As mentioned in my last blog post, I’ve spent the past 17 years studying bullying behaviors.
The good news is that research helps us build a community dedicated to creating a kinder, braver world. We couldn’t do research if we didn’t have people who participate in research studies and share their experiences. That’s how we learn! From all this research, we know a lot about why bullying happens. We also know how to prevent bullying, the importance of positive social support, and how to get help when you need it. Recent research on bullying has shown that bullying is starting to decrease. While this is great news, if you’re experiencing bullying, you want it to stop. Today, I’m going to be talking about how we can prevent bullying from happening in our schools and communities. Here are a few tips:
1. Start by making a commitment to be kind to everyone.
2. Get involved in campaigns to stop bullying, like “Stop Bullying” (www.stopbullying.gov) or “No Place for Hate” (www.adl.org/npfh) or “Love has No Labels” (www.lovehasnolabels.com). Start a local chapter in your school or workplace.
3. When you see bullying or cruel behavior, be brave and speak out. Support the person who is being bullied. When a group of people stand up to bullying, the power dynamic can shift and bullying can be neutralized.
4. If you experience bullying, document what’s happening and then tell an adult or someone who can help. School psychologists, school counselors, and school social workers have received training in anti-bullying strategies. In the workplace you can call your Employee Assistance Program (EAP). There are EAP counselors who can help with harassment, intimidation, and discrimination. You can find other sources of support here: https://bornthisway.foundation/
5. Surround yourself with people you can trust. You can’t control the actions of others. Unfortunately, there will always be people who are unkind; however, YOU can chose not to let them in your life.
6. Focus on what matters most: your creativity, your education, your work, your hobbies, your volunteer activities, and the positives in your life. Focus on your passions!
If you want to read more about bullying, check out this article and this book.