Whilst bullying can be common, the effects should never be underestimated.
I was bullied for several years towards the end of high school by one person.
However it led to becoming socially isolated, lonely and affected my self esteem at an important part of my development.
Thankfully the years that followed were positive and enabled me to recover.
Being bullied is emotionally traumatic.
It can affect people’s ability to trust people and make friends.
It can affect people's chances to achieve and thrive.
All of these things can continue into adulthood.
What can help if you are being bullied?
It is important to know it is not your fault.
We are all unique and this is something we should celebrate.
It is okay to feel upset. Retaliation rarely helps.
However bullying is not something you should accept.
So tell someone you trust and get support in how to respond.
Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself.
Be kind to yourself, and do things that make you feel good, relax and make new friends.
How can you help someone who is being bullied?
For me it was helpful to have support and being reminded it won't be forever.
We all need kind words and encouragement, but especially those recovering from bullying or with low self esteem.
If you see someone being bullied, sit, walk, or stand alongside them.
Make it clear to them that bullying is not OK.
Make efforts to include people who tend to get excluded.
Support them to know how best to get help.
For more information search the ‘Anti-Bullying Alliance’, ‘The National Bullying Helpline’ and ‘Mind’.
As a city, lets make it clear that bullying is not OK in our schools, homes or workplaces.
Let’s encourage and walk alongside those who are struggling so that they can emotionally recover, achieve and thrive.