Whether you’re dealing with someone who pushes you around or a mystery cyber troll, it’s important you know how to cope with bullies.

You probably already know this, but bullying is more than just a one-off thing (like a friend calling you a name when they’re pissed off). It’s when someone sets out to make your life miserable.

They could be threatening you, starting rumours about you, touching you when you don’t want them to, hurting you physically, stealing your stuff or abusing you online (they can hack you, post mean things about you and create fake accounts in your name).

Bullies often target people who are different to them. They want to upset you and can use almost anything against you. It could be for your culture or religion, that you’re older or younger, that you have a disability or because you’re smarter than them. If you’re depressed or anxious they’ll often sense it, making you even more of a target. Most of the time bullies feel bad about themselves and the only way they can feel up is by bringing you down.

Bullying is a serious problem that can disrupt your life and lead to physical and emotional health problems. It can cause you to avoid school, university, or your mahi/work - potentially causing a form of anxiety called a phobia. And because bullying attacks your self-esteem, it could lead to depression, turning to drugs or alcohol  or, in more severe cases, even contemplating suicide.

If you’re going through any problems like this because of bullying, have a korero to someone you trust or check out this site. It'll also be useful if you've been noticing bullying going on around you and you want to help. Facebook also has a site to help.

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