“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.”
― Leonardo da Vinci
In some ways, this article may seem counter intuitive. Some of the bullying tips shared here will, seem on the surface to be not what you think. That is because what many think are the correct tactics to handle bullying are ones that can make the bullying worse. I am deciding to start with one of the most difficult tips that have been found to be effective…silence.
Do not mistake the silence mentioned here as keeping silent about bullying. We are talking about how to handle a bullying situation. Here’s what I mean. As a highly sensitive person, this would be one of the hardest tips for me to learn, so it always takes practice.
When you are confronted by a bully, they may have others with you and block you in. Then they will start in on you, looking to goad you into a reaction. The hard part for you is that your instinct is to react and that is exactly what the bully wants. You will be in a panic mode and your brain will be in overdrive, that’s why this is a practice method. If you can avoid feeding into the bully and walk away confident, so they don’t believe they affected you, you have taken away the bully’s power.
Does this work every time? Probably not if you are trapped. The bully will do everything in their power to avoid letting you escape. That is their goal. Remember that the bully wants you to react and expects you to be upset. When those happen, you give them the story they want to tell others. If you walk away, no response verbally and look confident, but of course watching them behind you as you leave, you won that battle and maybe the bully won’t target you again.
Easy right? No way and some people can’t just do this. They will cry or react, because we are only human. But remember, the silence ends there. You should hopefully share that someone is a bully with a trusted individual that can help. Try to believe in the back of your head that the bully is probably hurting too. Empathy can go a long way.
This tip feels counter intuitive, I know. But from my experience and looking at the research, the less you give the bully as ammunition against you, the more likely it can end, at least with that bully. In this case, the silence you return to the bully can be golden for you. But always remember, don’t live in silence with the issue. Talk to your trusted mentor, your school counselor, and your family. Remember, it does get better.