Last week we posted a blog about how parents can help empower their children and prevent cyberbullying. As important as it is to know how to prevent bullying, it is equally important to also know how to heal from a bullying experience. Students who have been bullied should know that they are not alone and that they can find freedom from their current situation.
Here are 10 tips for healing after a cyberbullying attack:
1. Don’t blame yourself.
You should never feel ashamed of being the victim of any kind of bullying and should remember that it is not your fault. No matter what the cyberbully says, you should not be ashamed of who you are.
2. Be patient with yourself.
Healing takes time, and everyone recovers from a cyberbullying attack in their own way and at their own pace. Allow yourself time and space to feel all of your emotions whether they be grief, anger, or frustration, because keeping your emotions locked up will not help you heal.
3. Unplug from technology for a time.
Take a break from technology, especially the sites, forums, or devices where you experienced bullying. As time passes, the dynamics of an online space will change, and you also will have new found courage and strength but you should first allow yourself space away from the bullying environment to heal.
4. Focus on strengthening your own self worth.
Practice positive self-talk. Remind yourself how valued you are to your family, friends and community. Write down all of the things that you like about yourself and the great things that other people have said about you. Throughout the day, in your own mind and heart, tell yourself something positive and hopeful.
>5. Do something that relaxes you.
Engage in activities that you love and that will help you to get your mind off of being bullied and into freedom and forgiveness. Whether it’s walking, painting, yoga, baking, talking with friends, or playing basketball, take lots of time to do the things that you enjoy most.
6. Keep in touch with people who know about the cyberbullying attack.
You probably won’t want to tell everyone you know that you were bullied, but it is a good idea to tell close friends and family that you can trust. Continuing to talk to them throughout your healing process will help you feel connected to others and not alone. The people who know and love you the most will help support you, boost your self esteem, and be a listening ear when you need to talk through the painful situation.
7. Forgive and forget.
It is always easier said then done, but learning how to forgive the person who bullied you will greatly help in your ability to heal and move forward with confidence. Remember that a bully is only as powerful as you, the intended victim, allows. By telling people you trust about the bullying, asking for help in making the bully stop, and choosing to ignore the taunts of the bully, you are empowering yourself and are no longer allowing the bully to have power over you.
8. Keep in mind the good interactions you have had online.
Remember the fun times, enlightening moments, and treasures you have learned through technology and being online. Cyberbullying is not the norm and should not be expected or feared.
9. Know that you are not alone.
Cyberbullying can happen to anyone, no matter their age, gender, or circumstances. Take some time to learn about cyberbullying through books or online articles and become educated on what cyberbullying is and how it effects lots of people. Though being attacked by a bully can make you feel alone and isolated, remember that there are others who are going through the same thing as you.
10. Get involved in speaking out against bullying.
Know that others have been victims of bullying as well and that you now have the ability to aid and empower them. Get involved in your community’s anti-bullying organizations and efforts, start a conversation with friends about how to stop bullying, and share your story of how you overcame cyberbullying.