What to do if you are the bully
Steps to take to stop bullying
Written by spunout
Fact checked by experts and reviewed by young people.
It is normal in life to have times when you feel angry or upset, but taking out our frustrations on other people is never the answer and won’t help in identifying why we are angry or how to address the problem. If you recognise that you are bullying someone, you can change your ways and behaviours. Although it might be hard at first to stop bullying, know that it will be well worth it to put an end to you bullying others.
Steps to take to stop bullying others
First try to understand why you bully others
- Try and take a deep look into why you are bullying others.
- Do you bully others because it makes you feel better about yourself? Or maybe you bully others because you are unhappy or angry, or you yourself have been bullied before?
- Whatever the reason is, try and understand how that reason connects to why you feel the need to bully currently.
Try and put yourself in their shoes
- After thinking about why reasons why you might be bullying, it might be a good idea to put yourself in the person you are bullying’s shoes.
- Try and realise how the things that you are doing to them are affecting them, and think about how you would feel if those things were done to you.
- Also remember that you never know what a person is going through, so you bullying them might be adding to the hurt that they are already experiencing from something else.
Seek guidance and counselling from an adult
- Getting help from an adult is always a good idea- so try and take the time to talk to a parent, teacher, school counselor or trusted adult about all that is going on.
- Adults can provide you advice and guidance on how to stop bullying and on how to make the situation better.
- It’s also a good idea to talk to an adult because they can keep you in check and so that you can talk to them about things that are bothering you and causing you to want to bully others.
- Note that if you feel like you don’t have anyone to talk to be sure to check out these organisations: ChildLine, TeenLine Ireland, Samaritans – they offer instant messaging chat services, helplines and text-based support as well.
Apologise to the person you’ve been bullying
- This is probably the most important thing to do out of everything.
- Be sure to sincerely apologise to the person that you have been bullying.
- Try and allow a generous amount of time and be sure to do the apology in a private place, so that you can talk to each other about how you are genuinely feeling.
- The person still may not be trusting of you even after you apologise- and that is okay, it may take some time before the person you have been bullying is ready to accept your apology.
Remember a few things
- Remember that bullying is never okay and that hurting someone else physically or emotionally is never okay either.
- Realise that everyone in this world deserves respect.
- Know that differences are what make each and everyone of us unique, that differences are what make up the world, and that being different is never a bad thing.
- Know that bullying will never be cool, and that it can cause serious harm to people who are being bullied.