Being teased and picked on by bullies can be one of the toughest parts of growing up. It’s important to remember that even if someone never physically hurts you, harassment and tormenting you with words is still a serious form of bullying. If you’re being teased or bullied at school, here are some tips to help you deal with the situation to the very best of your abilities.

  1. Tell an Adult – Many kids don’t want to tell an adult what they’re going through for fear of making things worse, but it’s very important to let a parent, teacher or family friend know what’s happening to protect yourself and the other kids that the bullies are picking on.
  2. Walk Away – Sometimes, just letting a bully know that you’re not afraid of them is enough to discourage them from picking on you. Keep your head high, walk away and ignore the hurtful things they say the best you can.
  3. Be a Friend – If you see another kid getting picked on, stick up for them. You might make a new friend who can return the favor sometime, and who also understands what you’re going through.
  4. Never Retaliate – No matter how mean the things a bully says to you are, you should never try to fight them. On top of getting you in trouble or causing someone to be hurt, you’ll be giving the bully exactly what they’re looking for: a reaction.
  5. Don’t Open Messages – Don’t even open emails, texts or Facebook messages from people that you know are bullies. The things inside are bound to be hurtful, and probably untrue. No good will come of reading them, and the people who send those messages won’t be able to get any satisfaction from saying something hurtful if you don’t bother to read it.
  6. Skipping Class is a Bad Idea – It can be very tempting to skip class or pretend to be sick to get out of school to avoid being teased, but it’s not the right solution to the problem. Missing too much school can cause trouble for you and your parents, in addition to making it almost impossible to maintain your grades.
  7. Report and Block – Most social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have “Report” buttons, allowing people to anonymously report messages and posts with harassing content. Reporting these messages and blocking the sender are two of the best ways to prevent online bullying.
  8. It’s Not Your Fault – No matter what you’re being teased about, the behavior of the bullies that are picking on you is not acceptable, and it’s not your fault. Don’t blame or be angry with yourself; understand that the bully is the one with the real problem.
  9. Don’t Be a Bully – It’s easy to take your frustrations about being teased out on other kids by bullying them in turn, but you should never resort to this behavior. It won’t make you feel better about your own situation; it’ll only cause you to feel guilty and make someone else feel as badly as you do when you’re on the receiving end.
  10. Be Proud of Who You Are – Bullies tease people for lots of reasons, but most of them have to do with the way they feel about themselves. Never let a bully’s words make you do or say things you don’t want to, or change who you are. Individuality might cause some people to tease you now, but it will be highly prized in a few years.

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