Now that you know what bullying is and you have read about the consequences of bullying, it is time for you to learn if you are a bully. Take this quiz to find out.
Be honest with your answers. Don't worry - we will give you some suggestions to help yourself if you discover you are a bully.
Have you ever...?
- Called someone a name?
- Physically hurt someone (punched, kicked, hit, etc.) on purpose?
- Used your size to hurt or scare other kids?
- Made fun of or criticized others who are different than you?
- Threatened to hurt someone emotionally or physically?
- Taken someone else's belongings without their permission?
- Damaged or destroyed someone's property?
- Said mean comments about someone behind their back?
- Spread rumors or gossiped about someone?
- Whispered secrets to a friend in front of another person and did not share the secret with that person just to hurt their feelings?
- Excluded someone from your group of friends on purpose?
- Given dirty looks or mean gestures to others?
- Told other kids who they can or cannot be friends with?
- Been part of a clique that will not let other kids join their group?
- Felt good about making someone else feel bad?
- Not considered how your words and actions affected others?
- Been bullied yourself and therefore felt that you had the right to bully others?
- Tried to make someone cry?
- Enjoyed making someone feel sad, scared, or left out because of what you said or did to them?
You may also be considered a cyberbully if you are bullying others by using electronic media. You can take a complete cyberbullying quiz at the Stop Cyberbullying website.
If you said yes to several of our questions about bullying, then you are guilty of being a bully! In order to help yourself change your ways, you should first try to think of the reasons WHY you do these things to other kids. Some of your reasons might be any of the following:
- You are jealous of the person you are bullying.
- Someone is bullying you and you are taking it out on others.
- You are worried about something that is happening in your own life at home or at school.
- You are hanging around with other bullies and so you bully others to look cool and to fit in with your group.
- You like the sense of power that bullying gives you.
- You do not have many (or any) friends and feel left out.
- You do not have good self-esteem and do not really like yourself, so you want to make others not like themselves too.
- You are being abused or mistreated by adults in your life.
If any of these things are true for you and if you answered "yes" to any items in the "Are You a Bully?" Quiz, then you need to make some choices that will help yourself. That doesn't mean that you are doomed forever or that you will absolutely have a future filled with criminal behavior.
However, it does mean that you need to do some things to turn your life around now and to get some help for yourself. We promised you some ideas about how to stop your bullying, so read on for lots of good suggestions.
First of all, you need to talk to a school counselor about bullying other kids. If your school doesn't have a counselor, then a teacher, principal, parent, family member, or other trusted adult will work too. Here are some other things that you need to do to get on the "right track."
- Talk to someone to get your feelings out.
- Say "I'm sorry" to all the people you have bullied.
- Try to become friends with your victims and other kids. At first they may be scared because of their past experiences with you, but keep on trying.
- Join extra curricular activities at school, such as student council, clubs, sports teams, etc.
- Join youth clubs or teams in your community and try to make new friends. By getting involved in fun activities with other kids, you will also start to feel good about yourself.
- Try becoming friends with new students at school. They won't even know you were a bully in the past.
- Do some volunteer work in your community.
- Come up with some goals for yourself, such as:
"I will be friendly to Jon today."
"I won't tease Kelly about her clothes."
"I won't take Sean's lunch money."
Another goal could be to try to make at least one new friend. You may think that making goals like these won't help and is a goofy idea, but it really works!
- If you do have friends, ask them to help you out. One thing they could do is tell you to stop anytime they see you bullying another kid.
- Find some good ways to deal with your emotions and problems so that you don't take your bad feelings out on someone else.
- Finally, if you are being mistreated by someone in your life, tell a trusted grownup about it.
Remember that it may not be easy to stop your bullying behavior and to start treating others with respect and kindness. If your bullying has become a habit, it will take time to break that habit. Be patient and take one day at a time. Keep telling yourself that by changing this bad habit now, you will be doing yourself a huge favor in the future. So start doing something about your bullying TODAY - you'll be glad you did!