If you know someone who is engaging in bullying behaviour, it’s important to take action to help them stop. Here are four steps you can take to support someone who is a bully and encourage them to change their behaviour.
1 – Talk to Them. The first step in helping someone who is a bully is to have a conversation with them. It’s important to approach the conversation with empathy and understanding, rather than blame or criticism. Start by expressing your concern for their behaviour and the impact it may be having on others. Listen to their perspective and try to understand why they are behaving in this way. This conversation can help them become aware of their behaviour and encourage them to seek help.
2 – Encourage Them to Seek Professional Help. If the person is open to it, encourage them to seek professional help from a therapist or counsellor. A mental health professional can help them understand the root causes of their bullying behaviour and develop strategies to change their behaviour. They can also provide support and guidance throughout the process.
3 – Teach Them Empathy. Bullying often stems from a lack of empathy and understanding of how their behaviour affects others. Encourage the person to practice empathy by putting themselves in the shoes of the person they are bullying. Help them understand the impact their behaviour is having on others and encourage them to think about how they would feel if they were in the other person’s position. This can help them develop a greater sense of compassion and understanding towards others.
4 – Encourage Positive Behaviour. Finally, it’s important to encourage the person to engage in positive behaviours and activities that can help them develop a sense of self-worth and confidence. Encourage them to participate in activities that they enjoy, such as sports or music, and to develop positive relationships with others. This can help them build a sense of belonging and connection, which can reduce the likelihood of them engaging in bullying behaviour.
In conclusion, helping someone who is a bully requires empathy, understanding, and a commitment to positive change. By having a conversation with them, encouraging them to seek professional help, teaching them empathy, and encouraging positive behaviours, you can support them in changing their behaviour and becoming a more positive member of their community. Remember that change takes time, and it’s important to be patient and supportive throughout the process. Together, we can work towards creating a safe and respectful environment for everyone.
If you are concerned about a child or young person being bullied, please seek help. Speak to a trusted GP, school wellbeing staff, or a helpline such as:
Dolly’s Dream Support Line 0488 881 033
Parentline in your state or territory
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
headspace 1800 650 890
Lifeline 13 11 14