A Short List of Crappy Advice Given to Targets of Bullying

If you have ever been a target of bullying, how many of these pieces of really bad advice did you hear from others, teachers, supervisors,  even your well-meaning family members and friends when you were trying to deal with the onslaught of bullies?

  1. Keep a low profile
  2. Keep your nose clean
  3. Tread lightly
  4. Don’t rock the boat
  5. Don’t make waves
  6. Tone it down a little
  7. Don’t draw attention to yourself
  8. Stay out of the way
  9. Keep your head down
  10. Don’t poke the bear
  11. Make yourself scarce
  12. Be nonchalant
  13. Stay out of trouble
  14. Go the extra mile
  15. Try to blend in

If you were ever told one (or more) of these 15 things, feel free to comment!

34 thoughts on “A Short List of Crappy Advice Given to Targets of Bullying

  1. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That advice didn’t work out so well. 😠 The result: anxiety, depression, low self-esteem…shall I go on? 😳 And that didn’t apply to a bullying situation either. Thanks for sharing some reminders that I went polar opposite ☯️ for a reason…to survive!!! 🤩 😁 🥰

  2. I was told most of these by well meaning but misinformed people. I did none of them. My dad taught me all bullies are cowards and instinct told me you face a coward with strength.😃❤

  3. Another one is when people claim bullying is a “rite of passage.” It absolutely is not and should never be condoned. So many people who were bullied when they were growing up even though they are much older now and no longer bullied have had emotional problems and lack of self-esteem their entire life.

    • I read it and back when this threat was made, people wouldn’t have believed it. But now, we’re finding out the posters from 20 years ago have been on the right track all along.

  4. One of the hardest things I ever did as a parent was to tell my six-year-old son to sock a boy at school who was bullying him. This was years ago, when one either stood up to a bully or suffered the consequences of constant harassment. My little boy hit the bully in the nose and that was the end of it, no more bullying. I know fighting back doesn’t always dissuade a bully, then or now, but a lot of times it works, especially in a one on one situation when the children are close in age and size.

    • Absolutely, Kathy! Most of the time, that’s what’s needed because the only thing bullies understand is strength and using it to harm those they deem weaker. There’s no reasoning, being the bigger person, nor fighting fair when it comes to a bully and many times, you have to get just as dirty, if not dirtier, than the bully before they’re leave you the hell alone. Good for you, Mama! I’m proud of you for telling your son to knock the bully on his ass! <3

      • I thought it best to teach him to fight his own battles from the get-go. Too many times, parents intercede when they need to be teaching their child how to stand on their own two feet. Sometimes, a parent has to step in, but a lot of times, it’s just a matter of teaching the child how to handle a situation. It’s scary, I know, but often necessary.

        • Absolutely right, Kathy. My mom and dad finally advised me to.fight back during the sixth grade.. However, the following year, when I finally had enough, I’d fight one bully, I’d have about five of their friends wanting to fight me for whipping their friend and it became a constant thing. Fight after fight after fight, suspension after suspension after suspension and my parents grew impatient and began reprimanding me for it. It was a vicious cycle that exhausted me. And it was because I waited too late to start fighting back. Once a pattern of bullying is established, it’s almost too late.

          I’m proud of you for telling your son to fight back during the early stages because he put a stop to it before it became a pattern and a pecking order was established. Because once a social hierarchy and bullying pattern is established, it becomes iron clad.

          • In junior high, I got in one fight (and won) and never had to fight again. I had a group of friends, none of us bullies, but we stuck together so one of us was never left to fend for themself in a bad situation like you describe.
            Sounds like you and I ran with the same crowd. 😉

          • That’s awesome. I’m glad you took care of the situation because you saved yourself a lot of heat. There’s nothing like having great friends to back you up. I met these friends at the start of my senior year after finally ditching a so-called friend who never had my back. I’m so glad I met these guys because we have so much fun together and they were a good support system. 💜

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