Putting up with other people’s bad days (like a friend calling you a name when they’re annoyed with you) sucks – but it’s part of life. What’s not OK is when someone sets out to make your life miserable.
Standard bullying tactics include:
- spreading rumours
- physical attacks
- unwanted touching
- shoving and tripping
- stealing or vandalising
These days technology is awesome for keeping in touch with your mates – but it also gives cyber bullies new ways to attack you:
- anonymous abuse
- embarrassing videos
- private photos
- hacking accounts
- using your logins
- stealing private information
They do all this to make you look different and feel alone, often because that’s how they really feel about themselves. It might sound stupid, but bringing you down is the only way they know to make themselves feel better.
You might start worrying about situations where you’ll meet them, and that fear can build up to anxiety. Or they might make you feel so bad about yourself, it causes depression. Really bad bullying can cause some people to use drugs, alcohol, or even think about suicide to escape the problem. But there are better ways to deal with it.
Bullies feed off secrets – so talk to an adult you trust about ways to deal with the bully. These organisations can give you some help too; Bully-Free NZ, Youthline, What’s Up, Pink Shirt Day. And even though they might not be able to change the bully – you can take the power out of their attacks with some of these tips.