It might be tempting to reply to a cyberbully. You might even feel the need for revenge. But, as you know, that often doesn't help make things better, as it could rather get you in trouble, upset you even more, or make the bullying worse. Instead, try some of these techniques to help you manage your anger:
Give yourself some time to cool off before you decide how to react. Feelings of anger will usually fade away after we give ourselves some time.
Take a deep breath...hold...focus on breathing out for longer than you breathe in. Breathing slowly may seem like a silly thing to try, but doing so can calm your body & mind.
Close your eyes and listen to some calming music or a funny podcast. Sometimes distracting yourself for a few minutes can lessen angry feelings.
Go for a walk or a run, dance in your room, or play your favorite sport - moving your body can help bring you back into the moment and reduce your anger.
Don’t type an angry message into your phone. Instead, write it on paper and then rip it up. It will help you let go of your thoughts without hurting someone else.
Share your feelings with a friend or an adult you trust - discuss how you might get your views across more clearly and how to let go of your anger. They can help you think about the problem in a different way. Not sure who to speak to? Try reaching out to a Childline counsellor - a free and anonymous chat made just for you.
Try something creative like drawing, arts and crafts, writing, or playing an instrument - any of these activities can help you express how you feel and focus on something other than your anger.
Cyberbullies are often looking for attention. Insulting them back, is giving them exactly what they want - which is upsetting you. Not replying to attacks can be a sign of real strength.
Remember: Don't feed the trolls
Similar to cyberbullies, online trolls are people who try to start fights or upset others on the internet by posting rude and disturbing comments. They try to make people angry mostly because they either like the attention, they're bored, or even think it’s funny. In contrast to cyberbullies, online trolls are likely to be someone who doesn’t even know you personally. They often like to pretend to be someone else or stay anonymous.
What to do when you meet a troll online? Do not feed them – Don't give them the attention they want by replying to their comments. Report and block them. Talk to an adult if you feel upset or feel like you need help.
Maybe you have noticed that a friend of yours is being bullied. It’s understandable that this can make you feel angry. But, as you know, defending them by sending mean messages back to the bully can make things worse, and possibly get you into trouble. We got you covered - check out this Cyberbullying article, as we talk about positive strategies to help someone who is being bullied.
Maybe you believe that it was harmless and that you were just having a laugh, or you feel like you were just doing what everyone was doing. But, unfortunately, you realise that your actions have made someone else feel bad. It’s important that you admit this to yourself.
Remove the hurtful posts, comments or messages that you have sent.
Are you part of groups or chats where mean things are being said about others? It’s best to leave these threads.
Reach out to the person you bullied and say sorry. You can offer them your support. But please be aware that they may not want to talk to you. Respect their wishes, it might take them some time to forgive you.
If others are still involved in bullying, talk to them and explain why it’s wrong. You have the chance to make a big difference in someone else's life. Help build a stronger and kinder world.