If you are being tormented by bullies at your school, at work, or online, rest assured that you are not powerless to stop them. Most schools, employers, and online communities and Internet service providers are keen on stopping bullying. You only need to speak up and take action for the bullying to stop. Don’t think for a minute that if you don’t do anything, the bullies will go away. No-it doesn’t work that way. As the old saying goes, ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease.’ In other words, if you speak up and take action, you can fix the problem. Stopping bullying depends on the setting for the bullying.
Bullies are motivated by the fact that the people they victimize don’t raise a stink. If you want your tormentors to stop, you need to stand up to them and look them in the eye. Communicate clearly that you are not going to take their abuse and that you will report them to the right authorities. Spell out the consequences they might face. Typical penalties for bullies include suspension, counseling, or expulsion. Make it clear that you aren’t threatening but spelling out what you will do. If they continue to bully you, follow through. If you don’t follow through on reporting them, they will get only bolder and your misery will just get worse.
If you are being harassed or hazed, give the bullies fair warning by clearly telling them that their behavior is not welcome. If it continues, send an email describing the harassing incident and CC: your immediate supervisor. Bring the cc: to the attention of human resources personnel. Most workplaces are quite scared of potential lawsuits and legal liabilities. By sending a cc: to the immediate supervisors of the bullies as well as letting your job’s personnel/HR department know, you have put them on legal notice. The ball is in their court to investigate the incidents you spelled out in your email and either counsel, reprimand, or terminate the troublemakers. The key to this whole process is clear communication. You have to spell out when the bullying behavior happened. List as many dates as you can remember. Describe the bullying as clearly as possible. What did they say to you? What actions did they take? How did you feel? Where there any witnesses? As much as possible, quote the Human Resources/Personnel manual provisions that cover the bullying behavior. You need to call out HR/Personnel on the matter and follow up.
If you are the target of online bullying or cyberbullying, you need to be aware of the fact that many online forums, social networks, free blogging tools, and even web hosts have policies regarding abusive behavior. The first time you get bullied, don’t jump the gun. Keep calm and take screenshots of the abusive messages. Gather information about the bully or bullies giving you a hard time. Once you have gathered enough information, contact the community support department of the free online resource you are using. This applies to message boards, blogs, forums, and other free places online where people congregate. Just like in the workplace bullying situation, make the details clear and provide screenshots. Usually, free resource sites and services would help you block out the bullies and possibly erase abusive messages. If the bullies are using private hosted blogs to write abusive text about you, you can contact their web hosts about the matter. Many hosts have anti bullying policies and this might lead to your tormentors losing their hosting service.
Make no mistake about it, you don’t have to take bullying lying down. Take the proactive steps above to ensure that bullies that try to mess with you quickly learn the errors of their ways.