What is the definition of bullying?

Bullying is something that 1 in 2 people under 25 will experience in their lifetime.

There is no singular definition of bullying because it comes in all shapes, sizes and subtleties. Despite the varied nature of bullying, here are a few things you should know that will help you identify it, and hopefully understand it a little better.

Understanding bullying

No one is born a bully – true story. Bullying is a learnt behaviour and not an innate characteristic of anyone. According to Ditch the Label research, there are lots of reasons why people bully and these are explored further in Why People Bully, The Scientific Reasons.

The dictionary definition of bullying is “the use of strength or power to frighten or hurt weaker people.” This is not a very nice definition if you ask us and completely inaccurate. First things first, being bullied does not mean that you are weak.

What’s more, this definition doesn’t account for many facets of bullying such as online abuse, subtle bullying within friendships such as manipulation, intimidation and social exclusion, as well as indirect bullying such as the spreading of harmful rumours, be it online or elsewhere.

Persistence is key

Another important thing to note is that for something to qualify as bullying – it is persistent. A one-off comment made about your appearance is hurtful and horrible to have to go through but a common factor of bullying is that it is a regular and persistent occurrence that takes place over time.

Are you in denial?

“I’m probably overreacting?”
“I’m just being over-sensitive”
“It will probably stop soon”

Sound familiar? Well, these are all things we tell ourselves when we are in denial. We somehow coast through life thinking, “yeah bullying sucks but it can’t happen to me…” then it does and it hurts, so we ignore it or pretend that it’s nothing.

Denial is a trick to make us think that everything is fine, even when it’s not. The first step to overcoming bullying is to acknowledge the fact that you are being bullied. This can sometimes be the hardest part: no one wants to admit that their ‘friends’ are bullying them.

How bullying makes you feel

The best way to determine whether you are being bullied is to analyse how it makes you feel and if it makes you feel low, unhappy, worried, frightened or stressed on a regular basis. Take the Ditch the Label quiz if you’re still unsure about whether or not you’re being bullied:


I’m being bullied – what should I do?

The most important thing you can do when being bullied to protect yourself is to talk about it.

Start by joining the Ditch the Label Support Community to speak to a digital mentor and take the first steps to overcome bullying. You will be met by understanding and non judgemental advice and support.

Alternatively, pick a friend who you trust, a family member or teacher and tell them what’s been going on. Don’t forget to tell them how it makes you feel and how long it’s been going on.

If you don’t feel like talking right now, that’s OK – check out some of these resources that have helped thousands of people overcome bullying…


Are you bullying someone?

Statistically speaking, those who experience bullying are likely to go on and bully other people. The very best way to overcome bullying once and for all is to understand those who bully and the reasons behind why they do it.

By showing compassion towards those who bully, no matter how hard that might seem at the time, we can truly overcome bullying. Read this to find out more…

Not only do we work closely with those who are being bullied, but we are also determined to help those who are doing the bullying. If that’s you, have a browse through the resources below for information on how to stop:


We can help

The most important thing to remember if you’re being bullied or if you are bullying someone else is that you are not alone and we are here for you


We caught up with singer-songwriter Sody on her new single, her experiences of bullying and what the future holds for her. Check out her new single The Bully on Spotify, YouTube, iTunes and Apple Music.

Hey Sody, Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hey! I’m Sody, my real name is Sophie, and I’m a recording artist and songwriter. I am 18, from West London and a Netflix addict with an obsession for cheese. I’m quite strong minded and try to write music that is raw and relatable that is directly about my personal experiences.

Were you bullied at school?

I first experienced bullying in year 7 and 8 by various people in different year groups because I had acne. I remember so clearly a boy in the year above me called me ‘volcano head’ which made me so insecure. I tried to cover it up with makeup but that would only make my skin worse. I would sweat in class for fear people were staring at my face and neck. It was a horrible time and I felt disgusting.

I was lucky enough to go on a tablet which cleared up all my spots and it felt so good to come back into school at the beginning of year 9 with clear skin and newly dyed hair – I was now a platinum blonde. But the bullying didn’t stop there as that’s when I released music as ‘Sody’, and people found a new reason to tease me.

Album artwork for the song The Bully by Sody


You have just released your new single, how does it feel? What inspired the song?

It does feel good but I was also incredibly anxious and nervous to release ‘The Bully’. We all want to feel popular because somehow we think that brings worth and so telling the world that actually you don’t have a cool friendship group is quite scary.

Society seems to think that only certain people are likely to be bullied but the truth is anyone, anywhere, can be bullied, whether that’s at school, at work or at home. I felt so strongly about telling other people what happened to me at school in the hope they realise they’re not alone!

What are your experiences of bullying?

My experiences have been in person and online. Sometimes, people were upfront with the bullying, other times it would be through leaving me out and ignoring my existence, groups of people taunting me and of course via social media. People in my school would also encourage students at other schools to dislike me too, so I had no chance of going anywhere else and starting over.

About 6 months after I had left that school, I was invited to go back to the annual rugby match that students and alumni could go to. I knew in my heart that I shouldn’t have gone but if I’m honest I still wanted to believe there was a chance I could be friends with some of them, and a couple of girls had told me how excited they were to see me.

However, when I arrived, some of the girls were saying ‘why the f*&k is she here’, one girl said that she wanted to stamp on my face, and people were chanting ‘Sody, Sody, Sody.’ because they knew it bothered me when they didn’t call me Sophie.

To cut a long story short, I ended up leaving the after party after I was publicly humiliated by a bunch of girls who used to bully me at school. They were screaming at me that everyone hated me, that I wasn’t welcome to these events and I should just ‘f*&k off’ out of everyone’s lives. One girl even filmed it and posted it on Snapchat. No one stood up for me, so I left. But then about 50 people followed me out the door, laughing as I jumped into a taxi. I felt so alone, embarrassed, ashamed and I was truly devastated.

Portrait of Sody in a yellow jumper


How have you overcome that? How has your experience shaped you?

I overcame bullying by going to therapy and by finding an outlet. At first, I believed it was all my fault and that I was the problem. But you shouldn’t have to change who you are for anybody and I needed someone to tell me that. It definitely has shaped me into the woman I am today. All I know is that I want people to be aware of how harmful their words can be.

I put on this hard front but I was so broken because I didn’t have a friend I could talk to, ever. I still don’t have a best friend from my school days. It’s important to remember that it’s okay to not have found ‘your people’ in school as it’s just a bubble and when you leave school there are so many other people out there. I just had to keep reminding myself that there is so much more to life that what I was going through at the time. Music saved me!

We saw on your social media that you have been going around schools to talk about bullying – what drove you to do that?

I felt alone when I was being bullied. Yes, I had family around me which was a huge help but I wished there was someone my age who could understand what it felt like. I know there are many artists who have opened up about their experiences later in their careers but I really wanted to do this whilst it was so recent and raw. I feel like right now I am in the best position to speak to other young people about this stuff because I’m so close in age to them.

Sody sitting on the floor with white trainers and pink trousers


If you could any young person who is going through bullying right now any advice, what would it be?

Don’t keep it bottled up. Tell someone. It’s so hard, I know, but it will get better. Find an outlet and make sure something that makes you happy and stimulates you. Sing, go for a run, paint, bake a cake or write a poem — just do something that takes your mind away from those people and the stuff you are having to deal with. And, put your phone away! I realised that was a huge part of my unhappiness and once I separated myself from it, I felt better.

It’s such an exciting time for you right now – how are you feeling about the future?

Well I’m actually just about to go travelling around Europe for 3 weeks so I’m excited to experience new things and meet new people. Also, to take some time off from social media and just live in the moment. When I’m back I have a super busy schedule including a writing trip to LA, more music releases and my headline show on Monday 20th May at The Waiting Room in London. There’s a lot to be excited about right now!

You can check out Sody’s video for The Bully below!


Let’s destroy the stigma that comes with the word “bullied.” It can happen to anyone, by anyone, anywhere – for any reason. Bullying can be faceless and consequently, you may or may not know you are being bullied.

For this reason, being bullied by someone you consider a friend can be a real blind spot for most of us; it’s harder to detect, subtle in nature and can take a while to get our attention. After all, they’re a friend – right?

Here’s what you can do if you’re being bullied by a friend…

Don’t laugh it off.

Nobody wants to be that friend that can’t take a joke so part of the problem is we laugh along with them when a joke is made at our expense as a way of diffusing the awkwardness and tension. But the major downside is your laughter will give the impression that you’re cool with the mean jokes. You are 100% allowed to not find something funny and tell your friend. The reason it feels hard is we can’t control other people’s reactions so the fear lies behind not knowing how they will react.

We need to talk.

Try being honest with your friend and let them know how they have made you feel. Make sure you have the conversation somewhere private where you won’t be interrupted.

The best advice is to be direct, keep it short and stick with how it makes you feel instead of blaming them. If they are genuinely apologetic they will make an effort to tone it down. If not, it is likely they will get defensive and deny doing anything to hurt your feelings. Whatever the outcome, what matters is you have said something and taken action.

Stand up for yourself.

Easier said than done when it comes to our friends being the ones that are giving you a hard time. But the bottom line is that this will not be the last time you have to stand up for yourself and so you might as well start getting good at it now. One of the best things I ever did was learning how to speak up when it matters, its nobody else’s responsibility to say what’s not okay for you, but your own.

Know when to walk away.

This is rarely an easy call to make especially with old friends or if we have put all our eggs in one basket. Think twice about friendships where you feel criticized, ignored, gossiped about, judged, manipulated, made fun of or left out.

It’s not me it’s you.

It can be a scary prospect standing up for yourself or walking away from somebody who you considered a friend but your esteem and integrity are much more important than trying to keep somebody happy who doesn’t give a damn about you. If you’re unsure if they really are your friend have a read of this article.

Don’t ignore your feelings.

Don’t ignore your feelings when someone makes you feel bad about yourself. Do you have any friends that after spending time together you feel worse than you did before? Do you feel nervous around them because you don’t know what they are going to say or do? Bullying affects our overall happiness and confidence. So we must check in with ourselves and not ignore our emotions. The worse the bullying gets – the worse we begin to feel. A friend makes you feel happy, liked, appreciated and confident.

If you would prefer our easier to read version, please click here

If you are being bullied, you do not need to go through it alone. If you ever need help, Ditch the Label are here for you. You can join our community here.

Tell us a bit about yourself 

‘I’m a model and body acceptance activist. I first began using my Instagram in 2017 as a platform to talk about the human body and body acceptance. From this, I was noticed by Leyah Shanks from The Body Confidence Revolution, as well as numerous other influential charities and public figures. I have been working closely with organisations that focus on getting to know the body and understanding its importance, rather than its limitations.

Modelling is a huge passion of mine, but working with women is my purpose. Supplying them with the tools they need to be happy and healthy in their bodies, as well as knowing when to speak up and ask for what they deserve, is very important to me.’

So you’ve always spoken about body acceptance? 

‘Since I was about twenty, I’ve been passionate about the human body. Our bodies are incredible. It’s appalling that we are in 2019 and people are still spending so much time and effort thinking about their bodies, wishing they could change this or that. It’s a scandal perpetuated by a greedy industry. So many strong and powerful women are beating themselves up every day about how they look.

I grew up hating myself and learning other people’s hate for my body, so it has been a long journey, but it had been one of the most powerful experiences. It has set me free.’

How did you grow your confidence in your body? 

‘Strangely, one of the most influential forces came from my dog. The shelter that I rescued him from was closing down and so I decided to run a race to raise money for it. I went from couch to half marathon in 10 weeks. It was through that that I really began to realise the power of my body and what it could do. 

I have recently signed up to run the Vitality 10k in London in May, which I am really excited about, because I get to run in my undies past Big Ben and no one can stop me.’



What do you love about the body positive movement? 

‘I actually use ‘body acceptance’ more than the term ‘body positivity,’ because for me it is coming more from a place of accepting who you are. Body positivity is a movement made by and for fat women, so it’s important to differentiate between the two. Body acceptance is about being happy and learning to love your body. For example, I’m working with women who have breast cancer and finding out how they perform self love and body acceptance even when they feel like their bodies have turned against them.

I love the body acceptance movement because I am part of this amazing group of wonderful, powerful, amazingly supportive women who look out for each other. That’s amazing. They’re amazing.’

You’ve also spoken a lot about online sexual harassment – what have been your experiences? 

‘Online sexual harassment is a form of online bullying, but no one sees it that way. Comments and DMs, unsolicited dick pics, links to porn videos – I receive them all and it is every single day without fail. Sadly, it is so often met with “well you’re asking for it if you post that kind of content.” My stance is this: How I present my body to the world is my choice, and people have no right to force their sexual desires onto me without my consent. It is harassment and it is bullying. 

I tend to decline this kind of stuff straight away. The intention of these messages is to reduce me to a sexual fantasy. It takes me back to when I was a teenager and would get leered at and catcalled in the street by men or the moments in my life where I have been groped and touched without my consent. I find it can be quite triggering, particularly on a bad day.’ 

What do you do to combat this kind of harassment? 

‘There is a lot of deleting and blocking. If someone is following me just to objectify me, I don’t want them on my page. Instagram also doesn’t tend to be very effective at getting rid of cyberbullies. I also get a lot of (guys especially) saying things like “Why do you feel the need to put your body on the internet?” This is frustrating because I can tell they’re trying to psychoanalyse me and get me to admit I have some darker issues that I’m working through. I don’t. I’m very proud of my body and I have no shame in it. We need to normalise nudity because sexualising it has gotten women into a lot of trouble. It’s made us into objects and fantasies, rather than people.

A lot of people would say that I should just ignore them and not let it get to me, but that’s not the point. The point is that calling them out on this kind of thing in a public space could teach them something about respecting women. But perhaps also, a young girl or woman on my page will see me standing up for myself and know that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable, and that it’s okay to use their voices against bullies who try to diminish them.’



Do you have advice on dealing with online harassment for young girls? 

‘There is always the option to block and ignore it. But I think the focus needs to be on giving them the tools and knowledge in understanding that their bodies are not sexual assets and these things that are being said to them aren’t anything to do with them. Online sexual harassment is a result of how women have been presented to the world, and how that has been absorbed by some of the men in our society. These fantasies and illusions that are projected on you are not your fault. You are allowed to be sexual and enjoy your body without being punished for it. You don’t deserve to be treated badly. Men treat me badly online everyday, I can’t stop them from doing that. But I can arm myself with the understanding that it is not my fault. 

In some cases unfortunately, this won’t work, and it can escalate. Like for me, I have regularly experienced rape and death threats on my page and in my DMs.  There was one occasion when a guy started out with a really harmless message and it escalated really quickly into messages about wanting to kill me, about knowing where I lived and that he was going to kidnap and murder me. When things start to escalate like this, the only thing you can do is call the police, just to be on the safe side.

I would say to anyone experiencing any kind of online harassment is that it is important to find your ‘sisterhood’ or ‘brotherhood’, because they will support you. Whether that means your friends or family or an online community of people – it is important to find those who give you strength. Bullying can make you feel so isolated, so find your army.’

Finally, why did you want to work with us here at Ditch the Label? 

‘Ditch the Label and me work wonderfully as a team because I help highlight all of the root causes of harassment like toxic masculinity, transphobia, homophobia etc. and Ditch the Label helps the victims of those affected by these issues. We can’t solve one without the other. Education is first and foremost. Whilst we have to teach some how to be better people and identify the root causes of their ignorance, we also have to give strength and support to those affected by online bullying. We can do this. We will fight for each other.’

To keep up with Jessica and all of her awesome activism, follow her Instagram @jess_megan_

For hilarious memes, cute pics and inspirational quotes every day, follow us on Instagram @ditchthelabel

Probably everyone at some point has thought about the possibility of making money from gaming at some point in their life. Maybe it was when you were 10 and mastering your Game Boy, or maybe you are deep in Twitch streams every day after class now. If you game frequently though, you know there are always ways to get better. That’s why we have put together a little list of tips for making the fastest improvements to your gaming. 

Just before we start the list, make sure you keep an eye out for our tournaments with Lt. LickMe and UMG. We run them every month, so get Twitch at the ready because we will be streaming alongside some epic players raising awareness about cyberbullying in games. 

1) Team work makes the dream work 

It may be a very obvious thing to day, but if you’re game of choice is a team game, communication is the key to success. Always make sure you are updating others on your location, planning tactics or calling for the ball (#RocketLeagueForever) as well as letting the rest of your team know what the opposition are up to.

Just make sure you are staying on the right side of the rule book – Fortnite publishers Epic are anti-teaming in a solo game of Battle Royale and have said they will be cracking down on those who take on the 100 in illegal teams so make sure you are playing by the rules before creating a squad.

 

2) Play by the rules 

There has been a lot of talk recently about the level of cheating in online gaming. Whilst it might seem tempting as a quick way to rise through the ranks of your online opponents, cheating is a big risk. Apex Legends just banned 350,000 players for cheating in the game, and publishers Respawn can track hardware ID to ensure you can’t just start a new account with a new email. Plus, it’s not just them – other publishers are cracking down on the use of cheating apps and tactics. Basically, don’t do it – or you’ll get banned at some point. And you can’t improve on your gaming with no game to do it in. 

 

3) Take it from the pros

It’s true in any sport ever – you learn from people who are better than you at the game. So put the controller down and hit up Twitch, YouTube, and Reddit. If your pals are better, take some pointers from them after they have had a particularly good run. It all adds up! Also, if you can, get yourself down to a gaming expo or convention – these events are full of brands, publishers, developers and pro gamers who are literally waiting to share their advice, challenge you to tournaments and let you try new games. All of this experience is sure to add to your gameplay. 

 

4) Replay Replay Replay

If someone has owned you with a kill only Shroud could dream of, don’t take it personally. In fact, watch the action replays of how they managed it. That was you can see what you did wrong and what they did right so that you aren’t making the same mistakes twice, and steal their tactics for next time. You’ll soon have a streak to die for (not you though – you are too good to die now).

 

5) Cut the toxicity 

We’ve all heard a lot about toxic gaming lately. But it is true that cutting some of this behaviour, or removing yourself from a match that is full of it, will definitely help to improve your game play. Insulting, abusive language, cheating, blaming every bad move on other players – if you are filling up your game time with all of this then how are you ever going to get better? Plus, if you are around it all the time, the game quickly becomes way less fun than before. So cut out the toxic behaviour from your gaming, whether it is you or others who are doing it, and start focussing on other things. 

 

6) Explore 

It might sound obvious, but remember to have fun whilst you are playing. Explore new maps, worm out those elusive Easter Eggs you heard about on Twitter, play a round just with your buddies for the LOLs. Taking it all too seriously is a sure fire way to get worked up, and anger never helped anyone to win a game of Battle Royale. This is a great way to reset any toxic behaviour and get your gaming back to having fun. Remember – if it’s fun, the hours you spend getting better will go by in no time. 

 

For great content, daily inspiration, influencer takeovers, cute pics and loads more, follow us on Instagram @ditchthelabel

If you or someone you know is experiencing cyberbullying, join the Ditch the Label community here and we will help.

Woman on phone in field

We all spend a ridiculous amount of time online. With the internet in your pocket, in school, at work and at home, it is impossible to escape it. That’s why being bullied online can be absolutely shit, and can make it feel impossible to live your life. We have put together this Ultimate Guide – so you can understand everything you need to know about cyberbullying and where you can get help if you need it. 

What Is Cyberbullying?

In our research, we found that 7 in 10 young people experience cyberbullying in some form before they hit the age of 18. This is obviously a huge number of you. So first, let’s take a look at what cyberbullying actually is. 

We define cyberbullying as the following: 

“Cyberbullying is the use of digital technologies with an intent to offend, humiliate, threaten, harass or abuse somebody.”

Anybody can suffer the effects of cyberbullying, regardless of age, gender, income or occupation. For example, the kind of harassment experienced by many celebrities and public figures on social media every day counts as cyberbullying, as well as nasty messages that work their way into your Whatsapp or the mean photos that no one will take down from Instagram. It all counts.  

If you have lived through or are living through cyberbullying, you know how crap it can make your life. That’s why the most important thing is to know how to deal with it effectively and what the law says about it. 


What Does The Law Say?

Though no laws specifically apply to cyberbullying alone, there are several laws which can be applied in cyberbullying cases:

  • Protection from Harassment Act 1997
  • Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994
  • Malicious Communications Act 1988
  • Communications Act 2003
  • Breach of the Peace (Scotland)
  • Defamation Act 2013

In 2012 The Crown Prosecution Service published guidelines on how cyberbullying cases would be assessed against current laws, which you can find here.

On January 1st 2014 the Defamation Act 2013 came into order and can be read here.

Get the Facts

Want to know more? Have a read through our past research papers to get an idea of the stats around bullying, cyberbullying and other related issues from the last 5 years…


Social Media etc.

What Does it Look Like?

Cyberbullying on social media come in all shapes and sizes. Some examples include sending or posting threatening or abusive messages both publicly and in direct messages, hate speech and discrimination and offensive photo or video content. 

Reporting It

FACEBOOK

How to report and remove a post

  • On the post that you want to report/remove, click on the arrow icon in the top right-hand side and select I don’t like this post.
  • When the window pops open just click the appropriate reason for removing the post.
  • Then you are given the options on how to proceed. You are given plenty of options to choose from.
  • Once you have gone through this short process, you will have several options on how to proceed including blocking the person who made the original post and making a complaint to Facebook.

Blocking a User

  • You can still block users by going to their Facebook page. Once on their profile page go to the top right corner and click on the button to the right of the messages button.
  • You now have the option to report or block them.

Dealing with Abusive Messages

  • If you are using the chat box then click on the options logo in the right corner followed by Report as Spam or Abuse…
  • If you are in your inbox, select the message that you want to get rid of or report from the left-hand column by clicking on it.
  • Click on Actions at the top of your screen and select Report as Spam or Abuse…
  • Three options will appear so just click on the one that is appropriate.

TWITTER

Blocking a user through a Tweet

  • On the tweet that you want to block, click on the more (…) icon at the bottom of the Tweet and click Block.

Blocking a user through a profile

  • Go to the profile page of the user you want to block.
  • Click on the options icon next to the follow button and select block. You can also report users by completing these same steps.

INSTAGRAM

Reporting Content or a User

  • Click on the options arrow either on a post or the users profile and click report.

Online gaming 

What does it look like?

Our research found that 50% of you have experienced cyberbullying at least once when gaming online with other people. But, it is not always clear how to report it, or if there is even anything you can do about it. 

Bullying in an online game can include harassing someone or repeatedly targeting them, sending threatening or abusive messages in chat, or even having an offensive player name.

Reporting in an online game 

Every game and every publisher will have its own reporting method and this will vary. Usually, you can find the reporting method with a quick Google search, on the website of the game or publisher and in online forums. You can find out guide to bullying in Fortnite here


Report It To Us

Did you know you can report cyberbullying to us and we’ll get it sorted?


Get Help

Cyberbullying can be really tough to deal with. If you feel at any time you need support or advice on cyberbullying, or anything else that might be bothering you, reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.

You might be more concerned about the rate you can build ramps or running from someone who has got their hands on a SCAR, but one thing you might not think about in Fortnite is what to do when someone does you dirty.

About 50% of you have experienced cyberbullying in a game, so we want to make sure you know all the ins and outs of what’s OK, what’s not and how to report someone in a game. So throw out a Boogie Bomb because Fortnite is going to be even more fun knowing the haters can’t hate.


Why Report Someone? 

According to Epic Games who make Fortnite, any breach of the code of conduct can be a reason to report another player, and possibly get them banned. These include:

Abusive language
Using threats, discriminatory language or hate speech counts as abusive language, as does offensive player user names. 

Harassment
This can include targeting specific players by making their game play unnecessarily difficult, or their time in the game uncomfortable. This might be constantly attacking only them, following them around the game, encouraging others to team up against them and more.

Breaking the game rules
Epic have started to crack down on players who team up in single player mode to get further in the game. Also exploiting bugs and glitches, impersonating others, and regularly going AFK all fall into this category. 

How Do I Report Someone in Fortnite?

Reporting in Fortnite Battle Royale: Select menu icon > Select ‘feedback’ > Select Player > Enter player’s display name in the ‘Player Name’ field > Click ‘Category’ > Select reasons why you are reporting > Write down as much detail as you can in the text field > Select ‘End’

Quick guide to reporting another player in Fortnite Battle Royale

Reporting in Fortnite Save The World: Select menu icon > Select ‘Report Player’ > Select the player’s name you want to report > Select the reason for the report from the options > Optional – you can add additional information here > Select ‘Send Report’

Quick guide to reporting another player in Fortnite Save the World

What Else Can You Do?

When the haters got you down, it can be easy to feel like what you once found fun… just isn’t anymore. That’s why we’ve put together a few tips to get you back in the game and ruling Tilted Towers once again. 

 

 


1. Try Not to Get Angry

We know that it isn’t always easy to walk away, but responding in anger can often make a bad situation worse. You could try challenging the behaviour, not the person – so instead of accusing the person of being a ‘bully’, explain why their actions or words are causing you distress. For example, instead of saying “you’re upsetting me”, you could say “what you said/did has upset me”. 

Unfortunately, some people troll to actively try to upset other players and they are aware that their behaviour is having a negative impact on you. In these cases, try to walk away from the situation. Why not quit and start a new game where they won’t be present? At least then you could have a few decent runs without any haters in your way. 

2. Don’t Seek Revenge

It’s what our Mums always said to us in primary school, but treat others as you would like to be treated. By seeking revenge on someone who has done you wrong, you will not only soon find yourself in a circle of online bullying, but you might end up in trouble with moderators yourself. Be the bigger person and follow the rules of reporting to resolve the situation.

3. Keep a Record

Keeping a record of every time you have faced harassment or abuse in a game is your proof for later. Whilst the reporting system in Fortnite doesn’t allow for screenshot or video uploads quite yet, keeping a record of it is always a good idea in case you need proof further down the line. 

4. Tell Someone IRL

It’s important to maintain the relationships you have away from gaming even if you feel like you don’t always want to be around people. That way, when you step away from the keyboard, you still have support. Telling someone such as a parent, sibling or a mate about what’s going on can help you to stop stressing about it. 

5. Take a Break with Your Mates

Taking a little bit of a break from the game might be the best thing for you right now if you are facing cyberbullying. Spend a bit of time with your mates, watch a film with the family, or do anything else that you usually love to do when you aren’t at the console or keyboard. 

Having a bit of time to clear your head will ensure that you don’t react in anger and will give the mods some time to sort out the issue for you if you have reported it. It will help you see that you have plenty of other good things in your life and that it is actually just a game. Try returning to the game when you have had a bit of a break with some buddies for support – it’ll soon be just fun as it was before.

Cyberbullying is rubbish, especially when it’s going on in your favourite game. If you feel like you need too talk to someone about bullying or anything else that is bothering you, both online and IRL, reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.

What We Do

Every year at Ditch the Label, we carry out extensive research into bullying by asking students across the country about their experiences. We delve into the reasons why people bully and are bullied, as well as asking important questions about things like relationships, gender, mental health and body image.

This groundbreaking research also takes a look at the nature of different types of bullying, the long terms effects that bullying has on people’s emotional well-being and how it’s changed over time. It’s pretty eye-opening stuff if we do say so ourselves.

Bullying: The Facts…

So, here are our main findings from the last couple of years’ work in a nifty list of 21 things we bet you didn’t already know about bullying (pssst…if you did already know them, you probably heard it from us 😜). Remember, if you are being bullied or you just have something you want to talk about, you can reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.

1. More than half of people under 25 have experienced bullying at some point.

facts about bullying, cyberbullying, stats, facts

2. 20% of people surveyed, said that they often experienced verbal bullying.

3. People who are bullied, often go on to bully others.

4. People with a physical disability, are unfortunately more likely to experience bullying than a person without a physical disability. #NotCool

5. 5% of people surveyed, said that they constantly experienced physical bullying.

6. Social exclusion is a form of bullying. That means, when your mates leave you out on purpose to hurt your feelings, they are indirectly bullying you.

7. More than a third of people go on to develop Social Anxiety and Depression as a direct result of bullying.

8. Almost a quarter of those who have been bullied have had suicidal thoughts.

facts about bullying

9. Guys are more likely to bully someone than anyone else.

10.  Those who bully are far more likely to have experienced stressful and traumatic situations in recent times.

11. Of those who bullied daily, 58% had experienced the death of a relative.

12. Bullying is not an identity, it is a learnt behaviour – find out more about that here.

13. The #1 most common reason why people experience bullying is because of attitudes towards their appearance, with attitudes towards hobbies & interests and high grades coming in close at second and third place.

facts about bullying, stats, hobby bullying

14. 69% of people have admitted to doing something abusive to another person online 😲😲😲 #CutItOutPPL

15. Bullying is never, ever the fault of the person on the receiving end of it. Here’s why

16. People who identify as LGBT+ are more likely to experience bullying.

What about Online?

17. 26% of people reported experiencing cyberbullying in the past 12-months. (2019)

18. More than a quarter of people have had suicidal thoughts as a result of cyberbullying.

facts about bullying

19. 35% of people have sent a screenshot of someone’s status to laugh at in a group chat. #ShadyOnlineBehaviour 

20. Almost two-thirds of people agreed that social networks don’t do enough to combat cyberbullying.

21. 44% of people under 25 said that ‘real life’ means ‘only things that happen offline.’

And there you have it – 21 facts about bullying you probably never knew before. If you are being bullied and need someone to talk to, reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.

All statistics are taken from Ditch the Label research.

We’re all Looking for Validation but in the Wrong Places

Turn on your TV, open a magazine or refresh your timeline and it’s difficult to hide away from the beauty ideals our society hails as the ultimate. Clear skin, a tiny waist, a stacked chest, zero pores, eyebrows constantly on fleek, designer clothes, big tits and not a hair out of sight. This is the standard we hold ourselves to and benchmark ourselves against and quite frankly, it’s exhausting.

In The Annual Bullying Survey 2017, we found that 1 in 3 would delete a selfie if it didn’t get enough likes and it isn’t surprising when we’re all pitched in a global rat race to be the person with the most followers, the highest engagement and the brand partnerships to match. The reality is, most of us care about how we’re perceived online and about the stats we amass and that’s okay.

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There’s nothing wrong with posting selfies and caring about your appearance. But it’s important to question the deeper psychology behind what we’re doing online. The chances are, deleting a selfie that didn’t get enough engagement comes from a deeply rooted need to feel validated. We all have a need to feel accepted and liked and when we’re immersed around social media, it’s almost impossible to not compare yourself to others and to want to look like our own edited and filtered selfies. Surgeons are being approached by new patients who are taking in edited photos of themselves as their inspiration for surgery. But can we just take a min to clarify on a few things?

Listen up

  • Everybody has pores
  • We’re all blessed with DNA and genetics that we simply cannot control or ignore
  • Each and every one of us has different proportions and a body shape that is often impossible to change
  • Most of us have problems with our skin – spots are a harsh reality of modern life, hormones, genetics, diet and lifestyle
  • Most of the things you see online are edited. Not just the pics but the lifestyles too
  • Filters are dangerous because they create a new standard that is literally unattainable
  • Everybody likes different things. Some people like big tits, some people like little tits, some people like biceps for the gods and others prefer slender guys
  • Like it or not, social media does affect your mental health and it’s a good idea to take breaks when it gets a bit much
  • We’re all under the same pressures as you
  • Being an influencer is a full-time job, it isn’t as simple as taking a photo, it takes a huge amount of time, talent and money to get the perfect snap. It’s stressful, can get incredibly lonely and isn’t always as glam as it may look from the outside
  • It isn’t in everyone’s interest for you to feel good about yourself and your body
  • Consider unfollowing people on your feed who make you feel crap about yourself
  • Makeup and hair might look on fleek for like 30 minutes but then humidity and sweat happens. For everybody. No exceptions. Absolutely none.
  • You are beautiful, whether you like it or believe it or not
  • It is your responsibility to deal with how you are currently feeling, nobody else will do it for you
  • The validation you receive online is temporary, it will never satisfy your deeper need, so change tactics (more on that below)

Change your tactics

If you’re feeling like crap, know that you aren’t alone and we’ve been there. Some of us are still going through it and we’ve got a ton of amazing things to help you. Check out some of the following:

 

practical bullying advice

“Next time” you think, “Next time, I’ll stand up for myself…”.

You’ve probably replayed over a thousand times in your head how you’re going to react ‘next time’ they give you S***… the thing is, it doesn’t always work like that. In the moment, it can be so hard to find the words to express yourself, especially if you’re hurt or emotional.

One of the biggest pieces of advice people love to give in the face of being bullied is ‘Just stand up for yourself’… as if it’s that easy, right? 🙄

Ditch the Label is here to provide some practical anti-bullying advice with some things you can try when you’re in the moment and it’s all getting a bit much:

It’s ok if you can’t stand up for yourself

For a few of us, it might work and the person doing the bullying might respond and stop altogether. However, not everyone is able to stand up for themselves in that way.

If that person is you, give yourself a massive break and try a different approach that you feel you can do instead of giving yourself a hard time for what you can’t do. Here at Ditch the Label, we never condone using violence or physical force to sort things out and will always opt for a more peaceful approach to end bullying, such as talking things through.

Places you can go

Do you have places at school and home that you feel safe in and that you can go when you need some time away from it all? Have a think about where they might be, especially at school. If you are having a particularly tough day it helps to have places to go to get away from it. Try talking to your favourite teacher and asking them if you can go to their classroom, or seek out some downtime in the library. It is important that you have a safe place to go. When it all gets too much, simply turn your back, walk away and go to your place to chill.

Who have you told?

Telling someone is sometimes the hardest thing to do. Check out this article for more tips on who you can tell. If you still haven’t told anyone and it’s getting harder and harder on a daily basis, the time is now to tell someone you trust who cares about you. keeping it all to yourself doesn’t work and only adds to your stress and the intensity of the situation.

It is 100% OK to cry

Yep, that’s right, you are allowed to cry. Crying is a very healthy and natural reaction to being treated badly or feeling pain. What’s not so healthy is shaming yourself for not being stronger. Newsflash: crying is not a sign of weakness, nor does it make you pathetic.

There are many differing opinions around whether you should or shouldn’t let the person or people bullying you see you cry. At the end of the day, there really is no right or wrong when it comes to how you process your feelings as it happens to you. Whatever situation you find yourself in, it is always made worse when we judge ourselves for not handling it better.

Strengthen other friendships

Try and focus on other friendships where you do feel safe. Naturally, when you are being treated badly it can become a very big focus in your life and it’s easy to overlook the friendships that matter to us. Ask them for advice, what would they do if they were in your shoes? Be real with them about what you are going through and talk to them about backing you up when or if they see it happening.

Deflection

Making a joke or using a comeback line can work at deflecting nasty comments directed at you. Alternatively, you could try dismissing them and not react at all. People bullying you are looking for a reaction so humour and silence can work to readdress the situation. By ignoring them, you completely disarm them, when they realise they’re not getting a reaction, they’ll likely give up – give it a try, if it doesn’t work, no biggie. There are more options at your disposal…

Sticks n’ stones

If the bullying is consistently verbal, what happens after a surprisingly short space of time is that we start to believe it. Our minds start to think that because we are hearing the same message repeatedly, it must be true. This is why verbal bullying is very damaging psychologically and can cause deep emotional pain that no one else can see – only you can feel. It’s super important that you take action when anything verbal is directed at you.

The action is relatively simple: you need to work at counteracting those negative messages by repeatedly telling yourself the opposite of what you hear. This will help you in the long run, it might feel weird or silly or maybe you are thinking it’s not that bad but life is too short and your peace of mind too important. Whatever abuse is thrown at you, it is not true now and never will be.

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Fake it to make it

Being bullied leaves pretty much everyone feeling victimised in one way or another. What underlies all advice around overcoming bullying is finding ways to empower yourself to carry on in the face of being treated badly by other people. Walk tall, look up and make eye contact. It’s okay to feel scared and anxious but when you can, try to not let that show in your body language.

Record it

Are you keeping a diary of what’s happening? If not, you need to start now. Keep a record of all events – time and place and what is said or done. This will help when it comes to talking to your parents and any teachers. Most likely this will feel like the last thing you want to do but it is a really important thing to do. Keeping it all logged will also help you to realise that yes, it is bullying and no, you’re not being ‘too sensitive’.

CyberBullying

If the bullying you are experiencing is cyberbullying read this article.

Unsure?

It’s hard to tell if what you’re experiencing is bullying especially if it’s coming from a mate or group of mates. Have a read of this article to help you figure out the line between banter and bullying. The best way to determine whether or not it is bullying is to analyse how it makes you feel. If the answer is ‘like S***’ or thereabouts – chances are it is bullying. To make doubly sure – try out this quiz.

For more practical advice check out Ditch the Label’s Top Ten Tips for Overcoming Bullying.

Most important is to talk it out – join the community to chat with digital mentors and like-minded people who can help.