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What to do when you're being bullied? watch

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    It's a sad fact, but unfortunately most of us will experience bullying at some point in our lives, to varying extents... when you're getting bullied, especially if it's long-term, it can be really hard to know where to turn. You may even feel alone because of it, and that can be incredibly difficult to deal with. I want to preface this by saying that, however it may seem, you are not alone, and there will be someone around to support you. If you're struggling to find someone to talk to, then you can use this thread to ask questions and to vent if it helps.

    If you are in that situation though, who can you talk to to get help? The idea of this thread is to outline a few different options of who to turn to, though it's by no means a definitive list! If you're reading it and think an option has been missed, then please post about it, and I'll add it to the list. In the very unfortunate situation that you tell someone and they don't do anything, please don't let that dishearten you, but do tell someone else.

    Self Care
    It may seem an unusual one to include in a post about getting help, but self care is also incredibly important if you're being bullied, or just generally going through a difficult time. What helps will vary from person to person, but anything from creative activities, to watching a film, to writing in a diary can help, whatever you find helps you to recover from it. Online support groups or forums can be beneficial, as can talking to someone you're close to about what you've been going through too, as they can prevent the emotions from building up as much.

    One of the compounding factors of bullying is how isolating it can be, and extending from this, how scary it can be to approach someone for support. Talking to friends can be a way to bridge that gap, and help remind you that you have people around you who want to help. You might also be able to get a friend to go with you when you talk to a teacher or similar, to provide moral support, and to add to the explanation if they've seen the bullying themselves.

    Talking to a parent or guardian can improve the situation in its own right, or can be a stepping stone to talking to someone within your school, college, or university, but either outcome can help to stop or reduce the bullying. Similarly with talking to friends, talking to a trusted parent or guardian can also allow you to release some of the negative feelings that will have been building up, and also remind you that there are people in your life who care, and who want to help you fix the situation. If you're apprehensive about talking to your teachers then I would strongly recommend a parent or guardian who will be able to report it to the school if necessary, but might be a more comfortable avenue of discussion for you.

    If you're being bullied at school, then your teacher, or your headteacher, is the best port of call in terms of getting help. Try to talk to someone at your school as soon as possible if you're experiencing bullying, and explain to them what's been happening, and who has been doing it. If you're worried about this, then talk to a teacher you trust more; even if it's happening in a class or situation outside of what they're involved in, they'll be able to refer it on to the appropriate person, and make sure that you're supported, and that the bullying is dealt with.

    Sometimes it seems to be overlooked that bullying doesn't always happen in schools, and it doesn't only happen when you're younger; it may be something that fewer people experience, but bullying in the workplace can happen too. If you're being bullied at work, then please talk to colleagues or your manager about it, and let them know about the situation, even if the people doing it are trying to pass it off as 'hazing' or similar. If you're in the difficult situation of it being your manager or someone senior to you that's doing the bullying, then don't let that put you off of getting help; talk to someone in HR about it and see what they can do, or even pass it on to someone further up if you're hitting blockers at the other avenues.

    What if you're being cyberbullied?
    If you're being bullied online or by message, sometimes it can seem less clear about who to approach about it, and as if you have less escape from the bullying because of how integrated with technology life often is. There is still a lot you can do about it though, and approaching a parent, guardian, or teacher is still something that will help progress things forward. You can also report the bullying to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) if the bullying happened online, and block any Facebook or instant messaging accounts that have been targeting you; increasing your privacy settings can also help if blocking doesn't stop them. If the bullying is by text or calls, you can report it to your mobile network provider if it's by text or calls. You should also block the numbers, or even change your number if it's happening repeatedly. Don't delete any messages, keep them for evidence even if you don't know who it is, and report serious bullying and threats to the police.

    To those of you who have sought help because of bullying in the past, who did you go to, and what was the outcome? If you didn't get help would you have done things differently looking back? Are there any tips you would give to someone who's afraid of seeking support? :grouphugs:

    If anyone is struggling with bullying and doesn't know where else to turn, particularly if it's having a severe impact on you emotionally or mentally, I'd suggest speaking to the Samaritans or Nightline, who offer a range of different listening services, including email, phone, and a one-to-one instance messaging service. You can also call ChildLine confidentially on 0800 1111.
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