Category Archives: Overcoming Bullying

Confronting Mental Health Problems To Stop Bullying Others

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I am a bully.

I used to be hell-bent on denying that for as long as I could remember. Many people used the word “bully” to describe me, but I never identified as such. All I knew was that I was having the best time of my life and that there was nothing wrong with it.

The only wake-up call I had was when I saw a group of seniors bullying my sister to give them her lunch money when I was in high school. From the other side of the hallway, I could already see them surrounding a small student backed up on the lockers. No one knew that she was my sister at the time because, hello, it was only the first day of school, and we didn’t walk around together all the time. But as I got closer, I could overhear their conversation.

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Senior 1: Ooh, cool bag! How much dough did your momma give you today, Ms. Freshman?

Sister: Uhm, $10. Why do you care?

Senior 2 (grabbing her bag): That’s cool. Let’s see how crisp a ten-dollar bill is now. (He proceeded to rummage through the bag.)

When I showed up, my sister ran straight to me and hid behind me, while the bullies dropped her bag. One managed to ask, “Do you know this girl?” 

With my head held up, I said, “Yes, she’s my sister. Have you got a problem with her?”

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No one tried to bully my little sister again after that. However, that incident showed me that I was also a bully like those other kids. I would never try to steal someone’s money or harass them if they didn’t give it immediately, but I used to join in when my classmates passed around some student’s backpack or turned them into laughingstocks. Heck, I even high-fived the boys who flipped the girls’ skirts in the hallways.

I had been wrong, and I know it now. 

Hitting Rock-Bottom (Intentionally)

I was honestly ashamed to admit to my family that I was a bully, even though I wanted to do everything to rectify my mistakes. It’s just that my parents had always been kind and law-abiding citizens their entire lives; I didn’t want them to feel like there’s something wrong with their parenting skills. Thus, in the beginning, I kept the news to myself.

I looked up the reasons behind bullying on the internet and found that peer pressure was on top of the list. That’s correct—I had seen it happen first-hand—but I didn’t think it applied much to me. In reality, some of my friends were blatantly telling me to stop messing with others, so they were obviously not pressuring me to bully anyone.

Some folks also said that it could be a way to make someone pay for whatever they did to the bully. Well, since I was among the biggest football players at school, I had never encountered a fellow student who poked fun at me. It was usually the other way around, so no, it wasn’t due to payback either.

Then, after some time, I came across two words: pleasure and popularity.

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As mentioned above, I was on the football team. The taller and bulkier a player was, the higher their popularity level was. And I wasn’t exempted from that. Almost every day, I would open my locker and see love letters and proposals from girls who wanted to be my girlfriend. Besides that, some guys looked up to me, and I wanted to show how cool I was by—pardon my French—helping them bully others.  

I guess I liked the attention a little too much, to the extent that I didn’t see how my actions started having adverse effects on others’ lives.

Seeking Mental Help

When I realized what was probably wrong with me, I asked my parents if they could take me to a mental health professional. Although I had an idea of curbing my bullying tendencies, I felt the need to consult a psychologist before I faced anyone at school again. In the process, I also had to tell my parents about my awful behavior. They were disappointed with me, but they were willing to give me another chance because they saw how much I wanted to turn my life around.

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The psychologist said that I should apologize to every person that I bullied. There were a few of them, so I spent an entire month tracking them down and finding a way to make them accept my apology. After that, the mental health expert recommended that I attend group counseling with fellow reforming teenage bullies. I did not know how it would benefit me initially, but I was glad to sign up for it without asking too many questions because I ended up loving it. 

Five years later, I am already taking a Master’s degree in Child Psychology. Bullying is nothing but a part of my history. When I finish all the necessary training, I want to help troubled teenagers (like I have once been) get their lives back on track.

Dealing With The Family Bully

 

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As opposed to what most of us think, bullying is not something that can suddenly go away, like a rash, an exam, or a problem solved. As a matter of fact, it persists throughout the adult years and is evident in almost all aspects and situations. Apart from the popularized topics of online bullying, sibling bullying, and school bullying, the infamous act of bullying is also evident within families and even among adults. And most often, family bullying occurs merely due to the bully having never learned how to connect with the rest healthily. Also, it sometimes happens because the bully member of the family wants to control and handle different kinds of situations. If, like me, someone in the family is a bully, here are several strategies that you can try to keep matters under control.

Always confide in someone you can trust.

If and when you need to spill the beans on what happened to you, do it with someone that you feel close with, someone you have been confiding your innermost feelings with for quite some time. It can be your sister, brother, or close friend. The key is to keep away from the useless chatter. Find someone supportive of you and genuinely cares about you. Some individuals go straight to their family members rather than their friend, but be cautious when you do so. As most, if not all of us, may have experienced, family members might have the urge to resolve the issue and end up worsening it immediately.

What’s important is that you confide in someone who can be trusted not to say anything when they don’t need to in the first place. He or she needs to be someone who will not make things even more difficult for you. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you should keep mum about it when you are bullied, but confiding about it to one person can tremendously help in making you feel less alone and anxious. Ultimately, having someone who can listen to whatever you might say and keeping you levelheaded in the process is undoubtedly one of the best things that you need. So choose the right person to trust in.

 

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Don’t get too emotional.

When you are trying to deal with bullying in the family, stay composed and don’t show frustration or rage. If you can’t control the bully, you can indeed control your actions. Keep your calm, and do not in any way, interact with the bully. On the contrary, do some journaling about the events that have happened so far, remembering to include vital information, such as dates and places. This will help you find any behavioral patterns.

Set Limitations.

When we’re talking about a family bully, it is crucial that we set clear limitations between the two of you. For example, if your partner’s brother never stops insulting what you do or say to the point of embarrassment, tell her straight out that you don’t like what he’s doing and that you would like for it to stop. If he keeps doing it, then you always have the option not to invite him over your place even though the rest of the family is invited. You need to set rules and restrictions to keep respect. If this happens to you with other family members as well, you need to do the same – keep your contact with them to a minimum. You don’t need to tolerate their behaviors just because they’re family.

Decide for yourself.

When someone bullies you, you always have a choice, and you always have to make a decision. You can try to forget about it, allow the bully to continue disrespecting you, ignore the bully, or respond with an act of subtle but sweet revenge. Whatever you do, please do not give in to what he wants by reacting negatively at the expense of your self-respect and dignity. Be composed. Don’t behave the way he does. You have the last say about what you should do. Decide wisely.

Maintain or increase your confidence.

Bullies – whether in the family or not – know how to choose whom they can control and influence. Don’t let him know you’re anxious (if you are) and avoid showing defeat or insecurity. When you stand up for yourself and show strength and confidence, you are one step ahead of the person bullying you. Most importantly, be respectful and keep the bully from bullying, even your mind.

 

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Take a break from everything.

Living life with a bully in the family could be exhausting and daunting at the same time. Commit to giving yourself time to relax and take a break from all the thinking. Take a hike. Go beaching with your friends. Visit the spa. Or enjoy the silence in a place where you will feel peaceful and happy. Whatever you do, make sure that will help you take out a portion of negativity from you every time you have that break.

Ultimately, if bullying in the family harms your mental and emotional health, consider seeking professional help from someone who is experienced and qualified in tackling family issues.

 

 

Ways To Stop Bullying During This Pandemic

Bullying is a widespread problem, and it can take a toll on an individual’s self-confidence as well as physical and emotional aspects. In this time of the pandemic, a lot of people are suffering from bullying, especially those people that have a related Coronavirus issue. Since most individuals want to blame a specific race, the emotional, physical, and mental abuse heightens. So what do you do if ever you belong to the ones who are being bullied? Here are some ways that can help you protect yourself from harm, boost your self-confidence, and find help.

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Remember That Bullying Is Not Your Fault

Honestly, there are multitudes of reasons why bullies bully other people, and these have nothing to do with you. Most likely, it has a lot to do with their personal issues. Some bullies are emotionally and mentally struggling that they often find bullying an outlet to get rid of their suffering. So if you are being bullied, always remember that it is not your fault. Do not think of yourself as a loser based on your bullies’ description of you. You will only end up viewing an inaccurate portrait of who you are. If you want to fight the negative effect of your bullies torment, you need to work on appreciating the unique qualities that can make you stand out from the crowd.

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Surround Yourself With People Who Care About You

Bullies often target individuals who they know are vulnerable and alone. That is why you need to build an army and surround yourself with people that can protect and care for you. These individuals should accept you for who you are. When you are with the right set of friends, who are willing to stand up for you, bullies will have a hard time finding reasons to hurt you. It is essential that you feel safe and secured around people. It will help you maintain a better environment that can boost your self-esteem. So always remember to stick with your friends.

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Ignore The Bullies And Never Associate With Them

Ignoring bullies is one of the recommended things that you should follow. It is an anti-bully tactic that works best for a lot of situations. Understand that most of the time bullies bully you because they want to get reactions. They need to validate their capabilities because they know inside them; they are incapable of a lot of things. They rely on bullying because they want to cover or hide their weaknesses. They seek attention because they do not often receive the kind that builds their emotional and mental well-being. So next time you encounter bullies, ignore them. The second you feel overwhelmed and unsafe, find a way to remove yourself from the situation. Because if they don’t receive any response, they will eventually get bored and move on.

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Find Someone To Talk To And Speak Out

If you experience bullying, you need to speak out. Find the right persons to talk to if you feel unhappy, unsafe, and uncomfortable with the situation. Seek for someone who you can trust. These can be your close friends, a parent, a teacher, or a guidance counselor. You need to open up and tell them what is going on. You are not the only one coping and experiencing an unfortunate case of bullying, so you need to be brave enough to share your experience so others can know and do something about it. Always remember that there are people out there who are willing to help and support you. You need to extend an arm and reach out for their help and support.

How To Handle Know-It-Alls

I had trouble deciding whether I should attend the 2017 General Health Conference or not. Although all the topics the panelists were supposed to cover enticed me, I was not fond of some people who were to go to the same event. They were arrogant and insensitive, always acting like they were smarter or better than you. A bunch of Know-It-Alls, as people might say.

But then, a friend gave me food for thought: “You cannot fight fire with fire.” That’s how I decided to do the following:

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Keep Your Cool

The first thing you should do is to chill. I know how frustrating it must be to talk to a Mr. or Ms. Know-It-All or at least be near them. But you cannot lose your cool around such people because: 1) it won’t affect them at all, and 2) they are not worthy of any attention. 

Stop Trying To Prove Them Wrong

It is ridiculous how some people get upset whenever Know-It-All talks and then try to argue with them. It would be best if you never do that since it entails that you are stooping down to their level. Besides, they typically cannot accept the truth from others, so your efforts may be futile. 

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Avoid Them If You Can

The best advice that I can give you is to keep your distance from everyone who claims to know everything. If they try to engage you, excuse yourself politely or come up with a believable alibi. It is not that you are afraid of getting one-upped by them; you merely want to avoid stress and impending conflicts, especially if you are not in the mood for games.

Final Thoughts

All of us are acquainted with a certain Mr. or Ms. Know-It-All; no one is lucky enough not to meet at least one in this lifetime. If you are at wit’s end while thinking of how to handle them, remember everything mentioned above. Good luck!

Getting Rid Of Your Bullying Habits

“I am a bully.” That’s what I realized when I attended the 2019 Bullying Prevention Event some time ago.

I merely went to that conference to avoid needing to take my final exams for my Humanities subject. I did not expect to come to that realization. But when I accepted it, I looked for ways to get rid of my bullying habits.

Here’s what I gathered.

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Know All The Signs

From the get-go, you should learn about the different signs of bullying. Conduct online research or attend seminars as I have — do anything that will allow the information to sink in your brain. This way, you can no longer say that you don’t know that you are already bullying someone. 

Catch Yourself In The Act

A lot of former bullies can tell you that the urge to talk smack about someone will always be there. Though they may have pushed it at the back of their minds, it is still there. 

What often helps these people from reverting to their old ways is their self-awareness. They catch themselves as they are about to say something they cannot take back. No harm is done.

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Focus On Everyone’s Positive Sides

Everyone has a perception of what’s right or wrong. The only difference between bullies and non-bullies is that the former mainly focuses on the negative things they see. They do not give the center of their judgment the benefit of the doubt.

If you want to get rid of your bullying habits, you will need to look for the positive side of the folks around you. It is okay to be aware of their adverse side—that will keep you safe from awful people—but try to see them in a better light.

Final Thoughts

A year already passed since I realized that I was a bully to my friends, siblings, and even strangers. It wasn’t my best day, but I was grateful to know about it before I could hurt someone deeply. Now, I try to see the goodness in everyone daily and use positive words when I talk to others. My resolve is still not perfect, but I believe I’m getting there.

In case you have bullying habits, I hope you overcome them soon, too. Good luck!

How COVID-19 Contributes To Cyberbullying

With all the media information we receive, we are aware that the Coronavirus comes from a specific country. We understand the danger it gives us because of the unusual and first-ever strict global safety measures we have to follow. Admit it. We know the situation, but not all of us are considerate enough to make significant sacrifices and adjustments. Perhaps that is because not everybody is capable of making some life changes. So due to the complicated and exhausting effects of this threatening situation, we look for things, or rather persons, to blame.

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Since there is a global lockdown, people are spending most of their time on social media platforms. It is people’s way of entertaining themselves and getting sorts of information at the same time. But we can’t help but notice all the cyberbullying across all nations pin-pointing the whole phenomena to the Chinese community. We sometimes see comments and posts, such as “Chinese people are disgusting because they eat all types of animals.” Others point out that the spread of the virus won’t be a thing if Chinese people did not consider eating bats at their tables. Well, to be honest, there might be truth to this. However, the unacceptable part is the way how everybody is treating and generalizing the Chinese community.

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From Cyber Bullying To Racism

After the Coronavirus outbreak, more and more people are tuned into cyberbullying. All their hatreds and anger reflect their comments on a specific post on social media. There is no stopping their emotional agony because the situation is getting worse every day. But as the virus spread, cyberbullying opens a new door for another attack – racism. The virus outbreak becomes a curse to the Chinese community because they are now threatened, judged, hated, and discriminated. In some worst cases, they are physically, emotionally, and mentally harmed.

Sadly, there are instances that most of us will even disregard friendship due to the idea that we have to blame someone for this unfortunate situation. We get so immature to see that the hate-infect we do to others is more damaging and unpleasant than this health crisis. We think that what we are doing is appropriate because we have to get the validation that this pandemic requires the general Chinese community’s formal apology. We get too selfish not to think that these people are also suffering from a health crisis. And now, they also need to be afraid of being themselves because we keep on implying that everything we have to sacrifice is all due to their allegedly disgusting habits.

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Another heartbreaking truth is that no one of us is more than willing to defend them from others. We are not capable of saying “sorry” because we do not care about their feelings. We believe that bullying them on social media platforms is okay since we can’t personally tell it to their faces. We feel entitled to say whatever rude things we want to say to them because we have this ideology that they deserve it.

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The thing with how we see this pandemic is depressing. Most of us are incapable of understanding what others feel because we are too focused only on what we are experiencing. It is not every Chinese’s’ fault that we end up in this current situation. Nobody wants this to happen, and no one wishes for this to extend for more extended periods. Try to think about it. Let us allow ourselves to be more compassionate and understanding, despite this exhausting situation. Let’s stop cyberbullying and racism because, at this stage of the crisis, we all need each other.

How To Know If You Are A Bully

Attending the 2017 Awareness on Bullying Conference has confirmed an idea in my head for years. Not all bullies are aware of how awful their behavior is towards other people. In their mind, their words and actions can help the victim become better at some point.
Despite that, everyone around bullies knows that the opposite of that is the truth. Bullying helps no one—not even the bullies themselves. It can hurt people, to the extent that they want to halt all their activities and stay cooped up in their room. Some even choose death instead of hearing another word from the bullies.

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Now, if you don’t know if you are a bully, here are some telltale signs for you.
You Get In Trouble A Lot Due To Your Behavior
Whether you are at school or work, the leading authorities always want to have a chat with you regarding complaints about your behavior. You need not believe it if it has only happened once. However, considering you get summoned almost every week or month, perhaps you need to accept that something’s wrong with your actions.
You Hardly Have Real Friends
I feel the need to emphasize “real friends” because bullies tend to have a group of people backing them up. Often, though, they merely hang around in hopes of not getting bullied like others. If you get into an accident, and no one wants to come to your aid, that’s a sign that your close connections are bogus.

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You Love Finding And Talking About Someone’s Weaknesses
Bullies cannot survive a day without saying something mean about someone. It does not even need to happen in person at times. You see it in people who open their social media account, browse through others’ feeds, and criticize them aloud. If you enjoy doing things like that, know that it’s a sign of bullying.

There is a thin line between constructive criticism and bullying. Aim to stay on the former’s side to avoid hurting anybody.

A Manipulative Relationship (Am I A Bully?)

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“Know-it-alls may have a cluster of personality characteristics, including impulsivity, poor listening skills and an inability to read social cues. These could be symptomatic of certain mental disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or narcissistic personality disorder,” says Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Linda Lewis Griffith. My husband and I are married for more than a decade now, and as far as our relationship is concerned, I never thought I would consider myself someone that tries to manipulate my partner. I know I am considerate at all times and I properly make my decisions positive as much as possible. However, complications arose recently when my husband broke down and complained about a lot of things. I was clueless even after the divorce. That’s when I questioned myself if I’m actually a bully.

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What Can I Do If I Have A Bullying Partner?

A relationship can go with the saying that “if you love someone, you’ll have to learn to accept all their imperfections.” Well, that is quite applicable to some degree. However, not all imperfections are acceptable, and most of the time it needs proper handling especially when it’s turning the relationship upside down.

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Recognizing A Controlling Bully In A Relationship

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Sometimes, we often think that there’s always dominance when it comes to a relationship. The fact that most of us consider ourselves a genuine partner makes it easy for us to tolerate such actions. However, there’ll become a problem when such abuse is present, and it creates a lot of complications when our emotional, physical, and psychological aspects are at stake.

“Having a bully in the home stresses the entire family unit,” said Fran Walfish, PsyD, therapist and author of The Self-Aware Parent. “It can even strain marriages.”

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