Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
- An Imbalance of Power: People who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
- Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
Bullying can happen anywhere and to anyone. If you are being bullied, the situation will not change unless you do something. Here are some possible suggestions:
Working it out yourself. Depending on how bad the bullying is (and as long as you aren’t feeling unsafe), you might decide to try and work it out by yourself first.
When possible, ignore the bully. Ignoring can be helpful, particularly for one-time cases. Bullies are looking for a reaction from you and often lose interest if they aren’t given the satisfaction of making you upset.
Hang around other people. You might be safer if you stay in groups.
Be confident. Bullies usually pick on people that they think are weaker than they are, so it might help if you stand up to them.
Asking someone for help. To stop bullying—whether verbal, written or cyberbullying — it can be helpful to tell someone that you are being bullied. Talking to someone is particularly important if you feel unsafe or frightened, or if you don’t have many friends. Asking for help or talking to someone about your situation is not being weak or “giving in.” In fact, telling someone can take a lot of strength and courage.
Your rights. Remember that everyone has the right to live, work, study and play in an environment free from bullying, harassment, discrimination and violence. No one deserves or asks to be bullied.
Acknowledgement: This post is adapted from our friends at StopBullying.gov
Many articles in this section were adapted from WeRNative.org, a website for Native Youth by Native Youth