PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
Bullies: Are You A Bully?

Are you a bully and don't know it? Maybe you know you're a bully, but don't know how to change your ways? Never fear! Help is here!

How do you know if you are or have ever been a bully? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does it make you feel better to hurt other people or take their things?
  • Are you bigger and stronger than other people your age? Do you sometimes use your size and strength to get your way?
  • Have you been bullied by someone in the past and feel like you have to make up for it by doing the same thing to others?
  • Do you avoid thinking about how other people might feel if you say or do hurtful things to them?

If you have bullied other people, think about why. Think about how or what you were feeling at the time. Think about how you felt afterwards.

How can you stop being a bully?

  • Apologize to people you've bullied, and follow it up by being friendly to them. They may not trust you right away, but eventually they'll see that you're for real.
  • If you're having a hard time feeling good about yourself, explore ways to boost your self-esteem. Pick up a new hobby, do volunteer work, or get involved with a sport.
  • If you feel like you're having trouble controlling your feelings, especially anger, talk to a school counselor about it.

There are many reasons to kick the bully habit. Many bullies grow up into adults who bully their families, friends, and co-workers, causing all sorts of problems with relationships and careers. It's hard to think about the future when you're feeling something here and now, but take a moment to see how your behavior may be laying down some pretty negative groundwork.

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