How can I stop being a bully?

People who bully others often find it hard to ask for help. They may be worried that they’ll get into trouble with their teachers or that they’ll be bullied themselves.

It takes courage to stop being a bully. Just because you’ve been involved in it doesn’t mean you have to continue. Help with bullying is not only available to those who’ve been bullied. Many anti-bullying support groups also help people who are involved in bullying.

Talk to a parent, teacher or an older pupil who you get on well with. If there’s any support system in your school for those who are bullied (such as a teacher who is designated to deal with bullying), they should be able to help you. Some schools have peer-support schemes, where older children are trained to help younger children deal with bullying. Peer-support is usually available to children and young people who say they’re bullies.

If you’re worried about being judged, and don’t want to speak to anyone you know, you can get help anonymously by calling ChildLine on 0800 1111. ChildLine advisers will listen to any child whatever the problem, and give advice.

Why do people bully others?

There are many reasons why people bully others. It may be that they’re unhappy and taking it out on someone else. Many people who bully have low self-esteem, and bullying can be a way of coping with it. In some cases, people who bully are also being bullied themselves.

Others are encouraged by their friends to bully, and do it because they don’t want to be left out. Some people pick on others because they’re looking for attention or because they’re feeling jealous.

What should you do if you see someone being bullied?

If you witness a bullying incident, it’s important to do something. Don’t just walk away and ignore it.

You can tell the bullies to stop doing it, so long as you’re not afraid that it will lead to a confrontation.

The best thing to do is talk to someone, such as a teacher, parent or friend. If you’re worried about doing this, leave an anonymous note for the teacher explaining the situation. Then the teacher will at least be aware of what’s going on.

Where to find more information about bullying

ChildLine 0800 1111

ChildLine is a website and helpline for young people and children. You can call the helpline at any time of day or night to talk about any worries you have. Phone calls are free from landlines and mobiles, and they won’t appear on a phone bill. ChildLine’s website has information and advice on bullying.

GOV.UK bullying advice

The government website has a section on bullying, including information on what to do if you’re bullying someone or you’ve seen someone being bullied.

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Published Date
2009-02-05 12:51:00Z
Last Review Date
2013-06-02 00:00:00Z
Next Review Date
2015-06-02 00:00:00Z
Classification
Bullying advice,ChildLine

Content Supplied by NHS Choices