#SOCIAL NOBODY SERIES Roughly, every second person has experienced bullying at some point in their life, and over 83% of young people admit that these events affected their self-esteem. College time is not an exception. Like any violence, bullying leaves scars, be they physical, emotional, or both. This problem is very difficult to deal with, especially when you are a victim.
However, ‘difficult’ doesn’t mean ‘impossible’, so you can break out of this situation if you take appropriate action.
Understand Bullying and What Drives It
One can say that humans are violent creatures by nature or that they learn to be this way from the examples they see in early childhood. There is a violent cycle in our society where bullies are practically ‘made’ by either adopting this behavior from witnessing it at home or reversing to it as a coping mechanism. It’s quite surprising, but many of the current bullies have been victimized and started act this way as a way of coping.
As a victim in a bullying situation, you need to understand the reasons that push your abusers because this is necessary for you to see the most important truth.
The truth is that you are NOT the problem. It is NOT your fault.
The majority of victims remain this way simply because they don’t have the courage to speak up and do something about their situation. It usually occurs because one of the basic bullying tactics is to hit one’s self-esteem and make them believe that they are at fault and deserve to be abused.
It isn’t the truth, and the first thing you must do to deal with bullies is to understand that they have no power over you. The second best thing to do is to seek legal advice. Having a legal counsel to protect your rights would be imperative in this case, especially if the bullying has resulted in physical injuries.
Deal with Bullying in College: Tactics for Any SituationAlthough all bullies follow a similar pattern (which is intimidation and humiliation of someone weaker to get an ego boost out of the deal), no two cases are the same. Therefore, you might need to implement different methods depending on the situation.
Ignore the bullyBullies get the enjoyment from the reaction they incur from their victims, and in most cases, they aren’t prepared to elevate the level of violence in their approach. It means that NOT giving a reaction makes you ‘unappealing’ and might be enough to make the abuser go away on their own.
You can augment this tactic by responding in a firm and calm manner. Simply saying ‘Stop’ or ‘Leave me alone’ should suffice. Just don’t get agitated as getting the rise out of you is exactly what the bully wants.
Get help from an adultEven when you are an independent and self-sufficient college student, getting help from an adult in a bullying situation is the right thing to do. First of all, this is a very serious matter and your reporting the abuse might help other people who are forced into a similar situation.
Second, adult authority figures (professors, counselors, supervisors, etc.) may have the means to deal with the bully more efficiently. Depending on the circumstances, they may offer advice or take some practical steps, such as expelling the bully or meting out appropriate punishment.
Stand up for yourselfNote that this doesn’t mean answering violence with violence. What you need to do is to show the bully that you aren’t a victim. You can do this by standing tall and proud, showing the abuser that their words don’t matter.
You are an amazing person, and you mustn’t put yourself down. So, just tell the bully that they are wrong about you and walk away back to your friends. If you don’t have any, now would be a great time to join some group that shares your interests and would provide you with support (and watch your back) in case you encounter a bully.
Written By: David Gutierrez. Stanford Univeristy. 09 March, 2017.