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Learn How To Stop Bullying

Updated on May 16, 2010

All of us know someone who is a bully and someone who is being bullied, and if you are reading this, you are probably one of the latter. Take heart, as we will be providing you with some strategies to deal with the person or persons bullying you.However, before we face down our aggressors we must first learn to understand how they think.

It's easy to enter the mindframe of not wanting to understand why you are being bullied. After all, you don't want to make friends - you just want it to stop. However, understanding how a bully works helps you understand the fuel you provide, and this fuel is what they need to continue their bullying. As this is the case, we need to understand what a bully needs so we can take that away from them.

As you read through this you will find yourself saying, 'But if I do that, they'll win' or 'But if I do that, things will get worse'. Perhaps ... But if you already had a plan that worked you wouldn't be reading this article, and we sincerely doubt you arrived here looking for anything less than a possible solution. As such, you can try what we suggest and you just be surprised when it works out for the better!

What Fuels A Bully

There are two types of bullies in this world - those who seek power and those who seek recognition. And, as there are two types of bullies they feed on two different types of fuel.

  • The Attention Seeker

This bully is seeking to fit in with others and sees you as his or her stepping stone to remain a part of the 'in-crowd'. When this bully attacks (verbally and/or physically) their chorus will often jump in to laugh or assist. However, this person isn't the ring leader, and as such, they are a simpler bully to deal with.

Fueled by the camaraderie they get from their group as they belittle you and others, this bully isn't out to destroy you, but rather, to make you look smaller, which makes themselves look bigger to their friends. This also has the effect of pushing them tighter into the social circle they want to be a part of.

  • The Power Monger

This bully is either at the top of the food chain or a loner - sometimes both. Regardless, this bully enjoys dominance over other people and is much more dangerous to deal with than the first type. If others exist in his group, they are present only to serve his needs, and are often just as bullied by him as everyone one else.

Unlike the 'attention seeker', this bully seeks to extract fear from you, and isn't so easily disposed of. They can smell it as it pools out of your pores, and like a shark smelling blood - they live for the scent.

Stopping The Attention Seeker

The easiest way to stop the attention seeker is to look more impressive to their group than they do. And seeing as you know this bully isn't out to destroy you, they make a real easy target to take down.

As this isn't about brute strength, the easiest way to resolve this one is to walk up to the attention seeker, look them square in the eye, then say to them, 'You don't frighten me'. Then, let them say or do what they will, but hold your ground and don't stop staring them in the eye until they turn away.

"Why should this work?" you may ask. Well, it's all about dominance, and dominance in mammals (which, yes, we are mammals) is expressed through staring down your opponent until they turn away. Once they do so, the pack assumes you have shown dominance and isn't so willing to attack.

And yes, they might laugh and jeer, but the attack will be split between you and your bully until one of you turns away. And at that point, the pack will weaken toward that person. It might take several days of stare downs, but this will work if you are brave - and you let it work. Just remember, you never get physical, you just stare down your opponent.

Stopping The Power Monger

This is a more dangerous beast to deal with as they already consider themselves an alpha and they won't give up that status without a fight. In this instance, the better method is to accept the role of subservient, but on your terms.

Instead of staring them down, you step up to this bully and look down at your feet. This is a look of subservience. You then say to them, 'I don't want any trouble. I just want to be left alone.' You do this once ... and only once ... and then ignore anything and everything this bully does from this moment on.

From this moment, things will get more verbal, and they might get a bit physical too, but if you stand firm and not show this bully any more emotions, they will move on and find someone else to bully.

Remember, your fear is their fuel. To be subservient and show no fear makes you a useless product to them, and at that point they need to move on and find someone else to fulfill their needs.

What About Cyberbullies

Cyberbullies are a breed of their own. Using the internet as a shield, they attack anyone who they see as being highly emotional and easily thrown into a state of distress. As such, cyberbullies work much like power mongers do. However, they are also attention seeking in nature, as they form into cliques to satisfy their need to integrate with others.

Now, here's the interesting part ...

Most cyberbullies are people being bullied in real life. And as they can't fight back in the real world, they evolve an alter ego online who can fulfill their need to reverse the roles, making them dominant in a world where they feel they can exert unbridled chaos.

Dealing With Cyberbullies

As they are basically power mongers in nature, it is best to say, 'I don't want any trouble. I just want to be left alone.'. And from that moment on, you don't engage them in any way. You don't read their messages. You don't respond to their posts. You refuse to acknowledge that they exist. And as this is the online realm, it's a lot easier to do it here than it is to do so in the real world.

Just remember ... Once you place someone on ignore, you leave them there. You can't take potshots and run away, as this just influences them to continue their attacks on you and they will often engage your online friends to turn them against you. Remember ... Engage once ... ignore forever.

But Do These Tactics Actually Work

I was picked on a lot as a kid, and I can honestly say none of these tactics worked for me then, as I hadn't learned them yet. I then went onto adulthood, where I was picked on just as much. However, through time I developed these tactics and I honed them to the point that they have become a vital part of my personality, and I have now achieved a peaceful time where I have no known enemies.

To guarantee they would work for everyone would be foolhardy, but to say they aren't worth trying would be much the same. After all, the success of one could prove to be the success of many.

What I can guarantee is that going about business as you have is doing nothing more than to continuously fuel the bullies around you. As such, to do nothing is a worse option, as it only allows your aggressors to gain power over the years. And should you ever find your life to the point where it is actually physically threatened you need to contact the police, as such threats need to be dealt with properly.

The one thing not to do is to keep remaining powerless as it will only make you feel worse over time. And when you push that first bully off your back, you'll find the next one that much easier to extract. In fact, you get to the point where they no longer seek you out, as this process teaches you to stop bullying at the first onset, before it ever gains roots.

Remember ... the longer you let bullying continue, the longer it will take to make it stop. That's why it's vital to take a stance as soon as you feel up to doing so.

I Can't Stand Up To Them

Yes you can! Practice in your mirror! Pretend that person is in front of you. Go through the simple steps I give, and if it helps, learn to place yourself in a self-hypnotic trance, whereas you have no fear and refuse to give into it.

You are only a victim if you allow yourself to be one, and that's the biggest hardship to bullying - it happens because you allow it to. By making it clear that you no longer accept the bullying, you draw a line in the sand that you can eventually step across, removing yourself from the victim's list. It's all about belief in your self, and the desire to make it all end peacefully.

And should you find yourself a cyberbully victim, and they just won't stop: change your email address, change where you hang out online, change your identity online. Just as they can be who they want to be because they are in a different world - so can you! Take none of it personal, as the odds are good that these people bullying you online have a hellish life in the real world that you could never imagine. Feel pity for them, not rage, as they are only what the cruelties of this world have made them.

Remember, it's a lack of belief in ourselves that makes us victims. Once we get that belief inside of ourselves, the torment will slowly end. You need to be strong and you need to accept that things might not change overnight. Again, it's better to go through three more weeks of torment than it is to accept it for a lifetime.

Don't Be A Victim Anymore

As a human being, you have the right to be seen as an equal among your peers, but holding your head down and cowering won;t get the job done. Stand tall. Be courageous. Take your life back!

Remember, your attitude toward others is 50% of the problem. By being subservient to all, you have placed yourself at the bottom of the pecking order. However, you don't need to dominate everyone around you to be seen as an equal, nor would this concept work. Instead, you need to believe in yourself as a person and allow that confidence to exude out, for all to see.

In time, as you grow to believe in yourself, you'll find other cliques reaching out to you, providing more stability in your life. Chose wisely, and step away from any group who would ask you to become a bully to maintain your status with them. The reason should be obvious, as it is very easy for one who has been bullied to become the bully themselves, given enough people around them to feel protected.

Strive for self-confidence ... and the rest will fall into place. :)

As always, your comments are welcome

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    • mquee profile image

      mquee 7 years ago from Columbia, SC

      An excellent hub with very good advice. I guess bullies will always be with us, but people must acknowledge the act of bullying and not accept it as a normal part of growing up. It is abusive behavior. Thanks for a very good article.

    • OnlineHub profile image

      OnlineHub 7 years ago from Fresno, CA, USA

      Learning "How To Stop Bullying" is very important. This is a helpful article worthy to be recommended. Thanks for sharing this piece of information. 5*

    • Norah Casey profile image

      Norah Casey 7 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      "Well, it's all about dominance, and dominance in mammals (which, yes, we are mammals) is expressed through staring down your opponent until they turn away."

      I loved this part of your hub. I found that the best way to respond to bullying was to stand your ground and not take it personally, as you have described. Bullies do not know who you are on the inside, and generally do not care. It also helped that I took boxing lessons pretty regularly and had three older brothers. ;)

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      Great advice and a very worthy topic on how to stop bullying. As the Mom of two girls 11 and 13 I'm aware of the need to stay in the know! Great Anti Bullying information. Thanks and Peace :)

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Some very useful tips, yoshi, especially for youngsters being bullied by schoolmates.

      You are spot on when you mention the importance of attitude by the person being bullied. If you are confident and show it, a bully will often move on to an easier target.