It’s not uncommon to have people you encounter daily or even friends who tease you or make fun of you. At times, their comments can be too much, or make you feel unsafe. When people make hurtful comments to you that are aggressive, hostile or intimidating, this is bullying. The person making the comments may believe – or may make you believe – that they have power over you, but this is not the case. It is not okay for people to hurt you with their negativity – whether they be friends, family, or strangers.
If someone is bullying you or someone you know, here are some things that you can do:
You may encounter a lot of negative comments online and on social media and assume that it’s acceptable, but it is never okay for someone to target or bully you over the internet. There are various state laws and school policies that forbid it. If someone is bullying you online, through a messaging app, or on social media, it is important that you report them. You can report cyber-bullying to the social media platform it’s happening on, your school, or the police. For more information, you can search online to find the policies specific to your area.
If you are being cyber-bullied, you can take these steps now:
Everyone makes mistakes. If you’ve realized or been told that you bully other people, you can always learn new ways to do things. There could be something going on in your life that is difficult and causing you to act like a bully, such as significant stress, conflict, or trauma, or witnessing other people be really mean to each other. You may not realize you are coping with your own stress by taking it out on other people. Please know that you are not alone. Even if you have been a bully in the past, you still deserve love and support to help you find new ways to manage difficult times.
There are people who can help you figure it out including school counselors, a therapist, or another trusted adult. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone you know, please call us at Teen Link. We are all growing and changing constantly, and when you’re ready to change your ways, you deserve to have someone help you sort through it.
Please, do not silence your pain. You deserve to have a voice, feel heard, and be treated respectfully. Call us at Teen Link if you’re not sure where to start or are aren’t getting the support you need.
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