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How to Respond to a Bully (In the Moment)

Learn What You Can Do To Stop Bullying

Speak Out Against Bullying Here!

No matter what type of bullying you’re experiencing, know that it’s not your fault — and you don’t have to go it alone! There are a lot of adults to help and support you, as well as tech tools like Text 2 Stop It! that can provide you with resources and assistance to stop bullying and cyberbullying. There are also some steps you can take in the moment when you are being bullied. Continue reading to learn more, and if you’re interested in having your school adopt Text 2 Stop It!’s confidential bullying tip line, contact us.

boy walking away from the camera

Walk Away if Possible

If you can remove yourself from the situation, do so. You don’t have to listen or respond to someone who is saying mean things. Calmly walk away and demonstrate that you won’t put up with bullying and harassment. If possible, walk towards other people, like an adult or friends who support you and will help keep you safe from the bully.

all-way stop sign

Say Stop

If it feels safe to do so, say stop in a firm, calm voice to your bully. Be as direct as possible, and use assertive body language. Stand up tall and look the bully in the eye. Don’t try to insult the bully, as it may make them angrier and make them double down on their efforts to bully you.

image of a rock with ‘keep calm’ written on it

Keep Your Cool

It’s challenging, but if possible, keep calm while interacting with your bully. The bully’s goal is to get an emotional response, so do your best to keep your cool and avoid showing them that you’re angry or afraid. Take deep breaths and try to step back from the situation. If possible, calmly say stop and walk away.

girl holding up a hand to say stop

Don't Fight

Most importantly, avoid getting in a verbal or physical fight with your bully. Doing so can escalate and perpetuate the bullying, as well as hurt both of you. The goal is to de-escalate the situation, and fighting can quickly spiral out of control.

Bullying hurts, and it can be extremely hard to respond calmly in a bullying situation. If you or someone you know is a victim of bullying, know that there is help. Reach out to a teacher or a trusted adult, or utilize tools like Text 2 Stop It’s bullying text support line.

Speak Out Against Bullying Here!