Most people have been teased by a friend or a sibling at some point in their lives. It’s normally playful, friendly and both of you will find it funny. But, sometimes it’s not funny; there is a point when ‘teasing’ crosses a line. If it becomes hurtful, unkind and is happening constantly, you’re being bullied.
What is bullying?
If someone is making you feel bad about yourself, causing you to be upset or physically hurting you, that is not OK. It doesn’t matter who is doing it, where it takes place, or why – bullying is wrong.
Bullying behaviour can be many different things. It could be:
- being teased, put down or humiliated
- having money or possessions taken
- being ignored and left out
- being hit, kicked or physically hurt
- being threatened or intimidated
This behaviour may take place face-to-face, on your phone, or online via social media. It might be one person, or it could be a group of people. It might be someone you don’t like, or it could be someone very close to you. There are so many situations when and where bullying happens – but the important thing to remember is that this behaviour is wrong.
Why am I being bullied?
There are so many reasons why people bully others. They might be unhappy with something in their own life and are taking it out on you. It may even be that their friends bully and they don’t want to feel left out. Not always the case, but it is likely that the bully is being (or has been) bullied themselves. Whatever the reason, it’s rarely simple.
Am I a bully?
If you are bullying others, you may be worried about talking to someone for fear of getting in trouble. But, speaking to someone may help you understand why you are doing it and take the necessary steps to stop bullying.
Recognising that what you have said or done was hurtful and wrong is the first step towards making things better. Apologising can go a long way in helping the other person feel comfortable around you. You might be able to move forwards with them and even carry on a friendship by doing this. But, you might find that the other person is unable to forgive you – their feelings have been hurt too much. It might be hard, but you have to accept and respect that.