There are different types of bullying, physical, verbal/emotional, and cyber-bullying are a few. It can happen at school, on the internet, through texting or calls, or outside of school (at the mall or movies, etc).
Short term, it may effect girls’ schoolwork, attitude, and self-image. However bullying isn’t only a danger to a person’s physical and emotional health while they are being bullied, the effects of it can be long term.
Being bullied can skew a person’s sense of what a healthy relationship is or how to react to situations in the future. Some don’t know how to deal with it so they may become depressed and consider harming themselves or even suicide.
Here are some warning signs to look for if you’re concerned somebody you know may be bullied:
- Not wanting to come to school
- Signs of physical abuse
- Becoming more withdrawn (quiet, not as outgoing)
- If they talk about somebody at school with fear
If you know somebody is being bullied and don’t know what to do, or you yourself are being bullied here are some tips to help deal with it:
- First you should definitely go to a trusted adult (parents, aunts/uncles, the school counselor, teachers, or a friend’s parent) and tell them what is going on. They can help you figure out the next step of action to take as well as just be someone to talk to about it.
- Next, if the bullying is occurring at school, talk to the school authorities (principal, head of school, etc.) and tell them what is going on and see if they can do something to help (bringing a parent or other trusted adult with you can be a great support if you feel intimidated by this.)
- Bullies are less likely to go up to a group of kids and single one out. This doesn’t mean you need to be afraid 24/7 but being around your friends can help keep the bully at bay.
- See if it’s possible to have a parent or adult from the school speak to the parents/guardians of the bully and see if that helps.
If you or someone you know is being bullied, don’t be afraid to take action. Bullying is serious, and can have serious consequences. Reaching out and helping someone who is being bullied will at least let that person know that they have a friend who cares. It may also help prevent the bully from attacking other kids (verbally or physically).
To continue this discussion, check out the Sister to Sister message board post: Sister to Sister: Bullying.