Bullying is when someone keeps doing or saying things to have power over another person.
Some of the ways they bully other people are by: calling them names, saying or writing nasty things about them, leaving them out of activities, not talking to them, threatening them, making them feel uncomfortable or scared, taking or damaging their things, hitting or kicking them, or making them do things they don't want to do.
Have any of these things happened to you? Have you done any of these things to someone else? Really, bullying is wrong behaviour which makes the person being bullied feel afraid or uncomfortable.
Why do some people bully?
There are a lot of reasons why some people bully.
They may see it as a way of being popular, or making themselves look tough and in charge.
Some bullies do it to get attention or things, or to make other people afraid of them. Others might be jealous of the person they are bullying. They may be being bullied themselves.
Some bullies may not even understand how wrong their behaviour is and how it makes the person being bullied feel.
Why are some young people bullied?
Some young people are bullied for no particular reason, but sometimes it's because they are different in some way - perhaps it's the colour of their skin, the way they talk, their size or their name.
Sometimes young people are bullied because they look like they won't stand up for themselves.
Why is bullying harmful?
Some people think bullying is just part of growing up and a way for young people to learn to stick up for themselves. But bullying can make young people feel lonely, unhappy and frightened. It makes them feel unsafe and think there must be something wrong with them. They lose confidence and may not want to go to school any more. It may make them sick.
What can you do if you are being bullied?
Coping with bullying can be difficult, but remember, you are not the problem, the bully is. You have a right to feel safe and secure.
And if you're different in some way, be proud of it! Kia Kaha - stand strong. Spend time with your friends - bullies hardly ever pick on people if they're with others in a group.You've probably already tried ignoring the bully, telling them to stop and walking away whenever the bullying starts.
If someone is bullying you, you should always tell an adult you can trust. This isn't telling tales. You have a right to be safe and adults can do things to get the bullying stopped.
Even if you think you've solved the problem on your own, tell an adult anyway, in case it happens again.
An adult you can trust might be a teacher, school principal, parent, someone from your family or whanau, or a friend's parent. If you find it difficult to talk about being bullied, you might find it easier to write down what's been happening to you and give it to an adult you trust.
What can you do if you see someone else being bullied?
If you see someone else being bullied you should always try to stop it. If you do nothing, you're saying that bullying is okay with you.
It's always best to treat others the way you would like to be treated.
You should show the bully that you think what they're doing is stupid and mean. Help the person being bullied to tell an adult they can trust.
Are you a bully?
Have you ever bullied someone else? Think about why you did it and how you were feeling at the time. If you are sometimes a bully, try to find other ways to make yourself feel good.
Most bullies aren't liked, even if it starts out that way. Remember, it's best to treat others the way you would like to be treated.
For more information:
You can borrow the free video "Stop Bullying", produced by Telecom and the Police, from your local video store.
Telecom has also set up a toll free help line:
Phone toll free 0800 NO BULLY (0800 66 28 55)