We last left off at watching a sister handle some junior high school kids on the train. How did she take care of it, and how should you do the same in case you ever become a witness to bullying?
Well, when it comes to etiquettes, first and foremost, always keep in mind that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the best of creation and we should strive to follow his example, bi’ithnillah. For the purposes of stopping bullies, it is important to be calm, respectful of everyone equally, but it is also necessary to be absolutely stern, because the bully needs to understand the seriousness of the consequences of their actions. So in order to strike the perfect balance, one must be both soft and strict at the same time.
Things to keep in mind:
1. Stop the bullying in its tracks. Try to make eye contact with the victim. After observing from a distance, whether or not you feel comfortable, get between the victim and the bully to stop farther interaction.
2. Point out what bullying is and its harms. The victim might not even realize they are being bullied, especially if it is being done by their “friend(s).” The bully might think it is okay to behave this way, but make sure they know it is not okay. Use simple language. (See below for examples)
3. Show support for the victim. The victim should get a sense of self-control. We do not want the victim to be ridiculed on a new front. We want the victim to leave the situation with their dignity intact.
1. Do not immediately begin to ask the reasons for bullying.
2. Do not try to be a mediator by forcing the two sides to come to an agreement, or become friends. This is a long term issue and, again, we don’t want the victim to lose dignity in any of this.
3. Do not give the bully an attitude. You will not only lose their respect, but you will also forfeit the opportunity to change the bully. We must respect all human beings as human beings, and advise others to good and forbid evil, but this must be done with wisdom!
Some of us might even have been bullied in the past. So when you confront a situation like this as an outsider now, remember what it was like and try to understand what the victim of the bullying is going through. Imagine how embarrassing it must be for a complete stranger to step in for you. Also, try and understand the psychological and social implications so you can better explain them yourself when calmly reprimanding the bully.
• “It is not okay to bully anyone for absolutely any reason.”
• “Bullying can ruin another person’s life. No one wants to be responsible for something like that”
• “Do you know how many young people commit suicide because of bullying? Do you want to be held responsible for that?”
• “That behavior is absolutely unacceptable, bullying is traumatizing.”
Don’t worry about not sounding cool enough. The important thing is to have the bullying stop and to get the message across to the bully while supporting the victim.
What to do you think? What would include or take out from these suggestions? Have you ever been bullied or been a bully?
Looking forward to your responses inshaAllah!