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How to Stand Up to a Bully

It’s scary, but you can learn how to stand up to a bully – and come out on top.


  • Step 1: Be assertive Phrases like "cut it out," "back off," or a firm "stop!" can catch the bully off guard. Remember, bullies tend to pick on those who don't stand up for themselves.
  • Step 2: Have a funny comeback Respond to a bully’s taunts with a funny comeback. For example, if someone makes fun of your clothes, say, "I didn't ask for your opinion, but thanks for caring," or "I don’t dress to impress you, so don't worry about it."
  • TIP: When using humor to respond to a bully's taunts, keep it light – being mean or using curse words will only make matters worse.
  • Step 3: Don’t get violent Don't get physical, even if the bully deserves to be hit. Violence will only make things worse — and may even get you in trouble.
  • TIP: The perfect time to stand up to a bully is when there are people around who can take your side.
  • Step 4: Tell an adult If the bullying gets to be more than you can handle, speak to an adult about it—try a parent, teacher, or security guard. You have the right to feel safe.
  • FACT: Nova Scotia, in Canada, has proclaimed the second Thursday of every new school year 'Stand Up Against Bullying Day.'

You Will Need

  • Courage
  • Wit
  • Self-control
  • An adult you can confide in (optional)

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