Bullying can seem like the fight of your life and an unwinnable battle. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Here are 9 ways to reclaim your power and keep the bullies at bay:
1. Document incidences of bullying. I can’t stress this enough! You must keep a record of the intimidation you suffer. When you document, use what I call the 5W Rule: What, When, Who, Where, and Why.
Write down every incident in detail! Include the date and time it happened (when), what happened, who was involved, the names of any bystanders and authority members (students, teachers, coworkers, supervisors, managers, etc.), where it happened and why it happened.
When you document, not only will you discover a pattern, you will have evidence to take to the principal’s office, school board, Human Resources, EEOC, the police, or to court.
2. If you live in a one-party consent state, wear a body camera, or hid a digital recorder somewhere on you. Coupled with documentation, this can give you a slam dunk case! By recording the bullying, the people who can stop it might as well have been there to see it.
3. Counter the bullies’ negative statements. If you counter the comments instead of ignoring them, you’ll feel so much better about yourself, knowing you took a stand. If the bully calls you a name, just come back with, “Oh, I see you have a nose for your own,” or, ”It takes one to know one.”
Any comeback is better than none at all, and it shows you have confidence and that you value yourself enough not to take the abuse.
4. Say, “NO.” If you don’t want to do something, no law says you have to. Never be afraid to say “no.” And when you do, say it with a strong, confident voice and walk away. Setting boundaries is crucial when bullies come calling.
5. Take care of yourself. Self-care is of the utmost importance when you’re a target of bullies. Do the things that you enjoy most. Keep company with only the people who value you. Practice and display your God-given talents and gifts. Doing these things will buffer the hits to your confidence and self-esteem and minimize any damage.
6. Befriend other targets. I promise you. You’re not the only one who gets bullied. There are always a few others who share your pain. Find them, get to know them, and befriend them. Then, band together and make sure you all have each other’s backs. Make double-sure that they have yours!
7. Look your best. Because when you look good, you feel good! Looking good can also buffer your self-esteem from the attacks of bullies.
8. Practice good posture. Posture is important! Stand up straight and with your shoulders back. Walk with a purpose and with confidence. Never look down! Never hunch!
Looking down and hunching shows a lack of confidence and low self-esteem, which will only make you a bully-magnet.
9. Speak confidently. Always speak with a strong tone, never in one that’s low and timid.
You may need a little practice at first. But the more you practice and the longer you do it, the more it will become like second nature.