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How to be a friend to someone who is getting: Bullied

Read this if you know someone who is getting bullied and don’t know what to do, even though you would like to help...

It happened to Kriti more than once. Her friends would stop talking whenever they caught sight of her. They would either change the topic or totally end the conversation. She felt weird. She felt isolated. She felt alone. She didn’t let it bother her until she wasn’t called for the school party. While all her girlfriends picked clothes for the party, she sat at home completing Mathematics questions. She wasn’t complaining, but she was sad.

She couldn’t confide in her parents as they were going through a divorce nor could she share it with her younger brother who was too young to understand. What could Kriti do? If you are a friend to a Kriti, there are a couple of routes you can choose to make her feel better.

Reach out

All Kriti wants is to talk to someone she can trust. If you’re in a position to help her, reach out to her. “Many students may not want to take sides, however, there will be a handful that might extend a helpful hand” says Shamin Mehrotra, phychologist from  Ummeed Child Development Centre. She further adds that telling the bullied something as simple as, “it’s not your fault,” will make them feel better. Bullying, she says is often subtle, and these days, often on social media.

Dialogue is key

Friendship is tricky and often adolescents struggle to make and keep friends. Group dynamics change as quickly as the stocks in the trading market. In the midst of bulls and pulls, a teenager who is constantly bullied might crash in a fraction of seconds. But, you can make a positive difference. As a friend you can strike a conversation by saying a casual, “hi” or give them a compliment.

You could also say:

  • Hey, wanna have lunch?
  • You look good today.
  • Its cool, it’ll pass.
  • Lets do a movie?
  • Nice shoes!

What you can say and what you shouldn’t:

  • Avoid asking them how do they feel, rather ask them about their day.
  • Suggest things that they can do together.
  • “You can share anything with me,” is a good way to get them talking.
  • Kriti might not want to talk initially but will not mind your company.
  • She might take time to trust you, so it is imperative to be patient.

You could also address the bully:

  • Distract the bully, by asking him a question or telling him when class starts.
  • Stand next to the person being bullied.
  • Say things like; "Cmon' man, we have better things to do" Or "Leave him alone". You could also say something like, "Pick on someone your own size".

If you have a story to share, Email it to us HERE.

If you have a query, Email it to us HERE.

You can also chat with the counsellor by clicking on Teentalk Expert Chat.

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NEXT STORY


8 times Harry and his friends stood up to their bullies

Read this if you need some inspiration to stand up to a bully...

School is TOUGH! While you meet awesome BFFs, you also encounter a lot of bullies. They can come in any shape, size, gender or religion. They can be your peers, parents or even teachers. However, the good news is that you’ll can empower yourself and show your haters a thing or two, ‘Cos bullying is not acceptable and you should stand up to it.

What better an example than “the chosen one,” or “the boy who lived,” none other than HARRY POTTER! He was mercilessly bullied by the Durseleys especially darling Dudley, then by his classmate Malicious Draco Malfoy and gang, then by his teachers Severe Severus Snape and Sadist Dolores Umbridge. Let’s not even mention he-who-must-not-be-named because his torturous methods will need another article.

But when the haters threatened to kill not just him but also his friends’ happy jive, they struck back. Let’s take inspiration from Harry and his badass group of friends.

When fun for Dudley is torture for Harry. Remember when the huge Duds intentionally jumps on the stairs multiple times to abruptly wake Harry, and then pushes him inside.

Situation: Dudley repeated what he saw – his parents humiliating and threatening Harry. Since Duds was five times as big has Harry, it would be intimidating for the latter to stand up to the former. Bullies often use their size as a bullying tool.

What you can do: Of course confiding in a trusted friend helps you share the load, but you can also have a bit of fun imagining the bully as something weird that will have you in splits. When Harry couldn’t take it anymore, he gave Duds a tail. I mean who’s gonna get intimidated by a pig!

 

When Hermoine tells Malfoy where he can stick the broomstick, he retorts by abusing her in front of literally EEVERYONE! Hermoine is embarrassed and humiliated.

Situation: Bullying is often direct and includes name calling and teasing. Malicious Malfoy uses his social power (do you know who my dad is?) to bully Hermoine, who does not come from a wizard family like Malfoy.

What you can do: Besides having Ron and Harry to witness the incident, Hermoine also confides in Hagrid, whose ability to listen and offer constructive motivation and advice helps Hermione regain her confidence. Don’t be embarrassed to talk about what hurts you!

 

When sinister Tom Marvolo Riddle uses his incredibly knee-weakening influence on timid Ginny Weasley to open the infamously dangerous Chamber of Secrets. Ginny was psychologically and emotionally trapped by Riddle.

Situation: Bullies often recognise their victim’s insecurities and take advantage of their vulnerabilities. Oftentimes, victims do not even realise that they’re being trapped.

What you can do: Ginny did not have anybody to confide in so she threw the diary away. Distance yourself from the abuser and instead of shutting yourself up, try and talk to someone who can understand what you are going through.

When team Malicious Malfoy mocks Harry for fainting on the journey back to Hogwarts because a dementor tried to suck the soul out of him.

Situation: Bullies do not care how the victims feel or what they’re going through. So even though Harry is having vivid  hallucinations about dementors taking his life, it does not stop Malfoy and his friends from mocking him.

What you can do: Since Hermoine was around; she ignored the haters and took Harry away. Remember that bullies are always looking for a reaction of anger or hurt so if you can ignore their taunts, they won’t get what they want.

 

When the bullies have nothing else to do but come up with ideas to pull you down. Exhibit A. After Harry’s success in the Triwizard Tournament, team Malicious Malfoy conjure badges that read, “Potter Stinks” and wear them around to tease Harry.

Situation: Bullies can gang up on a target and pass nasty remarks and rude comments.

What you can do: In reality, pay attention to your body language. Standing firm and tall, breathing normally and maintaining eye contact, all demonstrate confidence and make it less likely for a bully to pursue messing with you. If you feel you are in any physical danger, don’t be afraid to run.

 

When teachers use painful methods for punishment. Presenting Dolores Umbridge and her fifty shades of pink (pleasures).  

Situation: The snotty little pinkball would use the Black Quill (that uses blood as ink) for punishments.

What you can do: While corporal punishment is condemned in India, it happens every single day. The Ministry of Women and Child have put forth guidelines to deal with them. Confide in your parents and seek help HERE. If your parents are the ones physically abusing or bullying you, reach out to our counselling helpline HERE.

 

When peers make up code words and nicknames to cause harm. Like Luna was called Looney!

Situation: Luna Lovegood was constantly called Looney Lovegood and students kept hiding her shoes. She was always non-judgemental to these notorious students because she just didn’t care!

What you can do: Name calling is another form of bullying that can cause embarrassment. You can either choose to ignore it or tell a trusted friend, parent or teacher.

If Harry and his friends can go through all this and still laugh, so can you. If you need more assistance, click HERE.

If you have a story to share, Email it to us HERE.

If you have a query, Email it to us HERE.

You can also chat with the counsellor by clicking on Teentalk Expert Chat.

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