Whether it’s your parents pushing you to boost your GPA, teachers criticizing you for not so good test scores, peers pressuring you to do something, or classmates picking on you, stress is a common feeling most students feel especially during middle school.
Middle school can be a tough and challenging time. Remember- stress is okay to feel. Don’t punish yourself for feeling stress. You aren’t alone- A majority of the students in middle school feel stress at some point.
Sometimes, students don’t know how to handle stress, and it can become overwhelming. This is especially true when it comes to bullying. There are, though, some strategies to help you get through the stress and pressure of bullying.
If you have ever been picked on, you know this feeling. Anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. Bullying can be a very serious issue, but remind yourself- you’re so much stronger than that. You can handle it because you’ll get through it.
Sometimes, you didn’t even do anything to the person who is bullying you. So you begin to question- what did I even do? Absolutely nothing. That’s right, nothing. Sometimes, a person’s motive to bully someone else is because their self-esteem is low, they are having some kind of issue in their life that they provide themselves with the distraction of bullying. It’s sad, but it does happen.
One thing you can do to prevent the issue from getting worse is to just not respond whatsoever. Don’t even acknowledge the bully’s presence. Try to imagine you are walking away from a stranger.
Both you and your body language show you just don’t care. Simply carry on with what you are doing as if they didn’t say anything. You aren’t giving the person who is bullying you a reaction, which is what they want. They want a reaction, so don’t give it to them.
Their goal is to take away your power, make you sad and scared. If you show them you are not scared or sad, they will lose interest if they don’t get the satisfaction of taking away your power. Remember, they want to upset you and get you angry. If you don’t get angry, a bully will lose their own power.
Avoid going back and forth, calling them a nasty name back, or saying mean things to them or about them. This makes you a bully as well even if you didn’t start it. Some call this “defending themselves,” though there are other ways to defend yourself than to use negativity.
Another strategy is when a bully calls you a name, or harasses you, look at them in the eyes, and just laugh without any additional conversation. What this does is give them a different reaction from what they want. They want you angry, sad or scared of them. If you just laugh, it shows you are neither scared or sad. A few comebacks you can use are also “Why are you talking to me?” or “I’m not sure why you keep saying these things about me, but I don’t care.”
Also, remember to always stay positive! It can be hard to remember all your good traits when someone is trying their best to bring you down, however, think of all the things you do well and remember you are a valuable person.
Think about the people who care. Your mom, your dad, your family, teachers, and friends.
As well as staying positive, remain confident. Bullies usually pick on the people they think are weaker than they are, so what do you do? Stand up to them. Show them how strong you are, it will completely throw them off track. You might be scared, but if you stand up to them, they’ll eventually stop.
Some other ways to throw your bully off track are:
- By loudly saying “leave me alone.”
- Say something funny
- Look at them in the eye and be nice to them
Being a victim of bullying feels bad and it’s important you know you are NOT alone and it isn’t your fault. It might seem a bit scary to tell someone, but telling someone will not only help you, but it will help you feel less afraid. If you are being physically bullied and are in danger, you MUST speak with a trusted adult IMMEDIATELY. If you can’t go to your parents, talk to a teacher, counselor, or principal. If you have told an adult before and they didn’t do anything about it, tell a different person. Make sure to tell them exactly what happened, who did the bullying, how long it has been going on, and how it makes you feel. Keep telling until someone does something about it.
To sum up, do not think it is your fault. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Remember not to fight back or bully a person back. Never keep it to yourself and think or hope the bullying will just stop, or go away. Make sure to report the bullying. Don’t skip school or not attend school events because you fear your bully might be there. Don’t let anyone prevent you from having fun. Telling isn’t tattling, it’s the right thing to do. NEVER HURT YOURSELF! Nothing is hopeless enough that it can’t be solved. As painful and harsh as bullying is, NOTHING is ever that bad that you have to damage your body in any way.
NO MATTER WHAT, you deserve to feel safe! Everyone has the right to live in a safe and violence-free atmosphere at school and at home.