Many boys grow up wrestling and fighting—brothers are notorious for this—although it is not gender exclusive. As one gets older, what was a safe activity becomes increasingly perilous for a number of reasons. My experience of masculine behavior is that physical intimidation is often part of the male "vocabulary", likely arising from basic primate behavior, where stronger primates seek to establish dominance over competitors they perceive to be weaker.

But not all individuals who are smaller and weaker are bullied.

  • How to navigate being bullied in the teenage years?

What are strategies, practices, and attitudes that can help teens mitigate, disincentivize, and forestall attack, ideally without recourse to authorities, in that many social situations occur outside of school.

1 Answer 1


Consider six elements initially.

  1. Avoidance.
  2. Confidence.
  3. Psychological competence (essentially mindfulness, which equips a person to recognise and regulate their own emotional responses in real-time, so that they become more resilient. Note that this is unlikely to happen without confidence).
  4. Tactical communication: An understanding of how to employ verbal techniques to avoid/reduce confrontation.
  5. Physical competence: Training in practical forms of martial arts (Jiu-jitsu, boxing, kick-boxing, close-quarters combat).
  6. Psychotherapy (IMPORTANT in the event bullying is already taking place).

I would not rely on Stack Exchange here. There is plenty of good anti-bullying material on the net. If bullying is currently unavoidable, seek professional help and if the bullying is proving harmful, remove the person from the source of bullying, as considerable long-term damage can result.

  • Can you link some of the resources you're referring to here in the comments? Anything non-profit and vetted should be suitable. Speaking from personal experience, the physical confidence that comes from martial arts training, or athletics in general, does the trick!
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Aug 10, 2021 at 21:58
  • @Duke. You should be able to find plenty of stuff on Google, Duke, but here are a few sites from Australia: Bullying No Way, Bully Zero, and The Bully Project. Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 3:30

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