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If you're bullying someone

You may think teasing people at school is a bit of harmless fun, but for the victim, it can be no fun at all. There are lots of organisations and useful websites that can help if you want to stop bullying someone.

Why bully someone?

If you are bullying someone, think about why you're doing it. Are you trying to look good or portray a certain image to your group of friends?

There are a lot of reasons why someone starts bullying someone else. They may:

  • have problems at home and use bullying as a way of taking out their frustration or unhappiness on someone else
  • be encouraged to join in with bullying by their friends, and they just do it to make sure they stay part of that group
  • be jealous of someone
  • be looking for attention, and the only way they know how to get it is to pick on someone

Effects of bullying

If you are bullying someone, you may not realise how much harm you're causing them. Name calling that you think is funny can really affect someone's confidence and self-esteem. In serious cases, victims start thinking about running away from home or harming themselves just to get away from the problem.

There are also serious consequences for you if you're found to be bullying someone. You can be suspended or expelled from school. If you physically hurt someone, you can also be punished by the police.

How to stop bullying someone

The first step is to admit to yourself that you're a person who is bullying others. In some cases, it may be relatively easy to stop bullying someone by just not doing it anymore. You may even want to say sorry to the person you've been bullying.

If you're getting pressure from a group of friends to keep bullying, or you've been bullying someone for a long period of time, you may find it harder to stop.

If this is the case, think about:

  • how you would feel if someone was doing the same to you or to someone you care about
  • whether there's something going on in your life that's making you unhappy and causing your bullying and how you can confront that issue instead
  • how you would react or what would happen if you were reported to a teacher and you got into serious trouble

People who can help

It's often the case that the same people who give help and advice to victims of bullying can also help those who bully to change their behaviour and make a positive change.

You may be worried that you'll be punished or refused help if you admit that you've been bullying someone, but this won't be the case.

If you want to speak to someone privately or in confidence, you can call Childline or the NSPCC. All their advisers have been trained to help with all sorts of problems, so don't worry about being judged.

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