In recent years, media coverage of young people who have been bullied to death is on the rise. According to a study conducted by Yale University, kids who are victims of bullying are between 2 and 9 times more likely to commit suicide.
Learning the right way to help young people share their stories about being bullied can be essential when it comes to reducing the negative impact bullying has on the lives of victims. Here are three techniques you can use to help the young people you know feel more confident in sharing their bullying stories in the future.
1. Provide a role model by sharing your own story.
Beginning a dialogue about bullying can be a challenge. Victims might feel ashamed, embarrassed, or frightened when it comes to sharing their story with an adult. You can take the first step toward creating a safe space to discuss bullying by sharing a story of your own.
Providing young people with positive role models who were also victims of bullying helps them see that they can get through the difficult situations they are facing without engaging in behaviors that will cause self-harm.
2. Offer empathy as bullying stories are being told.
When a young person finally does gather the courage needed to share his or her experiences with being bullied, it's important that you help them feel like they are being heard and understood. Offering empathy throughout the story can be a simple way to encourage the sharing process.
Statements like, "That must have been difficult for you to endure," or, "That must have been hurtful to hear those things being said about you," can encourage a young person to continue sharing their struggles with you. Lending an empathetic ear is an easy way to help the young people in your life feel more comfortable sharing their bullying stories with you.
3. Help the young person remember their strengths.
Once a young person feels comfortable enough to share his or her bullying story with you, it can be helpful to spend some time reminding the victim of times they exhibited strength and bravery in their life.
Recalling something as simple as raising one's hand in class or participating in a school play can help victims of bullying remember their self-worth. As you build the confidence of bullying victims, you will become a beacon of hope and they will feel more confident sharing additional experiences with you in the future.
Taking the time to learn how you can promote the sharing of bullying stories will allow you to better help the young people being in your life who are being victimized by bullies. Contact an organization, like The Bully Corporation or a similar location, for more tips and help.