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After I ended the friendship with my ex-best friend from high school, I realized that I have nothing to be ashamed of. I didn't see the point on me maintaining a friendship with someone who was nothing but a bully. Image shouldn't be everything between friends, so I used her as an example to build a back bone. I stood up for myself more often. Honestly, it was the most invigorating feeling EVER!!

I've tried to put my finger on what exactly it was about the environment that they created that made it such a safe one. My time there was one of the few times in life I felt truly accepted, truly safe, and truly included. What I think it came down to was the values they taught.

Continue to keep standing up for yourself. From my perspective, those who bully others don't feel good about themselves, so in the other words, they're insecure!! For now, keep talking to your therapist, and start building your self-confidence. I know that it's going to take a while for you to get past the emotional scars, but use this experience as a guide to stand your ground!!!

Document EVERYTHING. Even a simple journal entry works. If you are being cyber-bullied, print out all correspondence and keep it in a file.

Concerned parents and students can learn more about bullying prevention by visiting the resources below.

As sure as kids return to school each Fall in the U.S., bullying will be encountered in the classroom each school year. In these early days of September classes, would-be aggressors are getting a feel for who they think might be an easy mark in the class. As the days wear on and a young person confirms that he or she can pick on specific classmates without their standing up for themselves, their bullying behavior escalates.

The main strategy of a child who bullies is to make his victim feel alone and powerless. The best way for a child to counter that strategy is to tell a helpful adult about what is going on and ask for that adult's support. When the aggressive young person realizes that he will not be able to keep a victim isolated -- that the victim is strong enough to reach out and connect with others -- he begins to lose power.

The one positive thing about dealing with bullying as an adult as opposed to a kid, is that you have the choice to get yourself out of the situation. If that means getting a new job, moving to a new apartment or even a new city, adults have the benefit of removing themselves from the toxic situation.

C1. efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings or conversations associated with the trauma C2. efforts to avoid activities, places or people that arouse recollections of this trauma C3. inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma D3. difficulty concentrating

The important thing to remember about assertive phrases is that they do not put down or attack the bully, which is never a good idea. Likewise, Bully Bans are not effective when said through tears or a whining voice. Bully Bans are simply brief, assertive statements used to stand up to bullies and stop bullying behavior.

They taught that no matter what your differences, respect was fundamental. Teasing was not tolerated. Cooperation, and helping others was emphasized. It was a very difficult balance at times because some children really struggled.

Bullying is the type of behavior that nobody should tolerate. There's nothing wrong with being confident.

The bystander definitely has the power to help change the climate — with adults and children. In bullying cases with children, almost half of all bullying situations stop when a bystander gets involved. More than one-half the time, bullying stops within 10 seconds of a bystander stepping in to help.

Don't give bullying an audience: If a child knows not to bully others, then other students will follow their example. To help even more, children can actively participate in anti-bullying activities and projects.

She adds that helping "doesn't mean taking a stand or getting into the bully's face, sometimes just the simple act of not giving the bully an audience or just taking the side of the victim is enough to get your point across." Simmons also has advice for bystanders:

When it was identified that I was lagging in the area of social/emotional development, my Kindergarten teacher recommended a program started by a friend of hers. This woman had retired from teaching, and she and her husbant had decided to start her own business taking care of kids out of their home.

Tell a trusted adult: An adult can help stop bullying by intervening while it's in progress, stopping it from occurring or simply giving the person being bullied a shoulder to lean on.

The reasons people don't assert their right not to be bullied are complex as the following list shows (all the fears are justified):

If you are going to complain about someone who is bullying you or your boss or workplace that isn't helping you out, just make sure that you realize that what it put out there on the internet is there FOREVER. Don't trash your co-workers or your boss because you never know who will see it. The same goes for putting your negative thoughts into an email. Once you hit the SEND button, your private thoughts are now basically in the public domain.

The perfect time to stand up to a bully is when there are people around who can take your side.

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Set a good example: If one of your child's friends or peers begins to bully someone, they shouldn't encourage the behavior by giving it an audience. Instead of laughing or supporting it, they can let the bully know that such behavior isn't entertaining.

I attribute a great amount of my early social successes to what I learned in their care, and the safe structure they provided for all types of kids. If anyone thinks that adults can't set the tone for an environment, to teach kids not to bully, and to accept those that are different, I'd say they're dead wrong.

When using humor to respond to a bully’s taunts, keep it light – being mean or using curse words will only make matters worse.

Before the school year gets into full swing, parents and teachers can teach their kids these four easy-to-remember, simply-to-apply rules for using assertive communication to STANd up to bullying behavior.

How to stand up to a bully

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They quickly gained a reputation with kids who were facing special challenges -- whether they were hyperactive, or what we would call autistic today, or whether they'd experienced some form of trauma. But, those kids weren't the only ones that went there. We were a very mixed bunch - from the most popular kids in school, to the most awkward.

Are you getting bullied? Are you shying away from telling someone? Think the bullying might get worse and you can't concentrate on life? Keep on reading -- this article is for you! - and don't worry, there is still hope!

Assertive responses are particularly effective in countering bullying because the child who masters this type of direct, emotionally honest communication demonstrates that a bully's attacks will be answered in a fair, but formidable way. Finding the initial target to be too powerful to provoke, the child who bullies will most often move on.

I have thought about this subject a lot as I experienced some very bad bullying as a kid (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/aspergers-diary/200910/friends-and-allies). But, earlier on I wasn't targeted, even thought I was different. My interests were odd, and out of step with my peers, I was small and didn't seem to get a lot of what other kids got in terms of the social world. When I ask myself why this is, it goes back to the environment I was put in during those years.

Each day more than 160,000 U.S. children stay home from school because they fear being bullied. Kids were once asked to accept and endure this treatment. But no longer. Children and adults are now taking a stand during National Bullying Prevention Month to end this form of harassment.

Dr. Lickerman's book The Undefeated Mind will be published in late 2012.

If your child has tried to manage a bullying situation on his own, but has been unsuccessful in stopping the bullying, reassure him that telling an adult is the next step and the most powerful thing he can do. Rule 3: Assert Yourself

Simmons concurs: "Documenting what's happening is key. Keep track of when, where and how it happens, along with who is present." This is important so that you can present an objective, coherent case either directly to the bully, or to an authority figure.

To talk to someone and get advice about tough issues

• "I can take a joke, but what you said was not funny--it was mean."

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Nova Scotia, in Canada, has proclaimed the second Thursday of every new school year ‘Stand Up Against Bullying Day.’

I was bullied intermittently throughout my childhood, but in seventh grade it became particularly severe. One boy named Tim bullied me daily until I came up with the idea to pay him a cookie at lunch in order to turn him from my tormentor into my protector. That he accepted the idea—that in fact he one day punched another boy who'd started pushing me around—astounded me and only testified to the capriciousness with which bullies often choose their targets.