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How to Deal with Bullies

Wong Shu Lee  


  May 27, 2021

Did you know that 3 in 10 young people in Malaysia are cyber-bullied every day? According to U-Report Malaysia’s statistics in 2019, 28% out of 6,953 young people in Malaysia polled recently say they have been a victim of online bullying, with 43% of them experiencing it through online games and private messaging and social media apps including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube and Twitter. 


Many people (including but not limited to Malaysians) are cyberbullying without realizing what they are doing. Some choose to openly attack people based on their physical attributes where people set an unrealistic beauty standards — weight limits, skin color, body size and they just basically pick on those who are just different in general. 


Those who are bullied can experience negative physical, social, emotional, academic, and mental health issues. They may experience depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy. Studies also shown that kids who are bullied are more likely to have decreased academic achievement and school participation. They are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school. 


4 in 9 young Malaysians said they know about private online groups that are used to bully others. Only 2 in 7 young people in Malaysia revealed they knew of a helpline to turn to if they are a victim of cyber bullying or online violence. 


What are actions that we can take if we or people around us are being bullied? Here are some: 


Be Confident


Bullies lose their power if you don’t cower. They usually pick on people that they think are weaker than they are, so stand up to them. You might be scared but if you keep standing up to them they'll eventually stop. The more empowered you are, and the more you can help yourself, the better chance you have to stop the bully. 


Stay Connected


Bullies operate by making their victims feel alone and powerless. You’ll regain powers when you make and maintain connections with faithful friends and supportive adults. Bravely talk to trustable friends or adults about your situations. Don't be afraid to let someone know that you are being bullied. There are people who care about you and will help you. 


If you’re being bullied online, the easiest way to deal with it is to stop responding. 


First of all, be sure to save evidence of the cyberbullying. Make screenshots or screen recordings to keep all the evidences. Then, the next step you can do is to block all communications from this person. If the person is attacking you on social networking platforms, report the person or any abusive things they post


Don’t Retaliate


Most bullies are looking for a reaction, so don't give them one. Let’s focus on things and people that you love. Walk away from unpleasant conversations and devote your time to hobbies that can make you feel good. For instance, watch a nice movie, listen to a good music or read a book. 


When you’re bullied, DO NOT: 


  • Think it's your fault. Nobody deserves to be bullied!
  • Fight back or bully a person back
  • Keep it to yourself and just hope the bullying will "go away." Make sure you report the bullying.
  • Be afraid to tell. Telling is NOT tattling! It's the right thing to do!
  • Hurt yourself. Nothing is that hopeless that it can’t be resolved. As painful as bullying is, NOTHING is ever that bad that you should hurt yourself in any way.


No matter what, no one deserved to be bullied. Everyone has the right to live in a safe and violence free atmosphere both at home and at school. If you ever need someone to talk to, the Befrienders are here for you 24/7 at 03-79568145. 


You can also reach out to CyberSecurity Malaysia, Cyber999 via email to cyber999@cybersecurity.my, or SMS to 15888 using the following format: CYBER999 REPORT or the toll-free line at 1-300-88-2999. 


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