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How do I deal with bullying?

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Question - (11 April 2018) 19 Answers - (Newest, 19 April 2018)
A female United Kingdom age 16-17, *hloe berry writes:

Hi, I am 16. Basically, I get bullied by a lot of people in school. I'm in year 11 now but it's been going on since year 10.It started off with a group of 4 girls, in year 10. They would patronize me, try to embarrass me in front of people to get people to laugh at me, and to make fun of my hair saying it looked like a 'birds nest'. Then in year 11 w girls from a different group of friends have been making fun of me and the things I did in year u. I used to make up songs in year 7 and they sing them to me in the corridors and laugh at me. I've told my teachers multiple times but they continue to bully. I don't know what to do. None of my friends stand up for me and I don't know how to stand up for myself. I do taekwando, so should I have a fight with the bully who is bullying me Now?

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (19 April 2018):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntOP, bullying is horrible, but you just need to stand up to them WITHOUT getting physical.

They say.... Then you say....

"You're ugly" - "Thanks for your opinion"

"You're such a bitch" - "My bad, I'll bear that in mind"

"You have no friends" - "I appreciate your concern"

"You can't sing" - "Thats a shame"

"Eww, your hair looks like a bird's nest" - "Funny you should say that"

Leave after each VERY SHORT reply. Don't entertain anything they come back with.

Be sarcastic, but not insulting or swearing. Stick with it and you'll either stop caring or they will.

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A female reader, Chloe berry United Kingdom +, writes (18 April 2018):

Chloe berry is verified as being by the original poster of the question

But I'm doing exams and they are constantly stuck on my mind ??????

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (16 April 2018):

They are teasing and poking fun; but fighting is violence. It is only considered self-defense, if you are physically-threatened or attacked by another person. Not because they made you angry by teasing you!

Based on what you've claimed; which do you think is more likely to get you kicked out of school? Which could quickly get the police involved?

People are not reacting that much; because teenagers go through what you're going through all the time.

It's different to be mass-bullied on social media, or physically-attacked. Teasing is something easier to ignore; because it's done by smaller numbers of kids. Usually involving a ring-leader and a couple of their friends.

Not a single person who ever attended high school hasn't met a few bullies. Even the big jocks or popular beauty-queens! Even the gossip-girls meet somebody who can throw-down more meanness! It toughens you up mentally to handle the real-world.

The teachers and your family are allowing you to grow a thicker skin. Why? Because maybe the situation doesn't really require you to do anything, but ignore these girls. It's the same group, they tease you, never laid a hand on you, and everyone you told is aware of it.

Beating them up is only going to get you into trouble. Bring violence into it; and then they will start hitting you back!

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (15 April 2018):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntFighting is only the option if it's to defend yourself from a PHYSICAL attack. You can't slap, punch or kick just because they are bitches.

I was bullied almost every day for 7 years. It's horrific and I have PTSD, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, etc., but I'm still here, I have a part-time carer job 5 days a week, I've had a serious relationship (albeit over for the foreseeable future), I'm not paying rent but I do pay for my car and insurance, as well as saving what I can for the future, etc.

You can stick it out until the year is up. If you hit out first, you are just as bad. Being bullied should hurt, upset and annoy you, not make you aggressive. Seek counselling through your GP and audio record their bullying so you have proof.

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A female reader, Chloe berry United Kingdom +, writes (15 April 2018):

Chloe berry is verified as being by the original poster of the question

I have told people I've told my head teacher, head of year, chemistry teacher, physics teacher,friends,parents, sister. I don't give a reaction at all but they continue. My mum's emailed the school but they are crap at dealing with it so try only option is to fighg

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A female reader, Chloe berry United Kingdom +, writes (15 April 2018):

Chloe berry is verified as being by the original poster of the question

I have told people I've told my head teacher, head of year, chemistry teacher, physics teacher,friends,parents. I don't give a reaction at all but they continue

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 April 2018):

I was bullied constantly from year 7 up until year 10. In year 10, I finanlly snapped and started standing up for myself. I was chubby, and people used to walk past me when I was on my way to lessons and just call me fat etc.

For absolutely no reason. I was just walking to my next lesson. It was awful, and because of them, I STILL have body confidence issues.

One day, I just saw red, and started full on hurling abuse right back. I think one girl who bullied everyone at some point called me a fat cow and I just shouted "I'm fat?! Look at the state of you, you fat *insert swear word*" She was bigger than me, and was quite scary, and I remember being worried for the rest of the day she was going to come after me. But do you know what? She never said anything to me ever again. And from there, if anyone said anything to me, I'd say something back.

It's a horrible thing to go through, but as already mentioned, you can only defend yourself if someone attacks you. This goes for verbal abuse and physical abuse. Don't go starting anything. The bullies want to upset you, and make you feel how they feel; empty and sad. Don't let them, stand up for yourself! There's nothing wrong with that. I tried ignoring the bullies and do you know what happened? It just continued on.

As for your teachers, they should be utterly ashamed of themselves. Have you told your parents? I work for a local council, and all schools MUST adhere to the bullying policy. It'll be the same with all schools in the UK. If you tell the teachers, and nothing is done, your parents can ask for a copy of the anti-bullying policy, and if it's not being followed which it obviously isn't, they can put in all sorts of complaints to the school, because nothing is being done.

Just remember, high school isn't forever. You will get through this.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (14 April 2018):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntTeasing is unfortunately "normal". It happens in adulthood too, so you need to be able to handle it.

Bullying, however, you need to speak to an adult about.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (14 April 2018):

You will never survive being a teenager if you can't take some of the teasing. It happens to everyone. In your case, I think you are intimidated; and you don't want to squeal on them.

Most kids who are bullied, don't tell anyone until it gets to them so badly, they are completely traumatized. That's when they might do themselves harm. If someone knew, it may not have gotten so bad. Yet many hide it; because they fear telling someone would piss the bullies off, and they would get worse. In many cases, they just needed to stand-strong or report it.

If they aren't violent gangs, or putting videos on YouTube, they are typical rotten teenagers. We have all been there; and we've learned we had to stand-up to them, or ignore them. We lived to tell about it.

If you are reaching your limit, you have to tell your own parents how bad it's getting. What kind of parents do you have, if they don't care? What kind of school do you attend that allows kids to torment each other all day?

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (14 April 2018):

This is part of being a teenager. You have to realize there will be kids who will go after you; when they know you let them get to you. They will continue, but there is no fun when they don't get any reaction.

Truthfully, I doubt you've told anyone you are being bullied.

I think you are afraid to tell anyone; because it embarrasses you, or you are afraid to tell on them. There is almost an international-movement against bullying; yet you tell us no one will help you. Your own parents don't care that girls are tormenting you all day?

This is what you do. Every-time you are bullied; continue reporting it to teachers, the principal, your parents, your grandparents, and everybody. The only reason the teasing continues; is because you haven't told anyone like you claim.

You still avoided answering my question as to what you parents say about it? It seems they'd be concerned that their daughter is being relentlessly bullied; unless they don't know about it. It seems odd teachers don't care. Not even one?

If you want help, you have to ask for it. Tell your parents!

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A female reader, Chloe berry United Kingdom +, writes (13 April 2018):

Chloe berry is verified as being by the original poster of the question

I do ignore then but the continue to patronise

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 April 2018):

The best thing you can do is try to ignore them. Focus on school and your GCSEs and maybe try to join a club or something outside of school to make some new friends. You only have a short time to go until you leave school and can forget all about those idiots.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (12 April 2018):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntI was bullied from year 3 (age 7) to year 10 (age 14). The only reason is stopped at 14 was because I couldn't take it any more and left school.

OP, bullying is horrible, but you're in your last year. You can get through it. Talk to a teacher or family member you trust. When they start picking on you, walk away or record it on your phone (without them knowing. Bullying is difficult to combat without proof.

Trust me; the staff at all 3 of my schools were terrible at dealing with it because nobody would stand up for me and admit it was going on. I also had no friends at all, so you're lucky, in that respect.

Also, martial arts is for defence, not attack. You shouldn't combat verbal bullying with a slap, punch or kick.

I know better than most how words can destroy your life. I have several mental health issues because of the bullying, but I refuse to let it control my life. I make adjustments, so I can cope, whilst still progressing in life. I work part-time at a job I love because I know I'm not mentally ready for full-time. You will get through this.

Pretend it doesn't bother you. Absolutely tell a teacher or family member, maybe even audio record (not film) the bullying, but don't let the bullies know it hurts. Laugh it off. "Thanks for your irrelevant opinion". "I appreciate the tip, maybe I'll consider it someday". "I see where you're coming from - if only I cared." Whatever you do, defuse the situation and leave when you can, don't add to it by insulting them.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 April 2018):

This is a big deal. You must be feeling yucky. Not nice girls these bullies and I would say they ARE jealous. I write songs too and I got bullied a couple of months back by a couple of very over weight - no hoper - 16 year olds, they too were bullying because of my (now) very famous song I wrote. I'm 44 and so I have to wish that they grow up to be nicer ladies and stop bullying their elders and betters. I'm not so sure though.

I think that your musical abilities might be good, you have a gift, are your songs reflective? I must say that you should take those emotions that you are feeling and put them into music, if you don't already, which is the way to do it. They're doing you a favour in a way, but they still remain mean girls. It is therapeutic and great fun at the same time to write songs. In the Bible, the Psalms were written to music. King David was a fab musician who put his feelings into his music. He was bullied and found solutions through song. We still get to read his plight and insights today and his words soothe my troubled soul when I too am bullied (bullying is sooo old and boring though, don't you think? I mean David wrote these songs 1000's of years ago and little pea brained up-starts are still at it? I say that it must stop and will keep on saying until it does!?) So, I don't know that these girls will amount to much, they have chosen to be cruel. But... you can amount to much. You're a reflective and clever girl who will grow into a better person than them... won't you?

I do hope so!

Keep yourself tall and calm and kick some jealous butt. Karma will and is, catching up with them.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 April 2018):

Dont fight , if you do that you are lowering yourself to their level and youre better than that. You have a few options, tell the head of your year as well as the head of the whole school say if nothing is done you will go to the school governors. Do your parents / family know what is happening ? If they do take a family member when speaking to the head of the whole school explain you have spoken to teachers (name them ) and say nothing has been done. Another option is ignore them , most people get bored if they dont get a reaction so eventually give up . That can be hard because its more time putting up with the bullying. You could always laugh when they laugh at you , youre just laughing at them and how insecure they are as they have to resort to bullying. Remember to tell yourself youre better than them because you dont bully.I feel sorry for them theyre so insecure they target anyone just to make themselves feel good about themselves and resort back to things done years ago. They sound like they cant handle growing up .

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (11 April 2018):

You can defend yourself only if you are attacked. Your marshal arts teacher taught you fighting-disciplines. How to maintain control; and should have impressed upon you that your skills are potentially dangerous. It's not suggested that you fight; unless you are forced to defend yourself physically.

You must realize your own strength and the physical advantage you have over these other girls. Part of growing-up and the right of passage is dealing with those who will make fun of those of us who are different. They mock your songs; but someday they may hear them on the radio and featured around the world. Special people tend to stand-out; even if you wish to go unseen.

You have to learn to be strong in the face of people who tease and mock you. Ignore them; because they will be relentless. Everybody has to face bullying to some degree. When it becomes unbearable; your parents, your school, your teachers, the principal, and the school board are responsible for your protection. Tell them continuously! Never stop informing people when you are under attack by bullies! That makes them responsible; and if something happens, the teachers will get fired! Your parents will also have the right to sue the school district!

If your parents are indifferent, or you've been ashamed to tell them. You have to tell them whats going on and how you feel.

Stay on them until they help you. It's their job. They may be assuming your fighting skills are all you need. That could get you in a lot of trouble. Maybe they'd like you to clobber some stupid brat and end-up getting them sued?

Parents are sometimes unbelievable in how they think; or their total helplessness when it comes to these things. If something awful happens; all they can do is feel guilty. Guilt is a lot of help. Always tell them what happened, even if they are no help. They need to know and they deserve to feel bad about it. They're letting you down!

Tell them what you've told us. If they won't help you, ask some other adult in your family for help. Tell them you've told your parents, who didn't help. Sometimes embarrassing the people who gave you life will make them do their job as your parents! You don't have to face this all alone!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 April 2018):

There's one thing all bullies, regardless their scale (from school bullies to dictators), are afraid of - being made fun of. Because you can not both be afraid of someone and laugh at him.

Compare Hitler to Chaplin's Great Dictator or Mel Brooks' Adolf and you'll see what I mean.

They get a reaction from you every time they bully you. So they continue.

Just picture them only in their underwear. That will strip them off of any power they may have in your mind over you.

That's the key the power you give them.

Try to widen your circle of friends. Meet new people, try new things... you're school is your world right now, but the real world is such a big place.

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A female reader, Chloe berry United Kingdom +, writes (11 April 2018):

Chloe berry is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Oh yes and I forgot to mention that when I was in drama, the teacher told me and my friend to act as a boy and girl. In the story,the boy (me) is suppose to point at the girls chest and shout "tits" as this is what the character does in the play blood brothers. The 2 bullies secretly videod it and put it on their Instagram story. I cannot deal any longer, it's making me aggressive

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (11 April 2018):

Honeypie agony auntShould you have a fight?

No. What would that resolve? Taking it to the next level and adding violence? Is that going to make it better? Is it going to make them stop? OR... will it potentially make life in school even harder? The teachers aren't doing anything because it's not a big deal (though it might FEEL that way to you) - but adding violence? That is an escalation that isn't necessary.

My middle daughter (16) is in choir, she LOVES to sing and she never shuts up. I think if anyone tried to make fun of her and her love of singing, she's sing right in their faces or critique their singing skills to make them feel a little dumb that they attempt to make HER feel bad and FAILED. Her attitude is IDGAF! I will enjoy what I enjoy and you can do you...

You used to make up songs in year 7! SO what? Is that the best they can come up with? It sounds to me like they have some insecurities that they take out on others. They BULLY you because they know they are all fakes.

Best thing you can do? Since this isn't physically bullying.. is to ignore them or turn it on them BUT with a sense of humor. SHOW them that their sad little words don't bother you (even if they do...) Because then bullying you becomes less "fun" for them. If you don't GIVE A flying FART about them and their opinions - well it kind of "ruins" the "fun" for them. They DO this to get a REACTION from you (and others) And when you do run away, look embarrassed or sad they KNOW they have the upper hand.

You mention you have a group of friends, so that is GOOD. Stick with people who are a positive influence on you. And be a positive influence on them.

ALL the negative people? IGNORE them. Yes, I know it is hard and you want them to stop. But I don't think they are going to stop, even if you "fight" back with physical violence. That is what WEAK people do. They lash out. These girls ARE weak, that is why they have to run in a pack and pick on girls they see as weaker than them.

Getting a "thicker" skin might help you a lot more. Not just now, but later in life.

I was bullied as a kid. For being smarter than the average bear. For having blond hair... lol... BOTH things I couldn't change. I was smarter because I read a lot, had thirst for knowledge, was curious and WANTED to learn. And the blond hair.. well.... genetics.

You have been bullied for having a "birds nest hairdo" OK, so DO you have a birds nest hairdo? DO you like you hair? If you do... WHO cares they THEY think of your hair!! If you aren't a fan of your hair... look up some nice tutorials on how to do cute braids, updos etc. The thing with hair is, we always want what we don't have. Curls, straight, longer, shorter, dark, blond etc. etc. Which is why finding ways to like what you have and make the best of it.

You have been bullied for making up songs. Honestly? I think it's CUTE that you did that! It's not something anyone can do. It's actually a bit of a talent, even if the songs were goofy. DO you! But here is the thing, it was 4 YEARS ago!! YOU were 12!! They can't find anything BETTER to tease you about than what you did 4 years ago?! How pathetic! (them - not you) You can't change what you did in the past nor should you be ashamed for it. It was something you ENJOYED at the time, right? So hold your head up high and either just roll your eyes at them and go into ignore ignore mode (pretend they are not there) and go on with conversations with your REAL friends.

Making a BIG deal out of this only give them power OVER you. It makes them think they are funny or have the upper hand. Don't feed the trolls, you know that expression, right? Same goes with these girls.

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