How To: Deal With Bullying

I’m taking a quick break from my usual beauty-related posts today to write about something a little different. On my Facebook ‘fanpage’, I asked you all what kind of posts you’d like to see on my blog in the future – someone asked me to write about how to deal with bullies and bullying. It’s not the kind of request anyone could easily overlook, and I wanted to share my advice with you all.

Firstly, I have to make this clear: bullying is not something that just happens at school. It can happen well into your adult life (although I sincerely hope none of you have to experience it) and, over time, you can learn to deal with it in your own way. Although I am only 20, I do feel that I am in some kind of position to talk about this issue, and will unreservedly. I will briefly talk about my own experiences, and then describe how I coped with the situation – I’m no expert, but I have some experience to draw upon, which might just be helpful to even one of you.

The funny thing is, you don’t always realise you’re being bullied at the time; when girls at school (I went to an all-girls’ school, which was at times a curse but equally a blessing in certain situations) would taunt me about various things, it didn’t register that it was a form of bullying. I wasn’t having my hair pulled, my possessions  broken or my face slapped – but it still hurt. A lot.

I would be singled out for various reasons; I liked to wear more adventurous clothes than others (I developed my alternative style earlier than other girls in my year; funnily enough, years later they were dressing similarly to me), I was having some mild success as an Avril Lavigne lookalike (they particularly hated it when I was in magazines) and I had many male friends, which caused friction amongst the girls who they were dating at the time. Looking back, I can see that they were, perhaps, envious of certain things going on in my life (this might sound terribly big-headed, which isn’t my intention) . At the time, however, I felt depressed and anxious.

One of the times that the taunting did develop into something more was actually one of the defining moment of my teenage years. I was walking through the town I live in with a good friend, who also happened to be a goth at the time. We were confronted by a group of teenage boys dressed in tracksuits (it sounds almost too stereotypical to be true, but I assure you, it is). When we escaped from their  verbal abuse (“mosher”, “greebo” and “freak” seemed to be their insults of choice) they begun to get physical, pelting us with food that they were carrying with them. They promptly disappeared into the local park. My friend was devastated; I was furious. Something came over me which prompted me to walk into the park and unleash a calm but firm lecture to those who had attacked us. I wish it had been filmed – I’d never felt so proud. I said explained various things, namely that clothing doesn’t MAKE you anything. From that moment on, I realised that standing up for yourself in an intelligent and assertive manner was the most powerful position you could ever put yourself into.

My outlook had been changed; I didn’t have to settle for people putting me down. I was proud of my fashion sense, my achievements and the true friends I had. And I made it known. When people would sarcastically congratulate me on a magazine appearance, I would smile widely and thank them (that really baffled them!). When girls made comments to me about wanting to ‘steal their boyfriends’, I would smile and calmly explain that, whilst I loved having their guy as a friend, I couldn’t be remotely romantically interested in him (that was taken in various ways). And, when those who teased me for wearing adventurous clothes started experimenting themselves, I would genuinely praise them for their individuality (prompting a few embarrassed-looking faces once they’ realised that, perhaps, I had been one to kick-start a trend).

Humour, wit, strength and true friendship are the only things you need to get through the hardest times. Thankfully, the only bullying I experience now is online (you’ve all seen the YouTube comments/gossip websites/tweets) – and I say ‘thankfully’ because it genuinely doesn’t affect me; someone sitting behind their keyboard insulting me is a far unhappier person than they could ever turn me into. Of course, cyber-bullying is a serious issue and you should always seek help if it is getting you down. If I see a negative comment, I simply delete it, then get back to my real life which is, by and large, a happy one.

Laughter is the best medicine – there was never a truer phrase. If you are experiencing bullying of any kind, the best thing you can combat the negative with is the positive. Think of what makes you truly happy – a good friend (or three!), sharing funny stories and memories, a hilarious film or TV show or just a good old chat. Never let those negative people run your life, and never, ever let them ruin it.

If you are experiencing serious problems, threats or feel that you can’t cope, there will always be someone to help you. If not friends or family, perhaps teachers, lecturers or your boss (if the problem is occurring at work). No one should ever be allowed to threaten you or make you feel unsafe, so don’t stand for this under any circumstances. Seek help and guidance from a higher authority and don’t be afraid of the consequences; once you start to deal with a problem, the end result will always be better than the current situation.

If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

Stay Creative, and safe,

Chyaz xox

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20 Comments

  1. Chana
    August 14, 2011 / 5:26 pm

    Good article, Chyaz…i personally have been bullied at school and at work but thank god i had my friends who always picked me up when i seemed to fall

  2. Helen
    August 14, 2011 / 5:32 pm

    Great article Chyaz! I think if you’ve had any bad experiences, the key thing is to have a positive attitude. Horrible as it sounds (and I’m not condoning it) if you enter into new situations with baggage, the people that are inclined to be nasty will pick up on it.You shouldn’t let the bullies hold you back, you should strive for success not to ”get back at/prove them wrong”, but to give yourself the future you deserve. Xx

  3. Sofie
    August 14, 2011 / 5:46 pm

    So great you wrote this. Touching. You’re such a rollmodel!

  4. Noora Ali
    August 14, 2011 / 5:49 pm

    You have put so much time and thought into this article, and I like the way you’ve structured it aswell.Since I am only 14, I have been bullied when I was younger because I moved to a new school and people at that school were just getting to know me- but, I found out that laughter was the best way to feel stronger than the bullies, so I definitely agree with you about the phrase ‘laughter is the best medicine’ because if you show them that you don’t care, they’ll feel like bullying you is no use anymore because it’s not affecting you in anyway. Friends are also the one’s who will look out for you and push bullies away.

  5. hannah
    August 14, 2011 / 5:51 pm

    i myself am a frequent target, and it ofen gets me down, but i love your attiude towards it, i’s really inspiring! 🙂

  6. August 14, 2011 / 5:55 pm

    “From that moment on, I realised that standing up for yourself in an intelligent and assertive manner was the most powerful position you could ever put yourself into.” << That one is true!

    I remember one of the times, a guy at school was laughing at me because i wore tie ( i was Avril obsessed at the time XD) and for some reason i just got up and talked to him. He was looking at me like "she can talk? O.o". After this time, he never said a thing again. Of course they were others but oh well…
    Believe in yourself,your friends and family and you will be okay 🙂

  7. August 14, 2011 / 5:56 pm

    Chyaz,
    Being different than the status quo, always pushes peoples buttons for many reasons and most of them are insecurities or jealousy in the inner strength you own, for either doing something most people wouldn’t or wearing something that someone else wouldn’t.
    Great post.

    Posts like these are one of the main reasons I enjoy your posts/videos.(The beauty posts of course are not for me cause I don’t wear make up, however I direct them to my girlfriend..lol.)
    You are unselfish individual who uses your platform in more positive ways than everyone else on the internet. You offer help to those who need it from your own personal triumphs, which are a huge growing spurt in your own personal growth to search for self well being.
    This quality that you possess is one that will far reach more people in the universe, than any other topic.

    It’s nice to know there are people like you extending a helping a positive hand to other humans on the internet.

    Cheers, Rocko

  8. August 14, 2011 / 6:03 pm

    Great post Chyaz! Open & honest, & hits the nail on the head!

  9. Lizzie
    August 14, 2011 / 6:17 pm

    i can remember when you asked us on facebook.. and yes it was me that requested this on your facebook 🙂 thank you so much for this article 🙂 it feels kinda good to read this.. it helped me a lot to handle things from my past 🙂 xoxo

  10. Harriet
    August 14, 2011 / 6:36 pm

    I have never read such a wonderful article!! I was bullied as a kid…physically punched, kicked, spat on…I was called a freak…being 5’10 when I was 14 wasn’t easy!!
    I had some friends who I held dear, and they completely turned on me. My confidence was shaken, I felt alone in a cruel world. There was nobody I could talk to…I knew it would have made things worse!
    Them a few years ago, my so called friend started ignoring me, making my work life extremely difficult…and even though nothing physical, it was mentally exhausting! I worked so hard at a friendship that was based on a lie…The main lesson I have learnt is to let people in gradually. I don’t reveal my true self to anyone…until I can feel I can trust them. I have a handful of wonderful, amazing friends who I love dearly…thank you Chyaz for writing this!! It really touched my heart!! You are a wonderful inspirational woman!! xxx

  11. iwka
    August 14, 2011 / 8:03 pm

    chyaz, you are an amazing human being! Being special is the best thing in the world and I’m proud to be who I really am. 🙂

  12. KymB
    August 15, 2011 / 2:28 am

    Hi!
    First of all, I want to thank you for this post. Everything you said in it is very true and the advice will help many people in their lives. I went through a lot of teasing and things like that in school. I absolutely loved school, even though I came home in tears most of the time.
    Oh this post would have helped me back then. Now I realize that I let many things slide and I didn’t do much standing up for myself until one day I did stand up for myself. Now I always think that if you don’t let words or actions of bullying affect you, you are in control. They can’t get to you if you’re not affected by them. What they say or do bounces right off of you because it can’t reach you. I know it’s hard to be unaffected by such craziness people do, and that it’s easier to feel hurt. But instead of feeling hurt you should stand up for yourself and move on.
    Great article!

  13. August 15, 2011 / 5:20 am

    chyaz!!
    this really helped me. i start my last year of high school on tuesday and i’ve been anxious all day. there’s many people at school who’ve bullied me throughout all these years there. they call me a “slut” or “freak” or spread around that i sleep with all sorts of guys. thus, these years in high school have been the worst!! this post has really cheered me up and given me confidence to go in there this year and deal with it positively. 🙂

    thank you, thank you, thank you!
    amber.

  14. August 15, 2011 / 12:04 pm

    I am so glad you have had such a good response to this, its a fantastic read.

  15. samantha
    August 15, 2011 / 5:38 pm

    Amazing article 🙂 I have been bullied as well for some of the same reasons and you have heleped me be more confident with who I am 🙂
    thanks so much
    xo

  16. hannah
    August 16, 2011 / 1:49 pm

    i was severely bullied, to the point that police had to get involved to stop this girl and her mum from doing this, and my best friend has just moved to a different country, so i’m always feeling low and alone. You have always been so great and you have a fab personality, really nice 🙂 this has really helped me and i want to say thanks! 😀

  17. Alice
    August 16, 2011 / 2:16 pm

    This is great – and would have helped me so much when I was younger. I got grief for no apparent reason other than people would choose to dislike me and find more and more reasons to do so. It’s all in the past now and I’m very happy, but others are still going through it. Lovely post. 🙂

  18. Kelli
    August 16, 2011 / 6:59 pm

    This really helps, I get bullied a bit in school because my friends and I like to be different from most girls at my school. For a while I used to just take it without standing up for myself, but now I’m going to. Thanks Chyaz (:

  19. Delilah
    August 18, 2011 / 11:58 am

    It’s a good post Chyaz but some people are not so brave as you are. Some people can’t just raise their chin and yell at their bullies, it’s not as easy as that. Some people get their self-steem destroyed, they get depressed, they think it’s their fault. They think they’re the worst thing in the world and that they deserve the bullying they’re getting. Some people are so shy and socially awkward that the mere thought of asserting themselves makes them cringe in horror because they just can’t. Can’t get a word ou of their mouths. Some people think their bullies will kill them if they seek aid in teachers/family. And because we humans are made of evil and tend to discriminate “the weird ones”, many bullying victims have no friends.
    My boyfriend got serious bullying. They completely destroyed his personality. He’s a depressive person because of that era, and he will never recover. He was hit or physically abused everyday. They did awful things to him. He attempted suicide. So to be honest, I am your fan and I love your posts and I think this is a good advice, but sadly, it doesn’t work for everybody… it’s easier said than done, and please don’t take any offense in my comment because I totally adore you; this is just a tricky issue for me and I wanted to express myself.

  20. anette
    August 22, 2011 / 2:05 am

    Hey Chyaz! You are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
    I have ben bullied a lot, and my halfbrother used to either hit me, kick me or hurt me in another way. Since fourthgrade I’ve ben bullied. It stopped half a year ago, half a way in eighthgrade. I am not being bullied at the moment, but the bullies have totally crushed me. I almost can’t talk to people cause I lost my confidence. Sometimes I even cry in hours because it’s like my brain forces me to recall the bad memories. I just wonder if its normal? Ive ben in a kind if therapy, but it doesnt help. Is it normal to feel like this? How can I believe in myself, whennoone else does? I mean, either my parents or so doesn’t support me, who should? How do I start believe in myself and get my confidence back?

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