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Having someone spread lies and untruths about you online is unfair and wrong. It hurts when the person spreading the lies was or at least pretended to be your friend. Experiencing cyberbullying is also unjust and can leave us feeling anxious and upset every time we go online in case we read comments or see photos the online bully has spread.

Cyberbullying and online harassment can leave us feeling we have no control and nothing we can do. Feeling powerless and helpless can make us feel more anxious and stressed.

4 things we can do to take back our power?

Even though we feel powerless to do anything, it is important to remember; we can do things that help us even before we block or report the person.

1.   Self-talk

When we are being bullied or harassed online, it is easy to think what the person is saying about us is true or believe there is something wrong with us because we are experiencing this harassment and bullying.

Healthy self-talk allows us to think:

  • This is not about me. This is the truth; cyberbullying and harassment say much more about the person doing the bullying than they do about you.
  • Of all the strengths you have and the things you enjoy. As teenagers, we feel there is nothing we are good at because we are comparing ourselves to other people rather than owning our strengths. If you can’t think of your strengths, ask a trusted adult or close friend.

2.   Look to role models

What do the following people all have in common?

Megan Fox, Christian Bale, Mila Kunis, Rihanna, Chris Rock, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift

They all experienced bullying

When we experience bullying, we feel alone. This is what the person doing the bullying wants you to feel. Remember, many popstars, rockstars and film stars have also experienced bullying and used those experiences to help drive their success.

Yes, it is difficult, yes it can be hurtful, and you can look at how your role models have dealt with the bullying and harassment they received.

3.   Shrink the bully

When we experience bullying sometimes, we see the person doing the bullying as larger than life. They become like the incredible hulk in our mind, and we start thinking they have more power and are more significant than they are.

Just like in the film “Honey, I shrunk the kids”, we need to shrink the bully in our minds and see them like a mosquito, small, annoying but not worth allowing them to make us anxious, stressed out and miserable.

Reducing them in our minds allows us to start concentrating on what we enjoy.

4. Do what you enjoy

Never let a person who is being a bully stop you from doing what you enjoy. Spend time, every day, doing what you enjoy. It makes you feel good; it gives you perspective and reminds you, you still have the power to enjoy life.

The other things you can do is to ignore the person or block them from your profile, or if they are becoming threatening and intimidating, report them.