Am I bullying?
Ask yourself:

  • Are my actions or words hurting someone else’s feelings?
  • Are my actions hurting someone else physically?
  • Are my actions or words making someone else feel afraid?
  • Am I trying to control someone else?
  • Am I unfairly taking out my feelings of anger or frustration on someone else?
  • Would I like someone else to do this to me?
  • How would I feel if someone did this to me again and again?

If you answered yes to some of these questions, you are probably bullying.

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What can I do to stop bullying?
If you think that you are bullying other people, there are some things you can do:

  • Ask someone for help. Make sure it is someone you can trust, like a parent or teacher. Take a friend with you for support if it will make you feel better.
  • Think about why you are behaving like this. If you have a difficult problem in your own life, ask for help from someone you trust.
  • Apologise to those people that you have upset.
  • Set yourself a goal every day. For example: ‘Today I will not call anyone names.’
  • Join out-of-school clubs where you can meet new friends who don’t know how you used to behave.

Remember: hurting others (either physically or hurting their feelings) will not make you any REAL friends.

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How can I avoid falling back into bullying?

  • Think about it. Decide if bullying is worth getting in trouble, possibly hurting yourself or others and turning people away from you for a long time.
  • Put yourself in their shoes. Try to think about how you would feel if someone kept treating you this way.
  • Appreciate people’s differences. Instead of picking on people for being different, use it as an opportunity to learn new things. Ask children who are different from you about their background, beliefs, favourite foods and music – they might introduce you to something new to enjoy.
  • Be a real leader. You’re already a leader, because other people often watch you pick on others. Instead of being mean and nasty, set an example by being kind and respectful of other kids. This is how to earn real respect and friends, without having to bully them into it.

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How can I earn respect without bullying?
Young people say that what they most want is respect. Everyone wants the right to be respected and none of us wants to be abused or picked on. We just want others to be fair to us.

If you have low self-esteem, you may think that bullying others is the only way to earn their respect. However, people who try to earn respect by frightening others or by being cruel to them end up being disliked. Fear is the opposite of respect. To earn respect we must show it to others.

You can help others to respect you by:

  • being fair and honest
  • treating all people with respect
  • supporting your peers
  • not accepting or being involved in bullying behaviour.
  • standing up for yourself and others when you know it is right
  • joining a ‘buddy’ or peer support scheme
  • taking part in your school’s anti-bullying program

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