What Is Bullying & Tips for Breaking Free
Were you bullied as a child? Is someone you’re related to, or in a romantic relationship with, bullying you now? Did something cause you to bully others in the past? Whatever the circumstances, bullying can damage close friendships and relationships— often beyond repair.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t find peace.
Are You Being Bullied?
When people are close to you, it’s sometimes hard to tell if you’re being bullied, or if someone in your life just needs help with anger management. Here are the most common signs of bullying we’ve seen from people who’ve reached out 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 likely feel depressed and anxious, even when the person bullying you isn’t around. Being bullied might make you so fearful of other pain or trauma that you avoid being around people and doing things you’d otherwise love.
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 live chatting or emailing one of our mentors, 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 safe relationship.
Have You Been a Bully?
People who have been bullied aren’t the only ones hurt by the unkind actions, thoughts, and words. If you’ve ever been a bully, you’ve likely experienced guilt, shame, and fear the hurtful patterns will repeat themselves in a new relationship or friendship that you want to get right.
It’s likely that the pain you’ve caused others comes from your own unresolved pain or trauma, Maybe, in your darkest moments, you’ve felt you wanted to punish yourself with self-harm or suicide. 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 unkind 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? Request prayer, or an email from a mentor at TheHopeLine.