very outspoken and clear on what she believed in or didn't and since I agreed with most of her views, we got along quite well. But my co-workers were a different story. They thought they were the master race.

    • Rod Marsden profile image

      Rod Marsden 5 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

      One thing I have learned over the years is that too often government initiatives in the work force don't result in the removal of bullying. What happens is that one lot of bullies exit and the vacuum thus created is filled by another bunch of bullies. Sort of an exchange of old victims for new. This is why I loathe political correctness. I have been a victim of it because I'm not supposed to be the type to be bullied hence at one work location some decades ago it was open season on me and I had done nothing wrong against anyone.

      Around the time I was bullied there was this idiot woman on an American television show saying that only white Anglo-Saxon males could be racist and sexist. I say that she was an idiot because I had to work at the time with this old Japanese woman who was both racist and sexist. She said Australians were just second class British and what she had to say about the Chinese I shouldn't repeat. I spoke up a few times about what she said and she sent me to coventry. Each time she wouldn't talk directly to me for two weeks but spoke a lot about me to other people. When you have to work closely with someone this is not good. At times I still feel like wringing her neck and I haven't worked in that place of business now for a very long time. Yet when I tune into the news I still see that the politically correct are targeting Anglo-Saxon types as most likely to be the bullies. I feel sad about this. Obviously these people don't live in the real world. Any one of any nationality or sex can be a bully. When will they ever realize this?

      Witnesses are a good idea. Unfortunately, with that old Japanese woman, they would have been completely useless. Even a regiment of eyewitnesses wouldn't push anyone in authority where I was working at the time to arrive at the truth. They would have assumed that I was the bad guy because it would have been more in the lines of political correctness and therefore a much safer stand for them.

    • Judy G Gillis profile image

      Judy G Gillis 5 years ago from Charlottetown, PEI, Canada

      In my experience, hurting people hurt people. Those who have been bullied as children grow up to bully those who are weaker than themselves.

      There are only victims. Tragic victims - both suffering, both in denial.

      Worse, in certain personalities, being a victim of bullying, especially if it is at the hands of a parent, produces an almost spiritual magnetism that attracts more bullying. It paints a big black and blue target on a person's back. Only the power of forgiveness, the ability to let go, can heal those scars and give someone his or her life back. I know; I was there.

      Thanks for such a jam-packed, informative piece.

    • profile image

      IntegrityYes 5 years ago

      That is useful and many people need to read it often. I definitely voted up.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

      What a great hub. I'm lucky. I've never been the victim of bullying but I can't stand a bully. I'm so glad that you have brought this subject to hubpages and that you have provided such great tips. Having the tools can make all the difference. Kudos to you! Voted up and awesome.

    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      Usually, in my experience, the bully is pretty unpopular and unliked himself, or herself. If you build on that, you can reverse the bullying. It's a type of counter-bullying.

      Thanks for a great article about a really important issue.

    • HoneyBB profile image

      Helen Laxner 5 years ago from Illinois

      Great job! Very informative. Your advice gives me hope that people may realize that bullies and those bullied both need counseling to put an end to it and I have often thought that getting bullies involved in community projects and humanitarian deeds would help them to want to do good more than bad.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Thanks, dr!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Bullying seems to be on the rise among schoolchildren, Lela, and much of that can be attributed to absentee parents or parents who display bullying behaviors at home that become models for their kids.

      Your explanation of dealing with bullies and victims is thorough and realistic and should be on every parent's reading list. Voted up, m'dear.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 5 years ago from Washington

      I hear you---I still feel badly that I picked on my sister as she was really a nice little girl and so timid and screwed up--obviously so was I but still--at least we managed to come to terms with it finally after many years. I imagine no one bullied me at school because I was a freak show--they probably thought I'd go nutso on them and start speaking in tongues--I shoulda tried that actually~~~

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Audrey, I bullied my little brother while we were in grade school. I don't know if he has ever gotten over that, but I am still ashamed of it myself. Of course, later on in high school, I was bullied by a girl in P.E. class for no apparent reason. To this day I have no idea why she and her friends started picking on me. It was totally out of the blue. She just walked up and hit me over the head with a book. I had no clue as to who she was! Must have been a dare or something.

      Anyway, bullying lasts a lifetime, on both sides of the coin I imagine.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 5 years ago from Washington

      Lela--great subject--and as I said in my hub on this painful subject, I think I bullied my sister because of all the stuff going on in our childhood. I'm not proud of it and I certainly understand 'why' it happened but it doesn't make it any easier remembering what a brat I was to her.

      I had a recent present day experience with a bully at work and definitely can see why people end up doing it--it's a coping mechanism and if you look at it from that perspective (whilst getting help for yourself and the situation) it does make it easier to take. I think it ended up helping us both out of a bad situation when I turned her in to Human Resources--and now remarkably we actually get along (knocking on wood feverishly).

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      You got it, Bob. The effing government is one tough bully! They have a license to Bull.

      Sassymom - Parent's do tend to see their children as complete angels. The parents of bullies are quite possibly bullies themselves.

      GoodLady - I'm not sure the issue will ever be totally resolved, but it does help to know what to do. Victims are too scared to come forward in a lot of cases. But they do need to come forward. It's a tough decision.

      Mo - I know, right? People rarely recognize that I am supreme commander of the universe (especially MY universe). A lot of overweight people use their body as a shield. I have no doubt that is what I do. You can't see me....

      Hi tillsontitan - It's not just school kids. Some people are victims for life! And I don't know why Cyberbullying is such a big deal when you have a handy delete key, but I suppose it is the spreading of rumors that hurt most.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      How sad it is that along with the rise in good things we have a rise in the bad. Technology has helped make bullying more anonymous and just added to the problem. You've done a great job here and gathered a lot of information...I think people who do not have children in school may not realize the extent of bullying and how bad it has gotten. Thanks for this informational piece.

      Voted up, useful, and sadly interesting.

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hmmmm. I never bullied or was bullied after I found out what a good smack on the nose can do to rid you of the latter.

      Conversely, i NEVR obey speed limits and drive at the speed I consider safe! Which is often slower than posted limits.

      You didn't mention institutional or bureaucratic bullying but a lot of it goes on...look at taxes and the collectors! Or the effing BBC!!! (licensing mavens).


    • sassymomonthego profile image

      sassymomonthego 5 years ago from Philippines

      Helpful topic. My kids were bullied from their former school, I noticed that their grades were affected and the lack of interest in going to school. The school not doing any action was bad enough, but the worse part was the parents of those bullies consenting their children's actions. They can't accept the fact that their children were bullies. I transferred them in another school, they love the new one.

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Quite a topic you have here. Bullying is just so dreadful and who hasn't suffered at the hands of a bully? I hope this Hub gets around to people who suffer at the hands of bullyers because your suggestions how to cope are practical, possible and help to give the bullied person their power back. (oh we hope).

    • profile image

      Motown2Chitown 5 years ago

      You mean everyone doesn't see your beauty and brilliance straight away, Austin?!? I did from the beginning, and I'm so glad that's the case. I made a fantastic friend!

      I was bullied in high school by a young lady who was in the 'in' crowd. She never physically approached me, but used to talk about me constantly, follow me in the hallway and whisper nasty things about me to her friends and boyfriends. It affected me for years. Anytime I thought of her, even after I was an adult, I would HURT - sometimes I would even cry.

      One day, she popped into my head, and there was nothing in terms of a response from me. I was a bit surprised, but then I realized something. I was very happy with myself and enjoyed my life a great deal at that point, and all I could think of was how UNHAPPY she must have been to treat others that way. It was the last time I ever thought about her, and all I felt was pity.

      One day, she sent me a friend request on Facebook. I declined the request, but it was a weird sort of victory for me.

      Bullying makes me sick, and makes me sad. This hub is excellent, and everyone should read it!

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      And I hope no one ever bullies your girls! I think you are a great parent, Kelly and I hope your daughters realize that they can talk to you about anything or ask for help if they need it. That's the key to bullying. You've got to learn to deal with it.

      Jesse - Yes, it is a serious issue and we all need to work on stopping this bad habit. I hate it when people see me as 'fat' and not 'brilliant'. LOL

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Up and everything but funny. I am posting this on my FB page! You have done a ton of work and lots of great tips here!

      I really hope my kids never bully anyone! It is such a twisted behavior and the longer it goes on - the longer it takes for the person to learn to use healthy coping strategies. It's sad all the way around really - for the bully - obviously screwed up and the victim - to learn all the junk probably had nothing to do with themselves ever - anyhow. It's all about those bullies demanding attention...IDK...I just really hope I have not raised kids that would want to hurt another person. Physically or mentally.


    • jessefutch profile image

      jessefutch 5 years ago from North Carolina

      And it only seems to be getting worse! Bullying is a very serious issue in our children's lives! Great work on this hub. Voted and sharing.