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You Can Be Bully-Free!

What is bullying?

A bully can be a boy or a girl who acts in a mean or hurtful way to someone else. Sometimes bullies hit, kick, or use some other physical act to hurt someone. Bullies might also use words to tease or scare people. Sometimes a bully might try to make fun of someone, take some of their things, or leave someone out of the group on purpose. Some bullies threaten people or try to make them do things they don’t want to do.

Who is bullied?

Bullying can happen to almost anyone. Being bullied can make someone feel scared, sad, worried, angry, or embarrassed. In a recent survey, bullying was revealed as being the thing that young people worry about most. It is thought that 8 out of every 10 children are bullied at some time.

Bullies are looking for a reaction and try to pick on someone who gets upset easily or has trouble sticking up for himself/herself. Sometimes bullies pick on someone smarter or different from them in some way.  Sometimes bullies just pick on someone for no reason at all.

Why do some people bully?

Some bullies act this way because they are looking for attention. They may think that bullying is a way to be popular. Some bullies are copying what they have seen someone else do. Some have been bullied themselves. Some bullies may be feeling angry or jealous. Most bullies are trying to make themselves feel important. Maybe the bully really needs a friend or help from an adult.

Why is bullying harmful?

Some people think that bullying is just part of growing up and a way for young people to learn to stick up for themselves. But bullying can make someone feel lonely, unhappy, and frightened. It can make a person feel unsafe and insecure. It can make a person lose confidence and not want to go to school.

Have you been bullied?

Have you been bullied and need support? Take our survey and see how NOVA can help.

What can you do if you are being bullied?

Here are some things to try if a bully is bothering you.

  • Be Confident  You may not be feeling very confident but looking and acting confident are important steps to help to stop a bully.
  • Walk Away  Walking away takes the fun out for the bully. Walk away with your head high and your shoulders back. You are giving the bully the message that the bully is not getting to you.
  • Ignore  Acting like you do not notice and giving no reaction to the bully takes the power away from the bully.
  • Avoid  If you are not there, the bully cant get to you. Keeping a safe distance can be a smart way to stay bully-free.
  • Be Assertive  Stay calm and look the bully in the eye, use an important voice and use your words by telling the bully to stop. Examples are “stop it” or “leave me alone.”
  • Find Allies  Friends can support you and help you handle your problems. Talk to your friends. Stick together, there is power in numbers. Offer to do the same for a friend when they are having trouble with a bully.
  • Do Something Unexpected or Kind  Bullies expect you to get upset or angry. Showing kindness or using humor tells the bully that you are confident.
  • Get Help  If you are being bullied, it is very important to go to an adult you trust: parents, teachers, counselors, or NOVA.

What can you do if you see someone else being bullied?

If you see someone else being bullied and you do nothing, you are saying that bullying is okay with you. If you can, let the bully know that bullying is hurtful. It is always a good idea to help the person being bullied by encouraging them to talk to an adult they trust.

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