It is a scene that is all too familiar to most people. Set in a private school in the suburbs, students start going out for recess. There's this one particular kid, enjoying the Snack Pack given to him by his mom. He's minding his own business, taking joy in eating his meal for recess. Suddenly, a large shadow looms over him. There's this bigger kid looking at him menacingly, apparently waiting for the kid with the Snack Pack to give him something. Without any words, the bigger kid takes the Snack Pack away. The smaller kid tries to take it back, but he ends up eating a fist to the face.
Bullies are a regular occurrence anywhere. From neighbourhoods to schools to even the workplace, bullies run rampant. Bullies present a big problem, mostly to parents of young kids who go to school. Bullying makes kids feel sad, depressed, lonely, disenchanted, embarrassed and sick. A worst case scenario would be the kid refusing to leave the house and go to school because he's afraid of the bully. Bullies can push people, call them names, and make them do things they don't want to do in order to get what they want. The more they are successful, the more confident they will become.
Most bullies don't understand or even care about what happens to their victims. As long as they get what they want, everything is right in their world. They often pick on someone who they think cannot stand up to them physically, mentally and emotionally. They feed off the fear of their victims; it makes them feel much stronger.
How does one stand up to a bully? One simple action to take would be to avoid the bully. That does not mean that you don't have to go to school; you have to be alert and when you see the bully approach you, head straight to a safe place. The next step is to ignore the bully. Bullies like to elicit reactions from their victims. The more you ignore the taunts of the bully, the more likely the bully will stop bothering you. Another important step is being self-confident and feeling good about yourself. Being bullied tends to make kids feel sad and lonely; this makes them much easier to bully. Being confident in knowing that the bully's actions cannot harm you will surprise the bully. They expect a reaction of fear from their victims and when they don't get that expected reaction, they will lose confidence. Another important step to deal with bullies is hanging around with your friends. Being in a group makes the possible victim more confident knowing there are people who can back him up. Remember, there is strength in numbers.
Probably the most important tip in dealing with bullies is to stand up to them. Do not let yourself be a victim. As said earlier, bullies thrive on fear generated by their abuse. Standing up to them and being confident will certainly give a shock to their system. Take self defence lessons in case the bully wants to get physical. When the bully knows that you can stand up to them, the less likely it is that they'll bother you.