We’ve all experienced some form of bullying in our lives. Diabetes can give bullies something to latch onto but you shouldn’t have to put up with this.
Bullying is taken seriously and can be stopped whether it takes place at school, at home, at work or over media such as the internet.
What counts as bullying?
Bullying can take different forms.
It can be name calling or physical threatening, or could involve things that make your life difficult such as hiding or taking things from you or making you feel self conscious.
If you are being bullied because of your diabetes, it’s important not to accept this as normal.
You should not to have be fearful about managing your diabetes or be self-conscious because of how others make you feel.
Why does bullying happen?
There are multitudes of reasons why people may resort to bullying.
Some common reasons include:
- Feeling threatened or jealous
- To feel empowered
- To gain attention from friends
- Gaining validation from friends
- Lacking social skills
- Taking out aggression from being bullied themselves
- To divert other bullies’ attention to someone else
Why am I being bullied?
Bullies will often look to pick on those they see as an easy target. Bullies will often look to find something that makes someone stand out to use as a reason for bullying and diabetes can set us apart.
Bullying at school – what can I do?
If you are being bullied, tell someone you can trust that bullying is happening. Schools treat bullying very seriously so telling your teacher, either directly or through your parents, will help to get the bullying stopped.
If you find it difficult to tell someone, you may want to write it down instead. Don’t be tempted to put it off, the sooner it’s known about, the sooner the bullying can be stopped.
Bullying at home – what can I do?
Depending on who is the bully, you may need to tell your parents or another family member such as an aunt, uncle or grandparent.
If you are being bullied by one of your parents and cannot tell them how you are feeling, you can speak to Childline, a free support service offered by the charity NSPCC, or Bullying UK, an anti-bullying charity.
- Childline: 0800 1111
- Bullying UK: 0808 800 2222
Bullying at work – what can I do?
Bullying at work may result from misconceptions of diabetes, leading to discrimination or could involve a form of bullying similar to that found at school.
If you feel you are being bullied at work, there are a number of people you can inform. Your manager or someone in HR should handle a report of bullying professionally.
If this is not possible, you can contact your trade union (if you are a member) or ACAS, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service which promotes best practice in employment.
Cyber bullying – what can I do?
Cyber bullying is any form of bullying that takes place over mobile phones or the internet. Cyber bullying can take different forms, from looking to cause embarrassment through to physical threats and slander.
If you receive bullying on the internet or mobile phone, keep a copy of the message (wherever possible) so you can report it.
Depending on your position and what the messages said, this may need to be reported to your school, college, workplace or even the police.