Tuesday 17 November 2015


Why do people bully - and how can we make sure we're not victims? Readers share their best advice on staying out of the firing line…

Corrine says:
I think that bullies target people they think are weak or vulnerable in some way. I know I was picked on for a few months when I started a new primary school two years ago, but once I made good friends the teasing faded away. I have seen the same pattern at secondary school. If I have to be around people I know to be bullies, I try to act confident, even if it is just an act, and most of the time they leave me alone.

Beth says:
I was bullied by some boys from our street for a while, when I first got glasses. It really bugged me, because I don't see myself as a victim and I could see the boys were just trying to make themselves look big. One day I'd had enough and yelled a few things back at them, calling them cowards for picking on someone so much younger… they laughed it off, but they haven't bothered me again.

Tania says:
A true bully doesn't need an excuse, they just get a kick from making people feel bad. Bullies targeted my friend because she had what they thought was a posh accent - in fact, it was just a southern accent, not posh at all. We went straight to the teachers and the bullying stopped, but those kids are still in our school so we hang around in a group whenever we can, bullies are cowards and unlikely to pick on a group of kids.

Lucy says:
Some boys in my class were teasing me about my new braces, and someone told my brother who is two years older. He cornered the bullies and told them that if they didn't leave me alone he'd make their lives a misery. Instant result… no more bullies.

Mairi says:
Sometimes, standing up to a bully works but not always. I've had a situation where it just made things worse and things got physical. Be careful… bullies are bad news, and talking to a teacher is the safest and fastest way of dealing with them.

Kathryn says:
I had to change schools because of a bullying situation and I was terrified it would happen in my new school. I went to counselling for six months and my counsellor helped me to rebuild my self-esteem and confidence. It was little things too, like having a confident posture and way of walking, and learning how not to react so easily to teasing. I learned to laugh at myself but also to be assertive and learn when things were going too far. I would say it has changed my life. I wish I had known these things when I was thirteen.

Jade says:
I have been lucky not to be bullied, but I would say that speaking out is the best way to stop a bullying situation. Some bullies might leave you alone if you ignore them or stand up to them, but what if they just move on to find new victims? Unless you speak out the cycle of bullying won't stop.

Picture posed by reader Emily - thank you for the fab and atmospheric picture!

Cathy says:

Some very interesting advice here. I agree with Jade, Mairi and Tania that telling an adult is often the fastest way to stop a bully, but having good self-confidence, as described by Kathryn, is also important.  How would YOU advise readers to avoid being bullied? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

1 comment:

  1. I have been bullied about little things too, but I totally agree with Jade, Mairi and Tania- the best way to stop bullying is tell a teacher you trust.I told my mum and dad, and me and my mum went to the Headmaster. I told him everything and he took notes about the situation. It turns out that there are many forms of bullying- some kinds are obvious to others, and that is when the bully is trying to attract attention, such as when a bully gets a gang together and gang up on you, or laugh at you in front of other people, or in class. Unfortunately, some teachers actually encourage this behaviour, and if this happens, you need to report them immediately. there is a more common form of bullying which has happened to me- it is called Quiet Bullying, and that is when people bully you in a way that others don't notice. This has been happening to me, and I reported it to the Headmaster. Now me and the bully get along fine, and the bullying stopped after a week. You need to speak out! The Bullying Cycle keeps carrying on, spreading from one person to the other, and if you want to save your friends from these situations, tell someone about the bullies and they will deal with them. Please reply to me and I can give you some great advice as, unfortunately, i have plenty of experience with bullies. I am going to start Secondary School soon and I pledge to stand up to any bullies I notice there- everyone can do a little good for this world, and your starting point can be stopping the cycle of bullying and supporting those who have suffered the misery of bullying! PLEASE REPLY TO ME IF YOU NEED ANY ADVICE ON BULLYING OR OTHER PROBLEMS, I AM ALWAYS HERE TO HELP OUT MY WONDERFUL FELLOW CATHY CASSIDY BOOK FANS!




Reader Emily, aged ten, explains how a Cathy Cassidy book inspired her to raise money for a refugee charity... Emily says: The Cathy Cassidy...