Coping with a situation

Coping with the hardship of bullying is important before doing something rash.

March 30, 2016

When being bullied, it’s easy to want to lash out at the bully, become angry, and retaliate violently. However, this usually doesn’t improve the situation; in fact, it often only incites more bullying and inflicts negative consequences on the victim. Instead of fighting fire with fire, there are alternative methods that are proven to be even more effective.

One of the simplest solutions to being bullied is to simply ignore the tormentor. Although is it a common myth that avoidance can be a sole solution to bullying, it can help in certain situations. Bullies tend to want to illicit a response from their victims, so not retaliating in any way can cause them to lay off. This, of course, isn’t always possible; if the bully is persistent or especially harsh, attempting to ignore it can lead to more psychological damage and isolate the victim. It’s only applicable when the bullying is not especially bad and the victim has the emotional support to be able to brush off insults without being too affected.

This emotional support itself is also a good tool in coping effectively with bullies. Bullies tend to pick out kids who seem to be alone because they’re easy targets. This bullying then causes kids to further isolate themselves, creating a vicious cycle. Surrounding oneself with friends, or even just friendly faces, can dissuade a bully and give the victim a support system to help cope with the emotional damage they may have sustained. A great way to make these friends is to join an activity, whether with the school or outside of it. This can not only help one form friendships with like-minded people, it can also create an outlet for pent up aggression as well as distract from the bullying, which is another method of avoidance, but a much healthier one than simply ignoring the tormentor.

If avoidance simply isn’t going to work, confronting a bully is possible, but doing so effectively and without retaliating can be tricky. Be assertive, but not aggressive. Stand up for yourself in a composed manner; there is a fine line between standing up for yourself and being aggressive. Avoid insulting the bully back or being violent in any way, as this can quickly escalate into a fight or another unwelcome situation. Confrontation can help, though, as long as it’s in a civilized manner, because it can cause a bully to see a strong figure instead just of a weak kid.

The most obvious mechanism to help stop a bullying situation is to tell an adult, whether that’s a parent, teacher, or other trusted adult figure. It seems lame to tell someone, but there are some times in which there is no other alternative. If it gets to the point where the bullying can no longer be handled by a single person, an adult can make an impact and even stop the bullying completely. It isn’t snitching or tattling; it’s simply defending yourself from irreversible damage, and it is a much better alternative to lashing out or being aggressive towards the bully.

Bullying is not uncommon, but many bullying situations end in the victim becoming aggressive and lashing out from rage they have kept pent up about it, which then causes the victim to be punished instead of giving them the help they need. Alternative methods to aggression are proven more successful in not only stopping bullying situations but also in preserving the victim’s mental health.

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