Being bullied can make you feel a lot of things. You may notice feelings of loneliness, fear, stress, shame or rejection. It may feel like there’s nothing you can do to make it stop. It’s important to remember that being bullied is not your fault. There’s nothing wrong with you, and you don’t have to go through it alone.

There are lots of reasons why someone might bully others. Reasons can include: 

  • To make themselves popular or to gain attention.
  • Because they’re jealous of you.
  • To look tough or feel powerful.
  • Because they’re being bullied themselves.
  • To escape their own problems.
  • Not understand what they are doing or the impact it has on you. 

Whatever the reasons, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone.

What to do if you’re being bullied?

Being bullied is an absolutely terrible thing to go through, regardless of your age – and the effects can sometimes stay with you for years afterwards. Even after the bullying stops, overcoming the effects of it is one of the hardest things for a person to do.  However, as difficult as it seems, the bullying can be stopped – and these feelings can be overcome.

There’s always something you can do. This includes:

Don’t keep it to yourself

If you’re being bullied, or you think someone you know is being bullied, don’t keep it to yourself and hope it will just ‘go away’.

Sadly, bullying very rarely just stops by itself. You may be feeling embarrassed, isolated and scared, but you need to tell someone you trust. Keeping things to yourself will also just make you feel more stressed, distracted and disengaged. This could be a trusted friend, family member, work colleague or teacher – don’t try and face it alone.

It’s important to remember that being bullied is not your fault.

Don’t give up after telling one person

If you have told someone that you’re being bullied and they haven’t done anything about it, you need to tell someone else. For example, if you’re in school and you tell a teacher or school wellbeing officer about what’s happening or if you are in a workplace and you tell your line manager or HR department, don’t be afraid to ask them what they’re going to do to help you. It is their job to keep you safe. Keep telling people about the bullying until someone does help you.

Keep a record 

If bullying is happening on your phone or the internet, keep messages and posts that hurt you or write down what happened. Serious bullying is a crime and keeping records can help to evidence what you are experiencing.  

Find support

The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re being bullied is that you don’t have to go through it on your own. Keeping it to yourself can mean that the bullying doesn’t stop, and that you continue to feel bad about it.

In extreme bullying situations, you may feel so bad that you have harmful or suicidal thoughts. If this happens to you, make sure that you reach out to triple zero (000) for immediate support. Other telephone support services include: Kids Helpline and Lifeline. They can help you find support and resources to get through this experience.