What Is Bullying & Tips for Breaking Free
Were you bullied as a child? Are you being bullied now? Have you been the bully? Whatever the circumstances, bullying is harmful. It can damage your self-esteem and alter the way you see yourself. Bullying can also damage close friendships and relationships— often to the point where their hard to repair.
If you’re being bullied, there are strategies for dealing with it and getting help.
If you’re the bully, it is never too late to change your ways, seek forgiveness from those you’ve hurt and find peace.
Are You Being Bullied?
Sometimes it can be hard to tell if you’re being bullied, or if it’s just conflict. Bullying is when someone is being super aggressive towards another and there is an imbalance of power. This scenario is often repeated over and over. Here are the most common signs of bullying from people who’ve reached out to TheHopeLine:
- Verbal, Physical, or Emotional Abuse
- Public Humiliation
- Isolating and Abandoning Others
- Damaging Others’ Property or Belongings
- Online Harassment
Like other types of abuse, bullying can leave physical and emotional scars. You could feel depressed and anxious, even when the person bullying you isn’t around. Being bullied might make you so fearful that you avoid being around people and doing things you’d otherwise love to be doing.
Breaking the cycle of bullying starts with reaching out to people who can help you, in a place where you feel safe. That could mean talking to an administrator in your school, chatting with TheHopeLine, talking to your pastor or therapist, or calling a friend or family member you trust. In many cases, people build a network of support from more than one place.
Have You Been the Bully?
People who have been bullied aren’t the only ones hurt by the unkind actions, thoughts, and words. If you’ve been a bully, you’ve likely experienced guilt, shame, and fear. The hurtful patterns you’ve developed will repeat themselves in a new relationships or friendships you actually want to get right. The good part is you can stop this toxic cycle of abuse.
It’s likely the pain you’ve caused others comes from your own unresolved pain or trauma. Maybe, in your darkest moments, you felt you wanted to punish yourself. You are not your past choices. You can get confidential help without fear of judgement. You can find a way to accept your faults, and forgive yourself for your mistakes.
Breaking Free From Bullying
Whether you’ve been bullied in the past, or have been cruel to others, your difficult and painful experiences do not define you, and they don’t have to shape your future. You can free yourself from the harmful impact of bullying on your self-worth.
We’ve seen people who have been bullied reclaim their confidence. We’ve helped people who have hurt others understand the roots of their own pain, and work toward greater kindness and compassion. No matter how dark things have seemed in the past, you can heal from the painful scars of bullying, and that healing can start today. Not sure what to do first? Chat with a HopeCoach!