I agree Bullying can cease in under 10 seconds if a bystander intervenes.
This also applies to Covert Bullying, or the spreading of lies and rumours, which is not commonly recognised as covert bullying.
as a community service with the preface
"Just so you know..." or "I thought you should know"
Covert bullies depend on their rumour-spreading going unchallenged, rumours being accepted uncritically, and they almost always are.
But if a bully is challenged, for instance, on the specifics of their rumour, the credibility of the rumour and the covert bully "go to water" very quickly and the covert bully is quickly on the defensive saying things like:
"I didn't mean any harm" "I only said it because. .."
or they may become histrionic or dramatic on being challenged
as their rumour spreading is "not going to plan"
"I’m not sure if my behaviour is harmful.
- I was just joking, I really didn’t mean it.
- I know my behavior is wrong but unless I’m asked to stop – I will probably continue."
Bully Zero Australia Foundation
- Don’t know what to do;
- None of my business;
- Afraid of being next i.e. hurt by the bully;
- Ignoring the situation because it’s not their business;
- Don’t know the victim or perpetrator;
- No further action was taken when they last complained.
- Instigate the bullying by prodding the bully to begin;
- Join in the bullying once it’s begun;
- Follow and actively participate but don’t initiate, which encourages the bullying behaviour;
- Supportive/passive bullies don’t join in but actively and openly support the bullying by watching, laughing, cheering or making comments that further stimulate and encourage the bully, not realizing they are contributing to the problem;
- Passive bystanders provide the audience with the bully thrives on, the silent acceptance allowing them to continue the hurtful behaviour;
- Disengaged onlookers don’t get involved, don’t take a stand, don’t participate actively – say it’s none of their business and wait until someone else takes action;
- Passive defenders dislike the bullying and think they should help but do nothing;
- Defender dislikes the bullying and will try to help by rendering assistance;
- Observers see the bullying and may feel they’re in an unsafe environment.
- Pressure to participate;
- Anxiety about speaking to anyone;
- Powerlessness to stop the bullying;
- Fear of associating with the victim or bully;
- Guilt for not having defended the victim.
- Directly intervene by discouraging the bully, defend the victim, or redirect the situation away from the bullying;
- Seek/get help and rally support from peers to stand up against and report the bullying behaviour;
- Approach the victim to let them know they’re aware of the behaviour and that it’s not acceptable. Support the victim by displaying empathy and validation of their feelings;
- Be a catalyst speak up for the victim by communicating assertive messages;
- Inform the victim that they’re not alone – in most cases bullied individuals don’t have overwhelming feelings of isolation, alienation or loneliness.
- Step in, tell the bully that their behaviour is unacceptable.
- Report their behaviour and actions to a teacher, parent, HR/Employer, colleague, Union or trusted adult.
- Change the culture by standing up against the bully with your peers in a reasonable non-aggressive manner. The power of the bully needs to be taken away thereby dis-empowering them of their inappropriate behaviour.
- Be friendly and approachable to the victim. Providing attention and expressing your support are necessary behaviours that helpful upstanders exhibit.
- Redirect the situation away from the bullying by focusing on other activities.
- Admitting – that your behaviour is inappropriate and hurtful is paramount.
- Take responsibility of your actions and thoughts – acknowledge that your actions and behaviour is not funny and can be viewed as damaging.
- Talk – to your friend, teacher, school or contact Bully Zero Australia Foundation about what is/not bullying or appropriate behaviour.
- Stop and think – apologise to the victim and let them know you acknowledge your wrongdoing and or unacceptable behaviour and that it will not continue.
- Openly talk – to a trusted friend, teacher, colleague, adult or the Foundation for advice, guidance and support.
- Was I angry?
- Do I want power, control, in charge, authority and attention? If so, do I deserve it and why?
- To amuse yourself and others?
- Preemption against bullying toward yourself?
- Is what I’m doing okay and normal?
- Is it because I have experienced bullying, violence at home, school and this is my opportunity for venting or revenge.
- Am I feeling unworthy or unhappy – happy people don’t bully others.
- “Others do it too.”
- Do I envy others and am I jealous of them?
- Why am I behaving as though I’m self centered and don’t care for others?
- I’m not sure if my behaviour is harmful.
- I was just joking, I really didn’t mean it.
- I know my behavior is wrong but unless I’m asked to stop – I will probably continue.
- Upset or scared;
- Alone with no friends or support around them;
- Ashamed or embarrassed about the way they look and feel;
- Confused about not knowing if it’s their fault for being physically, racially, sexually and or emotionally different;
- Reserved as they don’t want others to know, fearing revenge;
- That there is something wrong with them and everyone else is perfect.
- Individuals they perceive as weak and less powerful;
- Shy and passive individuals;
- New students/employees, alone or not in a group;
- Those that perform poorly;
- Gay or lesbian individuals (homophobic bullying);
- Individuals that have noticeable physical differences, disability or impairment;
- Overweight or skinny individuals;
- Individuals from a different religious background, ethnicity or race.
- Often children won’t talk about the bullying situation to parents or teachers – they often don’t show signs.
- Great deal of bullying rarely occurs in front of adults.
- Parents need to actively listen and empower their children to talk about the bullying behaviour and not be afraid to speak their mind.
- Speak openly and honestly, empathize, gather information and facts.
- Break the situation down – but don’t turn a molehill into a big mountain.
- Take notes, record the responses, ask questions: what happened, who is involved, when did it occur, what did you do and who did you speak to?
- Deal with feelings first and reassure your support.
- Try to understand and learn about what is/not bullying and explain expected behaviour and suggest solutions if qualified.
- Early intervention is the best solution. Should you notice symptoms or signs – do something – take action – ask for help if you can’t manage.
- Speak to the child care/kindergarten teacher, school or organisation involved (ask to see their bullying policy).
- Ensure your child develops resilience and empathy by being assertive and having good communication skills.
- Your child should understands the consequences of bullying as perpetrator or victim.
- Don’t add to the problem, stay calm and seek assistance, reassure it’s ok to express feelings.
- Don’t advise or suggest that your child react or retaliate – often bullies will want a reaction. Bullies prefer the victim keep quiet as this is their way of maintaining control.
- Develop your understanding and skills of bullying and social media – often there is a gap between the parents interpretation and understanding to that of their child’s.