Bullying Signs and Tips
There are many warning signs that indicate when someone is being bullied. It is important to notice these signs because the bullied may be dealing with other underlying issues and may not always ask for help.
Some common signs that someone is being bullied can include: unexplainable injuries, valuable items are suddenly broken or have disappeared, frequent illness on school days, change in eating habits (children may skip lunch at school to avoid their bully), avoidance of social situations, feeling self-conscious, difficulty sleeping accompanied by nightmares, decline in school interest, and poor school performance.
Bullying can make someone feel helpless; more often than not, the victim remains silent out of fear, as they are worried about backlash from telling someone. If you or someone you know is being bullied here are some helpful hints on how to handle the bully:
• If you feel safe, confront the person who is bullying you. If you do not feel safe confronting your bully then avoid them; do not avoid them to the point of misses your classes, but try to take a different route to class avoiding any confrontation.
• Grab a friend; walking with a friend is less nerve racking than walking by yourself, and the bully may be intimidated if there is more than one of you.
• Be a friend yourself; if you have a friend who is also being bullied offer to walk with them to class.
Remember, do not be silent: 45% of those bullied never report their experience, so make sure to let someone like a teacher, parent, or supervisor know about what is going on because they will be better equipped to handle the situation. If the bullying has surpassed the point of intervention and has led to physical or sexual attacks, racist or homophobic slurs, or sharing private information online, then you must report these incidents to the police, as these are criminal acts that should not go unnoticed. Most importantly, take care of yourself. Being bullied is difficult to deal with and might make one want to isolate themselves from others. Don’t let this happen; surround yourself with support and do activities that can reduce your stress like eating healthy, exercising, and meditating.