Warning! 7 Things to Never Do with Bullies

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bully standing over camera threatening physical violence

When targets endure continuous onslaughts of bullying, slow and subtle changes will happen over time. Moreover, they may or may not even be aware of these negative changes until the bullying has gotten out of control. These changes will happen in their self-esteem personalities and body language.

These transformations, although normal when dealing with any type of abuse, can bring about even more bullying and abuse.

Remember that bullies feed off the target’s low self-esteem and once they get even the slightest hint that you’re victim material, the bullying will become a pattern. Therefore, here are 7 things to never do when dealing with bullies:

  1. Defend nor explain yourself.

Any time you defend or explain yourself to a bully, you appear weak to them. Why? Because in your defense or explanation, the hidden subtext is that you feel you must answer to your bully. Consequently, you only give away your power.

Understand that you do not owe anyone an explanation, nor must you go on the defense unless they are your parents, spouse, or boss.

  1. Apologize for anything.

This is not to say that apologizing for a wrong isn’t the right thing to do, because it is. If you know you wronged someone and that someone isn’t a bully, an apology is then necessary. However, a bully does not deserve your apology. Also, bullies see any apology you give as weakness, subjugation, or a way of begging not to be hurt. And they will only use it against you.

  1. Hit the bully first (that is, unless they’re in your face).

Bullies will deliberately provoke you to bait you into hitting them first. The reason they do this is because they either want an excuse to fight you or they want to get you in trouble with a teacher, a supervisor, or police. However, an exception can be made when they get in your face because when they get that close, it usually means that they’re about to physically attack you. Only then should you hit the bully first to protect yourself. In times like this, offense is the best defense.

  1. People-please.

Bullies and their followers only see this as butt-kissing and trying to win approval. Again, they get a thrill out of seeing you bend knee to everyone, and they will use it to their advantage. They will often dangle carrots of acceptance and friendship in front of you, only to pull it back when you reach for it. Never subject yourself to these kinds of mind games.

  1. Stay silent.

Bullies and any type of abusers thrive on your silence. Therefore, when you stay mum about the abuse they subject you to, it will only give them a green light to continue and escalate the abuse. Instead of being quiet about it, report it. The bullies may retaliate, and authorities may not believe you, but you’ve said your piece, and the word is still out. They may not listen to you, but they can never unhear you. Always remember that.

  1. Go where the bullies gather.

Going to or passing through the places you know your bullies hang out is asking for trouble. Therefore, the best thing to do is to avoid those places if you want to keep yourself safe.

  1. Slouch or look down.

Slouching and looking down only signals low self-esteem, submission, and intimidation. These are signals you never want to give off in the presence of bullies and abusers. Remember that bullies are like a pack of wolves, and a pack of wolves will only attack the weakest member of a herd of elk. Again, bullies are the same way. If they perceive even a whiff of weakness, they will prey on it.

Therefore, to avoid looking like bully bait, do the exact opposite of these things. Always be and appear confident!

Here’s a quick summary:
  • A bully is the last person you must answer to. Put simpler, never explain, apologize to, or go on the defense with bullies. You owe them nothing!
  • Instead of apologizing to bullies, say, “you’ll get over it.” It’s the perfect alternative to apology.
  • Stay calm when a bully provokes you. Let them get in your face before you decide to hit them first. And if they hit you first, hit them back. This is not assault, it’s self-defense.
  • Never people-please. Put yourself first and do the things you want to do, not what others want you to do.
  • Instead of staying quiet, speak out about any abuse you suffer and call out your abuser. Understand that when someone violates your boundaries, whether they be physical or psychological, you have every right to talk about it.
  • Avoid the places bullies gather. Instead of passing through their hangout spot or neighborhood on your way to school or work, find a different route and take it. And if the bullies demand that you meet them somewhere to fight, object and don’t go!
  • Stand up straight instead of slouching. Also, keep your head up and look ahead instead of lowering your head and looking down.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

8 thoughts on “Warning! 7 Things to Never Do with Bullies

  1. 80smetalman says:

    Once again, Cherie, these are great points I wish I had known many many years ago. On point six however, if the bullies know you won’t go where they go, they will take it as a sign that they scared you away from going to that place. I remember, in 6th grade, that a bully was giving me a lot of shit during a school basketball game to the point I left. After that, he boasted that he made me leave the game.

  2. CareTrain says:

    To me, the biggest thing is stand your ground. Don’t initiate anything but also don’t back down either. And if you see anyone being bullied online or in person stand up for them. They may be scared or not have the coping skills but someone having their back can do wonders for them and be life changing. And when I say stand up for someone, I don’t care where it is at or who is doing it. I have called out family members before for bullying others.

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