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Handling Bullies

Updated on July 31, 2017

Bullies in the World

Bullies are everywhere. Obviously there are more school shootings now then there were one hundred years ago. We are at war. After September 11, 2001, as a nation we became more aware within the past one hundred years the human population of the world has tripled. Whenever there is an overpopulation of any species in the animal kingdom, members of that species behave more aggressively towards each other and kill each other off. It is not just kids who are being cruel. It is believed that adults are also crueler now than in prior years. So, how do we deal with bullies?

The bully whether a child or an adult will come across as aggressive, demanding, and domineering. The most important thing for you to do is to keep safe. If you feel you are in physical danger you need to contact law enforcement, social agencies, support lines, etc. The bully wants to see you upset and unraveled. If you get upset and let your emotions show, the bully will see how to hurt you and will exploit your weaknesses. Keeping calm and cool is very important. One of the very important things to do is to not engage the bully and try to avoid them and their behavior.

Keeping Calm and Using Humor

It is recommended that if someone is bullying you to avoid the bully as much as you can and ignore any inappropriate behavior. They may call you names and purposefully try to embarrass or humiliate you. However, if you ignore them it sends the message that they are not accomplishing what they intended. Eventually the bully will realize what he or she is doing is not working and move on. Using humor as a defense mechanism is also recommended. When someone says something nasty you could reply, "Gee, thanks. I love you too!" It works especially if the bully is using you as the butt of their jokes or making sarcastic comments. If the bully sees that either you do not care or that you are turning the joke around on them they will usually stop.

Stay Assertive and Confident

Studies done on bullying have shown that people who are confident and assertive are less likely to get bullied. It is recommended that you keep your chin lifted up, keep you back straight, and your shoulders back. When someone says something negative or antagonizing coming up with a one word answer like, "Wow!" or "What?" is a good idea because then you appear confident. If you keep your head down and look sad and bothered by what they are saying or doing then it sends the bully the message they are accomplishing what they wanted to.

Things to Say to Nasty Comments

"Get a Life. Leave me Alone."





"Oh, that was just beautiful!"

Documenting and Not Taking it Personally

If someone is threatening you, harassing you, or bullying you it is recommended that you write down the abuse, take screen shots, and document the abuse in case it ever escalates. You will then have documentation that the abuse or bullying is going on. The attacks deliberately made to hurt you may seem very personal. However, they are not personal. The bullying behavior stems from feeling threatened, jealousy, or the bully feeling like he is not getting the attention he or she thinks that he or she deserves. The problem is with the bully not the victim.

Do not Become a Bully

It is also a good idea not to reciprocate bullying behavior. It creates a situation where the only behavior people see is your reaction. Also, do not resort to any type of physical altercation. The only justification from a legal perspective for getting physical is if you are defending yourself against violence. The bully also wants to isolate you. Do not let this happen. Tell your friends that this is going on, seek counseling, and /or tell a superior if needed.

Bullying in the Workplace

People would like to think that bullying stops when you leave childhood and adolescence behind. The reality is that it goes on well into adulthood. A common place for bullying is in the workplace. Many people leave jobs every year because of a supervisor or coworker who does not behave in a way that is cohesive for them. Everyone has their style of management. For some people it is praise. For some it is discipline. Yet, for some it is: "If you do not do this I will fire you. I will do something to you if you do not do what I say." The manager or supervisor will use threatening and bullying as a means of trying to get employees to comply with them. It has been proven to be the least effective and most offensive type of management. If you are in that situation with someone you could say, "What are you accomplishing by doing this?" It takes the focus away from the problem and towards a goal. One of the worse things you can do is bully the person back especially if it is a supervisor or manager. But, just simply trying to come up with an alternative plan to accomplishing a set goal would be a good idea. If the bullying and or threats do not stop it may time to just look for a different job.

Aggression Feeds Aggression

A lot of people will say that it is the victim's fault for being bullied because he or she is not standing up for himself or herself. Telling someone who is being antagonized to fight back is not a good thing to do. Typically, the kid or adult is either smaller, weaker, or less aggressive than the bully and the threat of him or her losing the fight is very real. It would make matters worse. Behaving in an aggressive manner towards someone who is being aggressive towards you only increases the bullying. Developing empathy in kids and adults is always a good idea. Bullying usually starts when kids or adults are bored and have nothing to do. By not having adults intervene when kids are bullying one another to teach good social skills and empathy, the children just learn that aggression feeds aggression.


In conclusion, bullying is a widespread epidemic. Kids are bullying each other to death. Sometimes, it is literally to death. Adults can also be bullies and be very cruel towards one another. In the world we live in we need to learn some coping strategies so that we do not become a bully and try to avoid letting ourselves be bullied. Therapy offices and crisis hotlines are full of people who are victims of extreme bullying. We need to learn how to live cohesively with one another and have good social skills along with empathy towards our fellow human beings if we want peace and order in the world.

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Sources Cited:

These sources were assessed on July 25, 2017 through July 27, 2017.


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