Anwar Jibawi - How to avoid getting beat up..
How to Avoid Getting Beat Up by a Bully
You wake up, go to school, and next thing you know, a bunch of bullies insult you and shove you around. You feel intimidated. What should you do? Unfortunately, most people have experienced bullying in some form. If you’re concerned about physical violence from a bully, your best bet is to avoid the bully in the first place. When you find yourself being threatened, stand up to your bullies and try to act confident. Don’t become overly angry or upset, and try to get out of the situation and tell a responsible adult what happened as soon as possible.
Avoiding Bullies in Public Places
Avoid the bully or bullies.Many bullies rely on setting up their victims for embarrassment, or hang out in a specific area of the school yard. Look out for places where bullies may congregate (e.g., in a secluded area behind a remote campus building) and avoid these locations.
- If you are not near the bully, you will not become a victim.
Stick with your friends to avoid being trapped by bullies.Be aware of your surroundings and the people you are with. Place yourself around friends who care about you and support you. If necessary, ask them to protect you. If you don’t have many friends at school, try to stay in open, public places if you know bullies are watching you.
- Bullies typically have friends following them and rely on bystanders to look the other way when you’re being bullied.
Make eye contact with an approaching bully.Eye contact is a powerful way to show the bully that you’re confident and not afraid of them.Don’t shift your gaze down or look around as if afraid. Look straight at a bully or—if it’s too difficult—focus on their eyebrows.
- Most bullies will be taken aback by your direct eye contact and will not continue their aggression towards you.
Attempt to leave the situation before a bully attacks.Walk away from the situation with as much calm as you can muster.If the bully pushes or corners you in an attempt to provoke you to fight, then make escape your top priority. Sometimes it helps to back away so you are always facing the bully.
- Most bullies are playing to an audience, and so a crowd may gather if the bully has begun to taunt you. Don’t let the crowd keep you confined; tell them assertively (the louder the better) to let you leave.
Tell a responsible adult that you’ve been bullied.After any experience with a bully, you should tell a trustworthy adult (like a parent or teacher) what has happened.It is their job to make sure you are safe. It is important that you tell adults about the bullying situation as soon as it begins, in case it escalates into something more serious with time.
- Adults can address the bully directly, or speak to the bully’s parents to make sure that the situation doesn’t happen again.
- In other instances, responsible adults will give you good advice to enable you to stand up for yourself. Or, the adults may help you strategize about your problem.
Ask adults for protection.You don’t have to deal with the bullying problem on your own. Explain to your parents and to a trusted teacher that you’re being bullied, and make it clear that you’d like their help. Parents and teachers can talk to the bully’s parents, and explain that their child needs to stop this behavior. Adults can also help you come up with ways to avoid being around the bully.
- For example, ask one of your favorite teachers if you can eat lunch in their classroom to avoid bullies at recess.
- Or, ask one of your parents if they can pick you up right after school, so you’re not bullied while waiting for the bus.
Dissuading Your Bully with Words
Speak to your bully with confidence.Talk assertively and with assurance, and tell the bully to stop harassing you and to leave you alone. Practice this skill in the mirror if you want to be extra convincing. When addressing a bully, it helps to be loud and firm, and look the bully in the eye.
- Say something like, “No, stop it!” or “Hey, why don’t you just leave me alone!”
- Telling the bully to stop harassing you will also draw attention to the situation. If you can’t shake the bully, you might be able to convince the people watching not to be bystanders.
Change the subject to distract the bully.Discharge and redirect the tension that’s feeding a potential fight by changing the subject to something else. You might crack a non-threatening joke or ask a question. Try to keep it relevant to your interactions; you don’t want your tactic to appear too obvious. Say something like:
- “I heard Mr. Peterson was going to supervise recess today. You better leave; you don’t want him to catch you here.”
- “I heard the cafeteria is giving out free tacos with lunch. You’d better hurry if you want to get any.”
- Afterwards, tell a responsible adult that you were bullied and describe what happened.
Persuade your bully to back down and leave you alone.Some bullies can be talked down from a fight. Say something that might deter them from attacking you, or that can draw bystanders’ attention to the bully’s unfair actions. Remember to be assertive and make lots of eye contact.If they don’t seem to listen, you need to walk away. Make sure to tell a responsible adult about it. Try saying something like:
- “Why are you picking on me? This really isn’t fair.”
- “What do you want? I don’t want to fight you.”
- If all else fails, you might appeal to their ego to avoid a fight: “Everyone knows you’ll beat me easily if we fight.”
Stay calm and collected while being bullied.Do not become angry or upset, no matter what bullies do or say. Bullies thrive on getting a dramatic response out of their victims, and will do things to make you upset or angry. If you avoid responding in these ways, the bully will soon realize that they have nothing to gain by harassing you.
- Do not make angry outbursts or cry when bullied. Either response will give the bully exactly what they’re looking for.
Defending Yourself against an Attack
Think about consequences before getting into a fight.Fighting people in real life has consequences. Think about how the bully’s friends and school authorities will react to you afterwards. They may decide to get revenge on you later by attacking you violently, and in large numbers. By fighting back against your bully, you’re running the risk of creating a cycle of escalating violence.
- Fighting may get you into trouble with parents or the authorities. If this happens, your best bet is to explain that you were simply defending yourself from an attacking bully.
- If you are as big or as strong as your bully, you may get blamed for being in the fight.
- If you feel that authority figures (like parents and teachers) will punish you for fighting back, no matter how much you try to explain it to them, fighting back may not be the best option.
Get into a fighting stance.When a fight seems imminent, body language is your best weapon! Crouch down slightly, and put one leg a few inches behind the other for better balance. If you appear serious in defending yourself, the bully will think twice about fighting or physically harassing you.
- Look the bully in the face. Focus on how the bully moves and adjust your position confidently. You are essentially committing yourself to fighting so be prepared to defend yourself.
Don’t lie about your prowess.If you exaggerate how strong, fast, or tough you are, most bullies will take it as an invitation to fight. Stand your ground, face the bully, and let them make the first move. Say something like, “I don’t want to fight you, but if you hit me, I’m going to defend myself.”
- If you boast about your strength or make overly aggressive advances, the bully may begin to target you more frequently and continue the cycle of violence.
Protect yourself from a physical attack.Put your hands up by your face, like a boxer. This will protect your face, especially the nose and eyes. Good sight is important in a fight. Always return to this “ready” position. If you are forced into a confrontation and feel that a fight is going to happen, as a last resort there are several things you can do to protect yourself:
- Tighten your stomach in case the bully tries to punch you there.
- Turn a little sideways so your body is not as big a target.
Defend yourself from a physical attack.If fighting is imminent with a bully, act and fight like you’ve got nothing to lose! Do this only to prevent future bullying, not for revenge. A few fast and hard punches to the stomach or the face should be plenty to stop a bully. Sometimes all you have to do is knock a bully down to the ground.
- Be sure to do it in a public place with witnesses. Even if you get embarrassed or beat up, in the end you’ll have proof you need for the bully to eventually get punished.
- In most cases, it’s best to tell your parents you were attacked. Explain that you were being bullied and that you acted in self-defense.
Resources for Dealing with Bullies
QuestionA bully says mean things to me. Should I say mean things back?
Clinical Social WorkerClinical Social WorkerExpert AnswerSaying mean things back will most likely fuel the situation. If you deflect and just go about your business the bully will likely find another target--where he can get a reaction. Save your energy for your own life, activities, and friends.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if while I'm defending myself I get in trouble?.
Clinical Social WorkerClinical Social WorkerExpert AnswerThis can be a tradeoff. Decide if responding back is important enough to risk getting in trouble. Know the rules of the environment you are in--like school for example. You can always say something like, "I would hit you back, but I know the school rules."Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I'm girl being bullied by a huge group of girls in primary school and get into terrible fights?wikiHow Staff EditorStaff AnswerTell your teacher or school principal. If the bullying problem is larger than a 1-on-1 issue, an authority figure will need to step in and let the group of girls know that they need to stop bullying you.Thanks!
QuestionIf someone bullies me, then says sorry, he is afraid because I pushed him to the ground. What should I do? p.s because I am fat he still kept coming back and bullied me.wikiHow Staff EditorStaff AnswerFighting back may not be the best approach in this case, since the bully didn't seem to be scared off by you pushing him to the ground. Talk to a parent or teacher, and make it clear to the bully that saying "Sorry" isn't enough; the bullying needs to stop altogether.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if you don't want hurt them because you have mercy on them? There are a lot of people I want to beat up but don't want to hurt them too much because I don't want to get in trouble,wikiHow Staff EditorStaff AnswerIf you're tempted to beat people up, or to hurt them in any way, try talking to a school counselor. They'll be able to give you non-violent ways to resolve personal difficulties you may have with people at your school.Thanks!
QuestionWhat to do if a bully holds you above a toilet then drops you in a toilet while it is flushing?wikiHow Staff EditorStaff AnswerFirst, avoid being alone with the bully, or always make sure that you go into a bathroom when it's crowded with many people. Second, tell a parent or other authority figure, like a school teacher.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do you do if the bully has back-up and you're by yourself?wikiHow Staff EditorStaff AnswerAvoid fighting, as you'll almost certainly lose a fight when you're outnumbered. Instead, talk to the bully, and seek help from a parent, teacher, or other adult if one is nearby.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if the bully beats me up because of something I did such as insult him?wikiHow Staff EditorStaff AnswerGiving a verbal insult does not give a bully the right to beat you up. That said, if you know that the bully has a bad temper, avoid deliberately saying things to make him or her angry.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I'm a boy being bullied by a girl and we get into a fight?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerStand your ground and defend yourself if necessary. Once the fight is over, tell a trusted adult immediately. They can help you stop the bullying permanently.Thanks!
- Know your bully and what their intentions are. Are they looking for a cheap laugh or do they want to see you hurt? If they want a cheap laugh, odds are they are no better than you as a fighter.
- Often, you are better deflecting a bully rather than facing them head-on.
- Most bullies aren’t trying to seriously hurt you. However, if you experience more than pushing, wrestling, or a few punches, fight back so you can escape. Your life is in danger if, for example, you receive kicks to the head, are suffocating, or if your attacker has a weapon.
- Understand the limits of self-defense. Its purpose is to stop a bully from physically hurting you. It is not for taking revenge on your bully. You should report every incident when you use self-defense.
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