​​​​I've been called a bully

It doesn't feel good to be called a bully. It means that someone doesn't like the way you behave towards them.

Sometimes you don't know why they think that. But sometimes you do know why.

Other people usually don't like someone who bullies, even if they pretend to like you.

What should I do?

Take steps to make sure it doesn't happen again.

You can ask for help to change your behaviour. You can talk to your parents, teachers or your friends.

Be responsible

If you have been bullying others, telling someone what you have done is a big thing. You are being responsible for what you have done when you:

  • admit to what you have done
  • follow the rules about respect and behaviour
  • accept the consequences you have been given by your school or parents
  • accept that the person you have hurt and their friends may not want to hang out with you for a while
  • learn how to work and play with others.

Think about the other person

Your behaviour has made someone else feel bad. They may feel:

  • upset or scared
  • that they have no friends and no one likes them
  • that it is their fault
  • that no one can help them
  • if they say anything it will get worse.

Apologise and repair the damage

The first thing is to try to make things better with the person you have bullied:

  • apologise to the person you have hurt or made feel bad
  • write them a letter if they don't want to talk to you
  • tell a parent or teacher that you have been unkind to someone and feel bad about it and ask for their help to make things better
  • remove any unkind posts, messages or pictures that you have sent
  • ask the guidance officer or school counsellor to help you learn how to make and keep friends.

Think about your behaviour

Think about how you were acting. What was your face and body showing?

Think about why you acted this way.

Were you:

  • angry with someone
  • wanting to make someone do what you wanted
  • trying to make your friends laugh
  • wanting to get even with someone
  • trying to stop others bullying you?

If you don't know why, talk to a teacher or adult to help you work it out. It is important that you think about how you can change your behaviour.

Get the free Take a Stand Together app for Apple iOS and Android devices to keep this and other info close by.

If you don't think you can talk about this to anyone you know, go to Kids Helpline website or call them on 1800 55 1800. It's a free call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.