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Health Information For Teens
Bullying is when someone is picked on by a person or group. Bullies might make fun of people who they think don’t fit in.
Bullies might make fun of others for many things, including:
Bullying can come in different types:
Bullies often pick on people over and over again. This can make teens:
Both guys and girls can be bullies. Bullies may be:
Many bullies are a lot alike. They:
Some bullies don’t understand normal social emotions like guilt, empathy, compassion, or remorse. These people need help from a mental health professional like a counselor, social worker, psychiatrist, or psychologist.
There are many things that you can do if you’re being bullied or know someone who is. You can:
Tell a trusted adult. Adults in positions of authority, like parents, teachers, or coaches, often can deal with bullying without the bully ever learning how they found out about it.
Ignore the bully and walk away. Bullies like getting a reaction. If you walk away or ignore them, you’re telling them that you don’t care.
Walk tall and hold your head high. Using this type of body language sends a message that you’re not vulnerable.
Don’t get physical. You’re more likely to be hurt and get into trouble if you try to fight a bully. Work out your anger in another way, such as exercising or writing it down (make sure you delete or tear up any emails, posts, letters, or notes you write in anger).
Try to talk to the bully. Try to point out that his or her behavior is serious and harmful. This can work well if you notice that a member of your own group has started to pick on or shun another member.
Practice confidence. Practice ways to respond to the bully verbally or through your behavior. Practice feeling good about yourself (even if you have to fake it at first).
Talk about it. It may help to talk to a guidance counselor, teacher, or friend — anyone who can give you the support you need. Talking can be a good outlet for the fears and frustrations that can build when you’re being bullied.
Find your (true) friends. If you’ve been bullied with rumors or gossip, tell your friends so that they can help you feel safe and secure. Avoid being alone, especially when the bullying is happening a lot.
Stand up for friends and others you see being bullied. Your actions help the victim feel supported and may stop the bullying.
Join your school’s bullying or violence prevention programs. Peer mediation is another way you may be able to work things out with a bully. If your school doesn’t have these programs, start one of your own.
Some people bully to deal with their own feelings of stress, anger, or frustration. Bullies might also have been bullied and now want to show their power by bullying someone else.
If you have bullied someone:
Even though people are different, it’s important to treat everyone with respect.
Just like other kinds of bullying, sexual bullying is intended to hurt, offend, or intimidate another person. Find out how to recognize sexual bullying and harassment and what to do.
Using technology to bully is a problem that’s on the rise. The good news is awareness of how to prevent cyberbullying is growing even faster. See our tips on what to do.
Find out what the experts have to say.
Getting help with emotions or stress is the same as getting help with a medical problem like asthma or diabetes. This article explains how therapy works and how it can help with problems.
The virtual world is full of opportunities to interact with people around the world. It’s also a place where nothing is temporary. Here are some tips for safeguarding your online identity.
In this video, teens talk about their experiences with bullying.
After hearing news of school shootings or other violence, it’s natural for students â no matter how old they are or where they go to school â to worry about whether this type of incident may someday happen to them or their friends.
Whether it’s an everyday issue like schoolwork or an emergency situation, these tips can help you improve communications with your parents and other adults.
Are you on the outside looking in or the inside wanting out? Find out how to deal with cliques in this article for teens.
There’s good stress and bad stress. Find out what’s what and learn practical ways to cope in this article.
If you need mental health care but don’t think you can afford it, you’re not alone. Get tips on finding low-cost or free mental health care in this article for teens.
Whether it’s protecting yourself from hackers or cyberbullies, these tips for teens will help you navigate the digital world safely.
Visit our stress and coping center for advice on how to handle stress, including different stressful situations.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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