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How to fight a bully in real life!

By Neeraa Maini Srivastav
Last updated on: July 03, 2019 13:52 IST
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People are less likely to bother you and more likely to listen to you if you walk, sit, and act with awareness, calm, respect, and confidence, says Neeraa Maini Srivastav.

How to identify a bully

Image published for representational purposes only. Photograph: A still from the film Gippi

Is he/she really a bully?

If you have any doubts about who qualifies as a bully, this is for you.

The dictionary qualifies a bully as a 'blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.'

And we can find personifications of a bully anywhere -- at home, in school, college, at your workplace etc.

The act of bullying often includes:

  • Teasing
  • Talking about hurting someone
  • Spreading rumours
  • Leaving kids out on purpose
  • Attacking someone by hitting them or yelling at them

Here it must be clarified that 'ragging' which started as a ritualistic practice to welcome freshers can turn into 'bullying' if it involves a consistent act of harming another -- physically, mentally, verbally or spiritually.

There are various kinds of bullying:

Physical bullying – includes hitting, kicking, or pushing you (or even just threatening to do so), as well as stealing, hiding, or ruining your things, and hazing, harassment, or humiliation.

Verbal bullying – includes name-calling, teasing, taunting, insulting, or otherwise verbally abusing you.

Relationship bullying -- includes refusing to talk to you, excluding you from groups or activities, spreading lies or rumours about you, making you do things you don’t want to do.

Bullying does not always happen in person. There are other ways too.

Technology

Bullying is no longer limited to schoolyards or street corners.

Cyberbullying is a type of bullying that happens online or through text messages or e-mails.

It includes posting rumours on sites like Facebook, sharing embarrassing pictures or videos, and making fake profiles or websites.

Cyberbullying can occur anywhere, even at home, via smartphones, e-mails, texts, and social media, 24 hours a day, with potentially hundreds of people involved. But no type of bullying should ever be tolerated.

Often the roles can be reversed.

You may have been bullied or been a bully at some time, place or occasion.

Whatever the situation, it’s important to know how to deal with it.

The first step to dealing with bullying is knowing and identifying it.

Inner compass

Before indulging in any act, think if you are acting from your own feelings or those of others.

Consequential thinking

Instead of acting on impulse, think of what the consequences of your action can be.

It pays to remember that you never look good by making someone else look bad.

Optimism

Especially if you are the victim, remind yourself that this is a temporary, isolated situation that can change  with your effort that includes extending a hand of friendship and forgiveness

Active apology

Having caused harm in anyway through your bullying, it always helps to offer an apology and make amends instead of creating a hostile relationship

Switch off

And in case of cyber bullying, disconnect with the aggressor and stop responding to the messages/emails etc- and notify an authority.

Random acts of kindness

In your daily activities, ensure you practise one act of kindness to another fellow student without expectation of a personal benefit or reward

Thought leadership 

This is the age when you create the seeds of leadership.

How about leading an initiative like anti-bullying and putting your creativity into creating solutions based on empathy for stopping the wilful acts of meanness directed at others.  

Having dissected bullying, one of the key ways to prevent either being a bully or being the victim is maintaining a balance between body, mind and spirit.

Body

It is known that engaging in any sporting activity reduces aggression. So burn up that energy and you will experience a different you.

Mind

Dealing with your emotions , expressing them fully, not carrying emotional baggage or cultivating love for others reduces the need to even indulge in bullying.

On the other hand, developing confidence and an optimistic outlook enables you to tide over a bullying incident!

Spirit

Lastly, connecting and having reverence for the creator of the Universe and your fellow beings is really all the awareness needed to eradicate bullying from this planet.

Finally it all comes down to acting with awareness, calm, respect and confidence.

People are less likely to bother you and more likely to listen to you if you walk, sit, and act with awareness, calm, respect, and confidence.

Projecting a positive, assertive attitude means holding your head high, keeping your back straight, walking briskly, looking around, and having a peaceful face and body.

Staying aware also helps you to notice problems so that you can deal with them sooner rather than later.

Like they say, 'If people throw stones at you, then pick them up and build something!'

Neeraa Maini Srivastav is the author of 150 Brilliant Ideas To Keep Young Minds Fit & Fine.


INVITE

Dear readers, have you or anyone you know fought bullying at school, college or the workplace?

How did you deal with it?

Did you give in or did you fight back?

Were there consequences? Who helped you?

What did you learn from the experience? Share your stories, learnings and tips with all of us.

Simply write to getahead@rediff.co.in (subject: I was bullied too) along with your NAME, AGE, LOCATION and a photograph of you, if possible. We'll feature the best ones right here on Rediff.com

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Neeraa Maini Srivastav