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How NOT to be Bullied

I will be absolutely honest I am going to do my best to help but most of us that are transgender were victims of bullies at some time in our lives and there are a number of pages on this web site with those experiences. I was bullied and I learned to fight but it was a great deal less dangerous when I was growing up than it is now (we will not say how long ago that was J ).

Most of the ideas I will give you involve confronting the bully in some way and if you are in physical danger you are probably better off making like a track star and running. If it is necessary, ditch the things that might slow you down- backpack or what ever. They can be replaced but you cannot! Remember who, what, when and where if there is a need to report this. Schools are required by law to respond to reports of harassment or threats of violence.


Some of my advice is very easy for me to say but will be very hard for you to do successfully. And some of the ideas may just not be you and how you work. There can be situations present that I can not foresee.


First principle- you want to deprive the bully of a reward, and that reward is your reaction to his efforts. If there is no reaction or it falls flat he or she loses. This will however mean the effort on the part of the bully may become stronger so it takes a great deal of effort and perseverance on your part for this to succeed.

Second principle- you want to make it costly for the bully. That can take a number of forms and that can be as simple as getting him or her to realize what it feels like to be bullied.

Third principle- we want to keep it verbal and not let it get to physical because can hurt a great deal more L


My favorite idea on how to not be bullied is by using humor. Laugh at yourself before someone else does; laugh at yourself and maybe no one else likely will. The more secure you become with yourself, as reflected in your frequent laughing at yourself, the harder it is for them to get under your skin.

Humor is a way to enter each other's realities. Humor allows the other person to feel with you; it takes down the caution flags and helps remove barriers to understanding. If done well, it can reveal a truth to some one that they might not see any other way; it can allow the other person to open their mind.

The use of humor in a positive way makes what you say more memorable. It will stick better. When I do presentations to classes I try to do it with some humor, they will remember what I say, and they also know that I do not take myself too seriously. There’s a great similarity between getting a joke and solving a problem. Humor condenses a message and says something worth learning that can last for a lifetime.

One technique that can aide understanding is ‘reframing’; taking what some one has said and repeating it in a different and positive way the use of clever or funny images to cast matters in a different light. This is a very difficult skill to acquire but can be very beneficial.

In these approaches, bullies are not confronted directly, but are made aware of the victim's suffering and asked what they can do to help the situation; this avoids confrontation and denial, and can be useful as a first step.

Other hopefully helpful suggestions:

1) Look and sound confident, maintain a relaxed stance, and don’t appear as if you are ready to run away

2) Use ‘Fogging’, which is the same as the emotional shrug (e.g. ‘perhaps I am’, ‘maybe’ ‘and your point is’) This can be used to counter teasing by taking the sting out of the insult and making a joke of it, e.g. "You smell!" ..............."Yep, that's what my nose is for."

You neither accept the insult nor put the other person down/try to score.

3) Use the ‘Mirroring’ technique; which involves repeating back what has been said; 4) Try the ‘Broken Record’ technique, which involves saying what you want over and over again, "Give me my book.".

Always remember-This is not about winning/being one-up but about safely asserting your rights.

E-mail 4ane...@embarqmail.com  
Last modified: 02/09/09