What is bullying behaviour?
At The Diana Award, we define bullying behaviour as
‘repeated, negative behaviour that is intended to make others feel upset, uncomfortable or unsafe’.
What is resilience and why is it important?
Resilience, according to Robson-Kelly (2021) is the ability to understand and overcome stressful situations. It does not mean that you do not feel stress, worry and fear but that you are confident in your own ability and strength to overcome difficult situations and seek help when you need it.
Resilience is important, as it can help prepare you for potentially difficult future situations such as moving to a new school, dealing with friendship conflicts or experiencing bullying behaviour. Resilience can also help prepare you for positive changes, such as improving fitness, achieving academic goals and helping others.
Building resilience is also a key part of maintaining good mental health. It can help to build confidence and creates a more positive and optimistic outlook Parker and Frank (2018). Furthermore, having strong resilience can help us to make better decisions in the future and, therefore, protect our mental health Chowdhury (2022).
How does resilience link to bullying behaviour?
One clear link between resilience and bullying behaviour is that experiencing bullying behaviour can leave you feeling upset, uncomfortable and unsafe. This may then lead to feelings of worry and stress. Building resilience can help with this as the higher your resilience, the less bullying behaviour will impact you and your mental health (Hinduja, 2015). As a result, building resilience can encourage confidence, positively impact your mental health, and equip you with the tools, to deal with bullying behaviour more effectively.
Additionally, having high levels of resilience makes you less likely to react to a situation negatively (Gordon, 2019). High resilience levels will also allow you to make the right and safest choices when faced with bullying behaviour.
If you are an Anti-Bulling Ambassador, it is important that you have high levels of resilience. This is because your peers may come to you with issues that could be upsetting, not just for them but also for you. By having high levels of resilience, you will be able to advise peers of the best way forward in a calm and helpful way whilst also maintaining your own wellbeing.
Top tips for building and maintaining resilience
1. Be kind to yourself The Children’s Society (2022) suggests that one of the best ways to build up resilience is to be gentle and to forgive yourself when mistakes have been made. Try not to get upset with yourself when something goes wrong, as not only will it make you feel worse, but you will not learn how to fix the issue in future. Using kind words and speaking to yourself as you would to others is key to building up confidence and allowing yourself to believe that you can overcome and achieve anything! Remember, you are not trying to avoid the negative feelings, you are learning to deal with them properly and effectively.
2. A problem shared is a problem halved Having a strong support network around you (this could include friends, peers, family members) that you can turn to when you need help is important for building trust and allowing yourself to be vulnerable Cherry (2020). This in turn can help you to navigate tricky situations, but also allows you access to ideas and opinions you may not have thought of.
3. Practice self-care Sometimes things get tricky, and no matter how confident you are in your ability to overcome the situation, it can still leave you feeling down. Tam (2020) states that doing something you enjoy or find relaxing, such as colouring or having a bubble bath, can help calm you down and allow you to think about things rationally. It also allows you to care for yourself, regardless of negative feelings, which will reinforce your self-confidence and help you to bounce back even stronger! If you are an Anti-Bullying Ambassador, this is key. It is important to remember that you cannot help others without helping yourself first.
What can Anti-Bullying Ambassadors do to help build resilience in school?
- Celebrate individuality in your school. You could hold assemblies on LGBTQ+ awareness, celebrating different religions/cultures, or anything else that you feel could promote and celebrate individuality! This should help your peers to feel safe and valued within your school environment and, as a result, reinforce confidence and resilience.
- Run a meditation or mindfulness session to encourage your peers to explore different techniques to maintain wellbeing. This is a chance to help your peers understand what self-care is and how it can help them.
- Create an aspirations wall. Ask your peers to decorate a sheet of paper with their goals for the future and how they plan on achieving them. Display these on a poster board around school. This will help to motivate your peers and encourage them to aim high and believe in themselves!
The Diana Award Crisis Messenger - Provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK. If you are a young person who needs support, you can text DA to 85258. Trained volunteers will listen to how you’re feeling and help you think through the next step towards feeling better.
YoungMinds - The UK’s leading charity with information about mental health in young people.
The Mix - The Mix is a UK based charity that provides free, confidential support for young people under 25 via online, social and mobile.