How to Tell Someone About Bullying

Instructor: Elisha Madison

Elisha has Master's degree in Ancient Celtic History & Mythology, as well as a Bachelor's in Marketing. She has extensive experience creating & teaching curricula in college level education, history, English, business and marketing.

When you are being bullied it might feel like you are tattling if you speak to an adult about what is happening. However, you are not. Talking to an adult will help you, the person who is bullying you, and others who are affected.


Bullying is when someone is aggressive or intimidating, either emotionally or physically. Bullying can include mocking, calling someone names, being violent, or spreading rumors and gossip. Whether the bullying happens face-to-face or on social media, it is harmful to everyone involved.

The problem with bullying is that many kids will not tell an adult what is happening. So, it goes unnoticed until it is hard to control. Either the person with bullying behavior has hurt someone irreparably, or the kid who is being bullied has started to hurt themselves or think of suicide because they don't see a way out.

The way out is to tell someone, always.

Why Kids Don't Want To Tell

It may be a challenge to tell someone that you are being bullied for many reasons, including:

  • You are afraid that telling someone will make it worse.

It will not make it worse. Your school has guidelines for these very issues. The adults there will be able to keep you safe and make sure the bullying doesn't continue to happen.

  • Whatever you are being bullied about is something you did that may get you in trouble.

In this case you are essentially being blackmailed and bullied by someone. The best way to stay safe is to tell someone what happened. Make sure it is an adult you trust. Even if you do get in trouble, it will be minor in comparison to the bullying.

  • You are afraid that if you worry your parents, you will lose your freedom to go out and have fun.

If you talk with your parents on the issue in a mature and honest fashion, they will value your maturity and reasoning. Creating a respectful relationship will not take away your freedom.

  • You have been told that tattling is bad.

Everyone has a fear that they are going to get in trouble for telling the truth. But this is not going to be that situation. You are being honest and trying to remain safe, which is to be commended.

  • If I tell someone, it makes me looks weak and unable to defend myself, which will make the bullying worse.

This is not true. We cannot all be kung fu masters who fight everyone off. Sometimes the best option is to tell someone you trust, so they can assist you. That is not weakness.

So now you know why these excuses are just that, an excuse. Telling someone that you're being bullied is important, for you, for others being harassed, for everyone. But how do you tell someone?

Do not be afraid to tell

How To Tell Someone You are Being Bullied

If you are being bullied, it is important to tell someone. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Find a trustworthy adult- Choose a teacher, a parent, a close neighbor, or other family member. Let them know what is happening.
  • Be honest- Make sure when explaining the situation that you are being honest. Explain what happened; however, do not exaggerate to get others into more trouble or hide what you may have done (if anything) that is related to the bullying. Just state the truth. This is easiest to stand by and will help to ensure that the situation gets resolved.
  • Details - When telling someone about the bullying, provide details (where it happened, when it happened, for how long, and who exactly did the bullying). The more details you provide, the easier it will be for the adult to address the situation.

If for some reason nothing happens after you speak to someone about being bullied and the situation is not resolved, do not give up! Talk to another adult. They can then pursue the issue and see if the bullying is being looked into.

Bullying is never ok

What Not To Do

Now you know what to if you are being bullied. But what shouldn't you do?

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