Is there an irritating bully making your life a misery every time you step onto the school bus? While you can’t change how that person behaves, you can change the way that you deal with the situation and reduce your exposure to the bullying behavior. Follow these steps to help you to cope with the bus bully.
Don’t make eye contact.
From the moment you step onto the bus to the moment you step off to get to school, just completely ignore the bully. If you make eye contact, he/she may see that as an invitation to start in on you.
Sit in a seat by the window, then have someone you trust sit by you, or squeeze in past someone already sitting on the outer seat, so as to stop the bully sitting next to you.
This puts you in a more hard to reach position and stops the bully from sitting by you. Additionally, you can sit in the middle of a group of friends if possible.
It’s wise to sit as near to the front as possible, so that the driver can witness what the bully is saying/doing so that they can take action. Some buses have video recorders that record what happens on the bus. If your bus has this, use it to your advantage and allow it to capture what the bully is doing to you.
Make plans with your friend(s) to save a seat for you.
It is wise to stick with your friends as much as possible on the school bus, since they can prove valuable in helping you to cope with the bully. Also, it’s nice to have a friend by your side when there’s a bully calling you “dumb” or otherwise being irritating.
If the bully is sitting right behind you and is poking you in the head and/or saying insults, ignore them.
It’s very hard, but if you don’t respond the bully will eventually get bored and stop doing it. After all, the reason that they’re bullying you is to get a reaction!
If your friend is beside you, use the ‘Invisible Bully Conversation’ technique.
If the bully is saying something nasty to you, turn to your friend and ask them a question naturally, right in the middle of what the bully is saying, acting as if the bully is invisible and cannot be heard. Don’t say something like “The weather is nice today, isn’t it?” really loudly and obviously, or even worse, “Don’t you just hate bullies?” Start a conversation as you would normally, and casually say something like “The homework yesterday was really hard, wasn’t it? I think I got question 14b wrong.”
If this fails, reach into your bag and find something to do while the bully is talking.
You can find many goodies in your bag to do, such as homework or a book to read. When the bully is saying or grunting something nasty, bend down and casually pick up a book and start reading, or finish your homework. This is useful because it also makes you absorbed in what you’re doing and you can easily ignore the bully.
Pretend to be asleep.
When the bully is talking, you can pretend to fall asleep and even insert a snore or two. This makes you a pointless target as you’re not listening or watching at all. Just be careful because some bullies will mess with you anyway.
If the bully persists throughout the whole journey, turn around and ask them politely but firmly to cut it out.
Try asking, “Please stop saying nasty things about me, it’s really annoying.” If they still persist, tell them, “If you don’t stop, I will go to the bus driver/teacher/head of school etc.” Don’t be like an immature five-year-old saying “You’re mean, I’m gonna tell”; rather, just say it assertively and firmly. If they say something stupid like “Oh, I’m so scared,” say “Well, you won’t exactly be happy when you get a (form of punishment at your school)” and proceed to ignore him/her from then on. Remember, bullies are cowards so they probably are actually scared or at least unwilling to get in trouble.
Catch the pranks and respond with disdain.
Does the bully always stick out a leg for you to trip up on? Next time they do it/try to do it say ‘Wow. Really? You would sink to that level? What kind of freakish joy do you get from tripping me, (name of bully)?’ Cross your arms, and look the bully in the eye (step 1 doesn’t apply here) and wait patiently for the bully to put his/her leg down. You can even laugh a little and shake your head to show that this pitiful technique of the bully makes you laugh. Use the name of the bully so they realize your talking to them.
When the bully taunts you and calls you mean names, fight back with words!
Just think about Martin Luther King Jr. and his speeches against racism. If they call you dumb or some other dirty name, reply with something witty like, “It takes a dumb one to know a dumb one” or even funnier, “Stop stalking me! It’s creeping me out!” This would be a good technique if they constantly following you. You can use this technique if they are repeatedly bothering you and you are sick of it, or you feel they have crossed the line and you will not let them put you down, but only respond to them once if you must. Ignoring is a far better technique.
Don’t listen to what they say.
They don’t know who you really are! Why should you care about what they say? When someone calls you dumb (lacking intelligence or common sense) how would they know that? They don’t know your test grades. You are yourself and no one can change who you are. Never let bullies trample all over you.
Remember that bullies are just bad, sad people.
They are bad to the core because they take pleasure in being nasty to people, and sad because they spend their lives doing it and they’re probably only doing it because they’re jealous of you or they’re taking out their own problems on someone else. If bullying gets out of hand and makes your life a misery, always tell an adult. It may be hard, but remember this is exactly how you will win against the bully.