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ATTENTION!!! - How to Stop a Bully.

Make Eye Contact

Cyberbullying has increased dramatically with the rise of internet use. This is because it’s easier to act harshly toward others when you don’t have to face them in person. By looking someone in the eyes, you can confront them with the harshness of what they’re trying to do. You can lower the chances that they’ll follow through with their harsh words. The next time you feel someone trying to intimidate you, try making continuous eye contact with them. It might feel awkward, but it will be worth de-escalating the situation.

Disengage

You can also try leaving the situation or avoiding the bully entirely. As an adult, this can be difficult if they’re a coworker or other person you interact with on a regular basis. But you can try your best to avoid meeting this person in the break room at work. Or try only talk to them when there are other colleagues around. If you can’t always avoid running into them, make a plan of escape. This can involve saying you forgot about an important call you need to make. Have a list of these excuses ready for when you need to get out of a situation with the bully.

Respond with Kindness, Humor, or Apathy

If you have no way of avoiding interactions with the bully, try responding with a different tone. Reacting with kindness is a common tactic for encouraging others to treat you better. You can also try making a joke. This can throw off the individual and show them you aren’t intimidated or affected by what they’re saying. Last, if you struggle to react with kindness or humor, try showing as little emotion as possible. Bullies feel empowered by the response of their victims. But if you’re apathetic and show little response, the bully loses their reason for trying to hurt you in the first place.

Keep a Record

Keeping a record of interactions with the bully is essential for professional situations, such as in the workplace. You may need to remember events exactly as they happened if you decide to report the incidents to your company’s human resources department. While you don’t have to record every word of a conversation, do your best to write down key sentences the bully said to you that caused harm. Make sure to record how you responded as well so you can show your efforts to de-escalate the situation.

Empathy

Finally, use empathy to help yourself feel less hurt or affected by what the bully says to you. Remember that oftentimes people choose to hurt others because they experienced bullying or other traumatic events in their past. This doesn’t justify their actions toward you, but empathizing with them can help you feel less intimidated. You can have a clearer mind and be able to better handle the situation.