Every year in the United Kingdom alone, thousands of people experience bullying. Unfortunately, this means that thousands of people are actively engaging in the bullying of others. If you are reading this page then you may be willing to acknowledge that your behaviour towards another person could be classified as bullying. One of the first steps in making a positive change in your behaviour is acknowledging that your actions were wrong, however you should continue to take positive steps if you want to make a more significant change.
Why are you bullying? There are a number of different reasons why people choose to bully others. Some people choose to lash out (emotionally or physically) at other people because something else is upsetting or worrying them in their own lives. If something else is upsetting you, try to talk about it with another person who you trust. They may be able to help you to find a different way to cope with your problem. Other people say that they participate in bullying because they are afraid that they will be targeted too if they do not get involved. Try to break the cycle by refusing to bow to peer pressure. Remember that other people in your group might also have the same concerns. They might be taking part because they are worried as well. Tell an adult about the situation if you are really concerned.
Empathy. In order to break the bullying cycle, you can try to empathise with the person who you are picking on. Everyone is different in society, so it is important that you recognise and embrace these differences, rather than using them to hurt people. Think about how you would feel if people started to bully you because of the ways that you are different. Although you don’t have to like or get on with everybody that you meet, you should treat everyone in the way that you would like to be treated. Being respectful to others will help people to respect you.
Refocus your Energy. Bullying a person takes time and effort. Refocus your energy by taking up a new sport or hobby instead. Alternatively, reignite your passions for something that you used to enjoy. Using your energy in other ways can also help you to stay away from other people who might be pressuring you into joining in with bullying activities. In addition to this, dedicating yourself to a new pastime can help you to better yourself.
Avoid Triggers. If there are people or things that seem to make you more likely to bully, then you should make a conscious effort to avoid these triggers. Many people who bully will only engage in bullying activities when they are with one particular social group. If you know that you are only likely to engage in bullying when you are with one specific group of people then you should reduce the amount of time that you spend with them. Avoiding triggers may also include avoiding stimuli that make you feel angry or upset. If there is no way for you to avoid the triggers on your own, talk to an adult to see if they can help you.
Saying Sorry. It is important that you say sorry to the person or people who you have been bullying, however you should be aware that they might not accept your apology straight away. Bullying can be psychologically damaging, and your victim may find it hard to believe that your apology is not part of your abuse. Let your actions speak for themselves after your apology by making sure that you do not continue to bully that person.