6 Steps for Teens to Overcome Bullying

Learn how to put the past behind you and start fresh


If you have been a target of bullying, recovering from what you experienced may seem challenging but it is worth it. You can not only learn from it, but you also can allow it to strengthen you. The key is that you don’t allow it to define who you are as person.

One way to do that is to recognize that you didn’t deserve to be bullied. Instead, remind yourself that bullies have a choice and the responsibility for bullying belongs squarely on their shoulders.

Here are five more things you can do to help you overcome bullying.

1. Do not embrace victim thinking. It is important that you not see yourself as a victim of bullying but instead as someone who is overcoming the bullying. If you allow yourself to engage in victim thinking, pretty soon you will behave like a victim in other areas of your life too. Recognize and acknowledge what was said or done to you and that is was wrong. But, do not own it. You are more than the bullying you experienced. Be sure you focus on the positive things in your life.

2. Keep toxic people out of your life. When overcoming bullying, it is important to take a close look at your friendships and relationships. Do you have a mean girl as a friend? Are your friends really fake friends? Part of the healing process is ridding your life of people who consistently hurt you with little regard for you as a person. You may need to set boundaries with these friends.

So be prepared if they do not take the hint. Then focus on developing healthy friendships

3. Find emotional support and validation. When you are bullied, it is not uncommon to feel confused, lonely, hopeless, anxious and stressed. These are normal feelings when you have been bullied. What’s more the constant criticism, rumors and gossip can take its toll on your self-esteem.

As a result, it is vital that you find someone to talk to about what you experienced. If there is not a support group in your area for bullied teens, then consider starting one yourself. Or, if you are unable to form a group, consider talking with a counselor, a pastor or another trusted adult. The goal is that you receive some validation for what you have experienced. Remember, it will take time to build up your self-esteem and overall confidence, but it can be done.

4. Reframe your thinking. Many times, people who have been bullied will think non-stop about the bullying they experienced. They relive what was said and done over and over again, replaying it in their mind. If you find yourself obsessing about the bullying you experienced, it is time to make an effort to reframe your thinking. Start by trying to think about things other than what you have gone through. Dwell on the things in your life that have meaning and purpose. And when the thoughts of the bullying creep in, remind yourself that you are not going to think about that today and focus on something else.

5. Make your health a top priority. Targets of bullying deal with a multitude of health issues including everything from stomach issues, headaches and stress to sleeplessness, anxiety and depression. Be sure to tell your parents or your family doctor about any symptoms you are experiencing. Don’t delay in taking care of your health. Ignoring your symptoms can lead to a host of other health issues. Getting well should be your top priority.

6. Focus on a new beginning. Take time to rediscover who you are and what you like. Develop new interests, new hobbies, new goals and new dreams. The key is that you do not want to stay pre-occupied with what happened to you. You need to find a healthy way to start over and put the past behind you.

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