Unfortunately, bullying has long been a common problem in schools. Nowadays, this phenomenon is not only rife in a school setting, but also on online sites. People often feel helpless when it comes to helping a friend who is being bullied. You may be afraid for your own safety, or you may just not know what to do. However, if you are looking to help a friend who is being bullied, there are several things you can do without taking risks.
Part 1 of 3: Intervene
Step 1. Tell the bully to stop
This is a great first step. By doing this, you are showing that bully that you know what he is doing and that it is not acceptable.
- Don't yell or let the situation escalate. Stay calm and collected.
- Tell the bully that his behavior is neither funny nor correct. There are a lot of bullies who crave that kind of attention. Let them know they won't get it.
- You can just say What you're doing is wrong, please stop or I don't like the way you treat my friend.
- If your friend is being bullied online, send the oppressor a private message saying you know what's going on and they need to stop.
Step 2. Avoid terrorizing back
It can be tempting, but you can't fix one injustice with another. Don't curse the bully or make fun of him. Once you've told him to stop and your friend is out of harm's way, just keep walking.
Remember that terrorizing in return can make things worse. The tyrant may well decide to target you or do more serious things to your friend
Step 3. Report the bullying
As soon as possible, talk to an adult you trust. This is important whether it's bullying at school, online, or anywhere else.
- Some of the people you can talk to are your parents, teachers, school administration, or religious leaders.
- If the person you're talking to isn't helping you right away, let someone else know. Bullying is a problem that needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible.
Step 4. Help your friend stay safe
Bullies often target people who are lonely. Offer to sit down with them for lunch, go with them to the bathroom, or wait for the bus with them.
- If your friend is also being bullied online, don't come in contact with the bully on social media. Make sure your friend is blocking it and so too.
- Make sure your friend knows that you hold them in high regard. You can remind him of that by saying I want to stay with you because you are a great person.
- Your friend might feel weak or embarrassed because they are being bullied. Make sure he knows this is not the case. Say for example You are really strong. It is the bully who is weak, because he needs to assault people in order to feel good. It's not acceptable.
Step 5. Pay attention to other people present
You were a bystander yourself before you decided to help stop the bullying. However, some spectators may laugh with the tyrant or encourage him. It only makes matters worse. Let these people know.
- Some spectators do not help because they are afraid of being called a snitch.
- You can calmly tell other spectators what you told the bully: this attitude is not acceptable. For example, you can say We shouldn't be encouraging this. It is intimidation.
Part 2 of 3: decide to help
Step 1. Know the difference between teasing and bullying
Almost everyone has been teased at one point or another. We often tease our siblings or close friends. Teasing hurts a bit, but is never meant to really hurt someone. The intimidation, on the other hand, is different.
- Bullying is generally characterized by repeated behaviors that are intentionally hurtful. This can have long-term consequences for the bully, the victim, and even for those who witness it but do not rule.
- Bullying can be physical, verbal, emotional or sexual.
- It can also happen in person or online (this is called cyber bullying).
- When someone is being bullied, there is usually an imbalance of power between the bully and the victim. The tyrant may be much taller, older, or more popular than the victim.
Step 2. Help your friend
Some victims of bullying are afraid to ask for help. They often feel embarrassed or ashamed. Bullies can even force their victims to promise that they won't tell anyone about what's going on. Let your friend know that you want to help them, even if they haven't called you.
- Ask your friend what might help them cope with the situation. He might want someone to have lunch with or to go with him to see a school official.
- Talk to your friend before you go to anyone else. That way, he won't feel like you've been acting behind his back.
Step 3. Ask other friends for help
The union always makes the fore. If you're afraid to go it alone, find a few friends to help you out.
- Matching more friends will show the bully how frowned upon his behavior.
- If the victim sees several people coming to her aid, she will feel supported.
Step 4. Find out more about bullying
It can be scary sometimes to step in and end a bullying. If you know the reason why people seek to bully their fellow human beings, you will be better able to know how to stop them in the future.
- Most schools have brochures available about bullying.
- Your parents or teachers may be able to give you advice.
Part 3 of 3: Building an Anti-Bullying Culture
Step 1. Form a school safety committee
Everyone wants to feel safe at school. Ask a parent or teacher to help you start a bullying group. The group should ideally be made up of adults and young people. Together, you can decide how to go about ending bullying in your school.
- The committee can be an informal group or an official school club.
- Ask adults and friends you trust to join you.
Step 2. Develop a code of ethics
You can do this alone or with the help of your safety committee. Once you've done that, share it with school officials and your teachers. Teachers and students should approve and sign this document.
- Codes of ethics can indicate behaviors that are not permitted. For example, he may indicate that he should not hit, beat or insult his comrades.
- Make sure everyone at school is aware of the codes of conduct. This way everyone will know the rules.
Step 3. Understand why some people bully others
Understanding is a very important step in getting people to change their behavior. Those who act like bullies do so for different reasons. If you are informed, it will be easier for you to stop them.
A bully can have a purpose like being accepted or becoming popular or having better social standing. If your school manages to create an environment in which social status is irrelevant, it may help avoid some bullying
Step 4. Set a good example
By actively helping to stop bullying, you are setting a good example. You show that it is possible to be accepted and to be comfortable with yourself, while standing up for others.
- Let others see your actions. Ask for help creating anti-bullying posters or organize a discussion group about it.
- Tell people why you are working to end bullying.
- If you don't feel safe going it alone, talk to a trusted adult first.
- Always stay calm when dealing with bullies. Never make the situation worse.
- Show bravery. Stand up against the bullies and raise your voice. Mobilize support against them and show them that they are wrong.
- Some forms of bullying can be very dangerous and should be reported immediately to an authority figure. Seek adult help immediately in any of these cases:
- someone has a gun
- someone threatens to seriously hurt the other
- there have been threats and actions motivated by hatred (arising from racism, homophobia, etc.)
- someone has been sexually assaulted
- someone has been charged with a crime (such as theft or extortion)