Admitting to using inappropriate behaviour is a big thing. You can take steps to make sure it doesn't happen again. The following strategies may be helpful:

Take responsibility (click to expand)

  • Accept that others don't like the way you behave
  • Follow the rules about respect and behaviour
  • Work with your school and/or parents to work things out
  • 'Suck it up' and accept any consequences you have been given by the school and/or your parents
  • Accept that the person and their friends may not want to have anything to do with you for a while
  • Learn how to appropriately deal with conflict.

Tell & Stop (click to expand)

  • It may be okay to apologise to the person and reassure them that you will not do it anymore. Don't be surprised if they don't trust you or aren't comfortable to talk with you about it.
  • If they don't want to talk with you, you could try writing them a letter apologising for your behaviour and assuring them that you've learnt and won't behave like that again.
  • Tell a parent or teacher that you have been using bullying behaviours and feel bad about it. Ask them to help you repair the damage you have caused to others.
  • If you were inappropriate online, remove any offensive images or texts.
  • A guidance officer or counsellor may be able to help you to understand why you were using the behaviours and give you some strategies to help you make and keep friends, appropriately deal with conflict and learn about other people's feelings.
  • You could speak to a counsellor at Kids Helpline or talk to others on an online forum. Go to Kids Helpline or call them on 1800 55 1800, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or use the web or email counselling. Go to Helpful websites.

Think about you (click to expand)

Think about how you were interacting with the person.

It is important to understand why you were behaving this way. There is no excuse for the behaviour, but there could be a lot of reasons why you have done this. Did you do it:

  • because you were angry with someone
  • to have control over someone
  • to make your friends laugh
  • to get even with someone
  • because you don't think there is anything wrong with it
  • to stop others bullying you?

If you don't know why, talk to someone about it to help you work it out.

Think about the other person (click to expand)

How might your behaviour be affecting the other person? They may feel:

  • upset or scared
  • that something is wrong with them
  • like they have no friends and that no-one likes them
  • like it is their fault
  • ashamed that this is happening
  • that there's nothing anyone can do to help them
  • that if they report the bullying things could get worse.

Learn about difference (click to expand)

Sometimes we are uncomfortable with difference but it is our responsibility to accept that everyone is different and be respectful of those differences.

If you don't understand why people are the way they are, learn more about differences.

  • To understand more about a person's specific disability ask your special education teacher/coordinator or another teacher at your school about it.
  • To understand more about ethnic related bullying go to headspace .
  • To understand more about identity and gender related bullying go to ReachOut.com
  • Go to Helpful Websites to read more about people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, have a disability, or a different ethnic background from yours, etc.

Helpful Websites (click to expand)

At Kids Helpline you can talk to someone who will listen to you and help you work out what might help.

ReachOut.com has forums to discuss and read about other people's experiences.

headspace has stories you can read about other people's experiences of bullying.