When you hear the term bullying, you may think of childhood victims; you imagine a schoolyard bully verbally abusing another student or physically hurting them.
The reality is that bullying doesn’t just take place in schools alone, it can happen anywhere, whether that’s at school, in the workplace or at home.
Bullying is any cruelty or abuse where someone is harming another person, whether that’s physical, emotional, or any other kind of abuse where the person feels unsafe.
Adulthood bullying is just as pervasive as the bullying that occurs among children in schools. There are many ways to deal with bullying, and the most important thing to remember is that you don’t have to tolerate abuse.
Here are some ways to effectively handle bullying
1. Walking away
Walk away! If possible, don’t engage with a bully. Leave the situation. Use your body and body language to display that you’re apathetic and don’t care what they’re doing.
2. Thinking about something else
If they’re verbally abusive, think about something else! Again, show that you’re apathetic. This works as a defense for the bullies that target others solely to get a reaction out of them. If you don’t give them what they want, they’ll be defeated eventually.
3. Yelling the word “stop”
Literally, yell the word “stop” and let them know that you’re not okay with what you’re doing! If people are around, this shows them that you’re not afraid to speak up and bring attention to the situation. You don’t need to put up with this, so as long as you feel safe doing so, let it be known.
4. Staying positive
Stay positive at the moment, and remember that you’re doing the best that you can! Remember that their abuse doesn’t have to do with you. You matter. You’re someone that objectively has value and this behavior. What they’re doing is about them, and it doesn’t say anything about your worth.
Imagine a shield protecting you. Visualize a shield or forcefield that makes you feel safe so that you don’t feel impacted by what they’re saying! One of the things that bullies are great at doing is making a person feel physically unsafe, so it can be helpful to imagine a physical barrier.
6. Saying something funny
Say something funny! Humor sometimes catches a bully off-guard. If you say something funny to a bully, they might be disarmed by what you’re saying and not know how to respond.
7. Being kind
Kill them with kindness! Similar to a display of apathy or humor, this communicates that you aren’t here to take their abuse. Being kind to someone who’s being mean to you is a way to deflect the situation and make them feel guilty for treating you poorly, or at the very least, so confused that they stop.