What is Bullying?

A bully is someone who behaves disrespectfully or aggressively to undermine self-confidence and influence others who they perceive to be vulnerable.

Bullying is a controlling type of behaviour and is often motivated by fear or a need for attention and approval.

A bully may attempt to do this by drawing negative attention away from themselves and direct it consistently towards someone else by:

  • excluding them from groups,
  • games, or activities.

Bullying behaviour is toxic and includes differ types of behaviour – verbal abuse, online abuse, and physical violence. It should be reported immediately to an adult whom you know and trust. You can also discuss bullying with counselling services such as Kids Help Line

How to respond to bullying

Try this 4 step step approach:

  1. Walk away: If the bullying behaviour is face-to-face, for example, when you walk up to a group of people, you could try calming walking away to join others who value and respect you.
  2. Call it out: use clear, objective, and direct language to identify what is wrong, and what you want the outcome to be.For example: “You are making me feel uncomfortable. Please stop yelling. Leave me alone, now.”Try to stay calm and speak clearly. The benefit of calling out bullying behaviour is that you draw attention to it being negative, and not acceptable.Bullies often act more assertively when they are surrounded by others, so calling out the behaviour is likely to be heard by someone else. It gives others an opportunity to step in and support you.

    Classes at school can choose a Bystander Code of Conduct as part of their class rules and objectives. This means that if someone else witnesses bullying or bad behaviour they will intervene or directly report it.

  3. Leave to get help, or yell for help: if it seems that calling out the behaviour is not resolving the situation, then you need to either leave to get help immediately, or if walking away provokes a physical response you need to yell STOP, loudly and clearly and HELP.
  4. Report it: Always report any bullying behaviour to an adult immediately.Parents will be more worried about bullying, and making sure you are safe, than they will about when you were gaming or what you were playing.


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