Friday, April 14, 2017

How to handle bullying in self defense

Bullying is a very common problem and can leave devastating effects on the victim. If you are the victim of bullying then you are not alone. There are various forms of bullying and many people who suffer because of it. Hopefully, this self defense guide will help you deal with bullying with helpful resources and tips.

Realize it's not your fault - The first step to dealing with bullying is that it's not your fault. There's nothing wrong with you that made you deserve to be bullied. Bullies tend to pick on those whom they suspect won't fight back because they are projecting their own insecurities. 

Don't internalize bullying - Everything that a bully says or does to you says isn't about you. It's a bully acting out his or her internal issues. You might not be able to change your bully's behavior but you can change the way you respond to it. Don't take it personal. Focus on responding with a positive approach instead of delving in self-hate and negativity.         

* Use verbal assertiveness - Being verbally assertive can be a powerful method to getting a bully to stop his or her behavior. There's a huge difference between intimidation and being assertive. Intimidation involves verbal abuse and aggression while assertiveness involves confidently projecting your own viewpoint. Assertiveness demonstrates confidence whereas intimidation does not. Being assertive means standing up for yourself without being aggressive. Demand with confidence and a loud voice words such as "stop!" or "no!" when confronted by a bully.    

* Use non-complementary behavior - The bully will likely use verbal insults, teasing, taunts, mockery, intimidation, etc. to get you to react either in fear or submission. Don't give the bully what he or she wants. Learn how to project confidence in your body language and tone of voice without being submissive or aggressive. Show the bully that you are unaffected by him or her. Engage in behavior that your bully won't expect. 

* Use genuine empathy and listening skills - Be empathetic and express understanding. Chances are the bully is trying to communicate to you in an unhealthy manner. If you want to learn more on how to do that, check out my post "Psychological defense against violent intimidation" (, "how to defuse a fight before it starts in self defense.." (, and "how to defend yourself against verbal insults" ( Practice these skills in the face of verbal abuse from your bully. Don't however make it your responsibility to "save" the bully as your efforts will likely fail because the bully will not want help.  

* Don't engage in violence - Some people like to resolve bullying by engaging in fights after years of verbal abuse. This is often the wrong response. When you are being verbally abused, you should already use verbal self defense to respond then and there. You should not let negative emotions build up until the last minute or you may end up expressing them violently. The consequences of fighting include school suspension or getting beaten by a bully who may be more violent than you. The bully may have weapons or come back with multiple attackers. Violence should be your only last resort when you are being attacked. 

* Get support - Get friends, family, and trusted adults to help you. Never travel alone where you are put one on one with a bully. Having a good support system will give you confidence in dealing with bullying. Bullies hate it when someone has a support system because they tend to target those who are isolated from others. Once you get others involved, the bully will lose power and may leave you alone. Report the bullying to the authorities. 

* Use physical self defense as a last resort - If the bully decides he or she is going to attack you no matter what, you'll need to defend yourself physically. You'll need to be good at reading hostile body language and see an attack coming before you land a knock out hit. If you want to learn more, read "how to end street fights FAST" ( and "how to fight multiple opponents" ( Remember to use the environment to your advantage.            

* Practice self love - Probably one of the most powerful principles in dealing with bullying is engaging in self love. Remind yourself everyday of your strengths and love your imperfections. Bullies will try to change the way you view yourself. If you practice loving yourself on a daily basis, you remove the bully's power and gain confidence in yourself.  

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