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Suitable retorts for bullies

(35 Posts)
jampots Thu 21-Jul-05 18:54:48

DS is leaving his school tomorrow due partly to bullying. The main offender seems to have slowed right down now and isnt causing too much of a problem, but 2 others still say horrid things to ds and hit him. So, armed with the reasoning that he cant get into TOO much trouble tomorrow, he wants to let them know what he really thinks of them.


Declan: calls ds fat, tells him to get off chairs cos he's so heavy he'll break them, and hits him over the head and in his stomach.

Ben: calls ds fatty and makes other horrid (but undisclosed) comments to him. Tripped him up the other week and caused him to bang his head on the wall - lied when questioned about it., does apparently have ADHD

George: Initial perpetrator included hitting, kicking, punching, pushing, etc etc - generally physical less verbal.

SO suitable retorts please SHOULD the need arise but as these comments are virtually daily I am expecting ds to have to use retort.

The comments ds has decided on so far:

Declan - "how does it feel to be the fattest kid in the class now"

HappyHuggy Thu 21-Jul-05 19:02:22

awww kids can be little shits

erm am trying to think up suitable responses - will come back to this later xxx

Mytwopenceworth Thu 21-Jul-05 19:12:21

Are you always this stupid or are you making a special effort today?

I don't know what makes you so dumb but it really works

Don't you have a terribly empty feeling - in your skull?

Don't you need a license to be that ugly?

Hi! I'm a human being! What are you?

How did you get here? Did someone leave your cage open?

I'd like to see things from your point of view but I can't seem to get my head that far up my bum.

I bet your mother has a loud bark!

I heard you went to have your head examined but the doctors found nothing in there.

I thought of you all day saturday. I was at the zoo.

If your brain was chocolate it wouldn't fill an M&M.

Keep talking, perhaps one day you'll say something intelligent.

i could go on!!!!!!!!

HappyHuggy Thu 21-Jul-05 19:18:00

Fab my2p!!!!!

SoupDragon Thu 21-Jul-05 20:01:13

Sorry, I don't think it's a good idea.

GeorginaA Thu 21-Jul-05 20:08:30

Have to agree with Soupy, I'm afraid A retort may well just escalate the situation, and given that the bullying has taken a violent turn previously, might not be the best way to go.

A bored indifference I think is the usual recommended response?

spidermama Thu 21-Jul-05 20:20:45

Those are great my2p.
I don't care if it's not grown up and it's not clever .... I would absolutely have to say something. Call it therapy.

Best of luck to him jampots.

CiaoLeo Thu 21-Jul-05 20:50:04

Will ds see these boys ever again after he leaves school tomorrow?

Tortington Thu 21-Jul-05 20:59:40

i might be fat - but you are ugly - and i can lose weight.

if brains were dynamite you would have enough to blow your own nose

your about as useful as a chocolate fireguard.

Mytwopenceworth Thu 21-Jul-05 21:04:15

i hate hate hate hate hate bullies. i wish i was a child again so i could give them a kicking! my niece had a problem a while ago and i would have sold my soul to the devil for 10 minutes in her body to give the little sh*t a pasting.

jampots Thu 21-Jul-05 21:30:06

Soupy and Georgina - I agree its not the best course of action but 3 years of frustration have built up inside him and he keeps on coming to me which of course is no good because my hands (as an adult) are tied. I personally would rather he unleash his frustration on these lads than the ones at his new school

ronniebaby Thu 21-Jul-05 21:56:14

My2p - PMSL at yours excellent.

I was bullied at school, it finally ended with an older girl threatening them with Head flushing etc, but I could never think of a retort, if I did I just got hit, altho the problem is now I wont take sh*t from anyone, I can be quite cold and mean, but dont mean to be Ive just always got my guard up.

ronniebaby Thu 21-Jul-05 21:57:43

Get away. You're mean. Leave me alone."

"I may be short, but I'm mighty."

"I'm a little chubby, but I'm not fat. No one's perfect."

"I'm not stupid. It's mean of you to say so to anyone."

ronniebaby Thu 21-Jul-05 21:58:29

How to Stop Harassment Pt3
Keep talking. I always yawn when I'm interested
This is the third and final part of three articles dealing with intimidation, harassment, or bullying. The first article was entitled, "What 's the matter? Don't you have a sense of humor?" In it, I discussed the causes of bullying. The second article was titled, "Don't stand up TO others, but stand up FOR yourself." In it, I described the formula for speaking assertively and suggested that standing up for our rights, if possible, is the best course of action when dealing with bullies. This article continues by providing different ways to respond to the intimidator' s taunts. The more variations you know, the more options you will have, and the greater the likelihood of finding one to match your particular situation. So, here are some more responses that may help.

1. Without being confrontational, ask the bully to repeat what was said. For example, "What was that?" or "Sorry, I didn't catch what you said, can you repeat it?" Asking a question reverses the situation, placing you in control. It's like playing a game of tennis. When bullies taunt you, they are slamming the ball at you. When you immediately respond with a question, it is a volley, placing the ball in their court. It catches them off guard. They didn't expect that. The question forces them to reconsider the vicious remark that they made. Embarrassed or befuddled, they will usually respond with a weaker version of the original remark. So, with a single question, you have lowered the level of intimidation by one notch. After they repeat it, what should you do? You could brush it off; laugh it off, or continue with another response, such as the following.

2. After getting the bully to repeat the remark, say something nice! Such as, "I can't believe you would say such a thing. It is beneath you. Such remarks are unworthy of you. Guess you're having a bad day. Got to go now. See you later." All bullies are deeply troubled. They wish someone would understand them. Your remarks suggest that you may not only understand, but also sympathize with them. If you repeat similar comments whenever you meet, you may change them into decent people.

3. Practice reverse psychology by turning insults into compliments. If the bully says, "My, you're terribly ugly," you could say, "What a nice thing to say! I didn't think you noticed. Bye, bye." When you refuse to be hurt by the comments of bullies, you make them become failures at their own game. That may make them uncomfortable enough to stop taunting you.

4. Redirect the insults back to the source. For instance you could say, "I'm so happy you're practicing affirmations! Keep repeating what you said. If you say it often enough, you will come to believe it. That will make you feel better. Next time you see me, you can practice some more." A variation of this theme would be, "I apologize. I didn't realize you have such low self-esteem that you have to belittle others to feel good. Next time I'll try not to be so obvious." This response may force the bully to face his or her weakness and bring about some change. But never say these remarks in a malicious manner. Instead of acting superior, act more enlightened.

5. Offer help. You could say, "Look, no one is this mean unless something is troubling them. If you ever want to speak about it, let me know. Perhaps I can help."

6. Fogging. Fogging is a term used in assertiveness training. It means to agree with part of the bully's statement. By expressing an area of agreement, you are being non-confrontational, yet remain firm. For example, the bully calls you a skinny moron and you reply, "Yes, I am skinny. In fact, I may even be a moron in your mind. But I'm sure you're intelligent enough to know I'm not stupid. So, why are you insulting me?"

7. Reply with a sense of humor. But don't act as though you're looking down at the bully. You're not laughing at them, but at the situation. Here are some one-liners you can add to your arsenal: "Keep talking. I always yawn when I'm interested." "Is your name Laryngitis? Because you're a pain in the neck." "Is your name Dan Druff? You seem to get into people's hair." "I hear you pick your friends - to pieces!!" "I'm very careful of how I express my opinions of you because I want to put as much vituperation in them as possible." "When you get to the men's room, you will see a sign that says, 'Gentlemen.' Pay no attention and go right on in." "We do not complain about your shortcomings, but about your long stayings." "Sorry, I'm not John Edwards; I don't speak to the dead." "You must be the arithmetic man - you add trouble, subtract pleasure, divide attention, and multiply ignorance." "I used to think that you were a big pain in the neck. Now I have a much lower opinion of you." "You must have gotten up on the wrong side of the cage this morning." "I'm sorry, I'm busy now. Can I ignore you some other time?" "You used to be arrogant and obnoxious. Now you are just the opposite. You are obnoxious and arrogant." "When someone cuts their finger, you cry over it just to get salt in the wound." "I admire you because I've never had the courage to be so boring." "You should do some soul-searching. Maybe you'll find one." "Do you want me to accept you as you are, or do you want me to like you?" "Before you came along we were hungry. Now we are fed up." "The next time you shave, could you stand a little closer to the razor?"

The above retorts may be funny, but bullying is no laughing matter. It is not to be put up with. So stand up for yourself and others whenever it is possible. Remember that there is strength in numbers. When you hang out with friends, you can offer support to each another. The only reason there are bullies is that not enough people stand up to them. So, do your part. You never know; you may be the straw that breaks the camel's back. You may be the one responsible for the bully changing their ways and returning to the flock. Try to be sympathetic and redeem the bully. But if you can't, and they pose a risk, speak to the authorities. For example, if it's a matter of bullying in the workplace, talk to your supervisor and the HR Manager, firmly letting them know that the intimidation must end. There are laws regarding safety in the workplace, so if your company doesn't correct the situation for you, call the police. Finally, if you are less assertive than you would like to be, do something about it. Take an assertiveness course and learn how to gain control over your life and happiness.

GetOrlaithOut Thu 21-Jul-05 22:00:20

I was 'bullied' at school - girl kept following me everywhere, calling names etc. One day I had enough, stopped dead in my tracks, turned round and gave her a good hard slap across the face.

Did the trick.

All this 'no reaction' business - yes, most of the time I guess but sometimes kids just need a taste of their own medicine.

I'm afraid if someone was having a go at my ds I'd give him a few tips on what to say too. Ignoring is the best tactic but it doesn't always work and if it goes on and on why should you just put up with it? Little shits.

ronniebaby Thu 21-Jul-05 22:02:08

How about never? Is never good for you ? ...

I don't know what your problem is but I bet it's hard to pronounce ...

I like you. You remind me of when I was young and stupid...

Ahhh I see that the goof up fairy has visited us again...

I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you...

You sound reasonable...time to increase my medication...

I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter...

Who me? I just wander from room to room...

joash Thu 21-Jul-05 22:06:40

I have to say that I agree with GetOrlaithOut - sometimes it does these type of people good to get a taste of their own medicene.

DS was bullied right through the infants and well into juniors, by a known bully and we fought for years to get someone to do something - his parents used to bully other parents and most of the teachers. FInally DS 'snapped' and retaliated. He saw the bully running past him and immediately stuck his leg out and tripped him up. Bully ended up taking most of the skin off his face arm and leg. His parents got the teachers so wound up that they accused DS of needing some form of psychiatric help because he had done it deliberately - I replied that he had spent years putting up with the abuse and those who were suppose4d to protect him (teachers) werw so bloody afraid of a 9 year old that they had let him rule the entire school, also told them all where to go (and remained very snotty and polite) and sadi 'sue me'.

Nothing happened, the bully stopped bullying, even his parents were very polite after that.

jampots Fri 22-Jul-05 11:12:53

Having mulled over everyone's comments I decided on the following:

This morning when taking ds into school I took in teacher pressies (wine & flowers) and took the opportunity to say whilst she had the class sitting down and being fairly quiet,

"Declan has been giving James a lot of grief lately about being fat, calling names, saying horrid stuff and hitting him on the head, so I have given ds permission to say whatever he feels is necessary in response to Declan (and Ben) today, I dont want to give you any more work to do or cause any stress to your last day, so all I ask of you is to turn a deaf ear to it if you hear anything" which she agreed!

then as it appeared that Declan was sitting furthest away and it was likely he didnt hear I went and told James that I'd spoken to teacher about Declan and there is no doubt he heard me tell James.

then I went and did the same with the year 4 teacher about Ben and she agreed too

incidentally year 4 teacher is the mum of the initial bully so if her son gets a verbal pasting today hopefully she will put 2 and 2 together

Tortington Fri 22-Jul-05 16:46:14

so how did it go?

Miaou Fri 22-Jul-05 16:52:41

Was just searching for this thread to ask the same thing, custy!

jampots Fri 22-Jul-05 19:05:21

dont know yet James is still at his friend's house. I had to go to school as my friends and I decided to have our own "leaving party" in the garden area so apart from grabbing his bag and lunchbox I havent spoken to him. Will report when he gets back

Tortington Sat 23-Jul-05 22:29:46

well..fess up?

handlemecarefully Sat 23-Jul-05 23:07:40

Just seen this. I'm a 1000% with Getorlaithout (GDG?).

Glad you primed your son to give as good as he gets. IME a few choice verbals aimed at the bully (plus hitting back if physically attacked first) are the only way to go.

Tanzie Sun 24-Jul-05 21:04:52

My DD was told repeatedly by one of the girls in her year last year that she was fat. I told her to tell this little shit that she was ugly. She did, and everyone laughed and the bullying stopped.

I was bullied at school for years and it only stopped when something snapped one day, I pushed him down the stairs and kicked him repeatedly in the nuts until someone pulled me off. And if he couldn't father children because of it, I don't care.

Tortington Mon 25-Jul-05 08:06:24

c'mon jampots - your killing me here?!

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