Assertiveness Strategies for Bullied Students
Note: Use the following information only with the recommendation of your teacher or counselor and your parents. These strategies should also be used with other strategies to keep you safe.
- Look confident (assertive body language) by standing tall and holding your head up.
- Don’t cry and run off. Instead move closer, turn sideways, and have non-threatening eye contact.
- Keep your facial expressions neutral. Don’t look sad and don’t look angry.
- Hold your arms beside your body. Don’t hold your arms up like you want to fight.
- Make your assertive comment and then walk off confidently.
- Make an assertive statement: With a serious face and a strong but calm voice say, "Stop it!" or say, “This is a waste of my time. I’m out of here.” (walk off confidently) - Or say some other appropriate comment, but do not provoke the student who bullies
- Fogging—(admit the characteristic) soft verbal comebacks. For example, “Allan, you sure are fat.” You could say, “You’re right, I need to lose weight.” (walk off confidently)
- Admit the Obvious—point out that the bully sees the obvious— “Wow! He noticed I have big ears.” (walk off confidently)
- Broken record — repeat “What did you say?” or “That’s your opinion.” or “So.” (Then, walk off confidently)
- Confront bully concerning his/her spreading lies/rumors. (walk off confidently.)
- Expose the ignorance of the student who bullies you. For example, if he is bullying you because of your medical problem or disability, tell him the facts about it. (walk off confidently)
- Give permission to tease– “Well, it’s okay to say what you want. It doesn’t bother me.” (walk off confidently.)
- Use sense of humor (do not make the bully feel like he/she is being laughed at). For example, if the bully says, “You sure do have big ears.” You could say, “I know, sometimes I feel like I am an elephant.” (walk off confidently)
- Make an asset of characteristic. For example, one boy was teased because he lost his hair because of cancer treatments. He said, “Well, I guess Michael Jordan and I are alike, we both don’t have much hair.” (walked off confidently)
- Throw something and run when you are at risk of being hurt or you are in danger.