Verbal Bullying Affects all Ages - Social Skills Series #1

Verbal Bullying Affects all Ages - Social Skills Series #1

Do you struggle with relationships and social situations, or know someone who does?

Verbal bullying, sometimes known as teasing, is probably one of the most common forms of bullying amongst children and teens (and probably adults too!). The National Center for Educational Statistics reported that about 28% of teens in the US are recent victims of bullying, but that number jumps up to about 54% for teens with special needs and a staggering 94% of adolescents who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)!!

Here are some tips to handle verbal teasing:

  • Develop short verbal comebacks to (a) hopefully stop the situation and (b) show that you don’t really care what the bully has to say 
  • Examples include:
  • “Whatever…”
  • “So what?”
  • “And?”
  • “And your point is?”
  • Develop nonverbal comebacks to show apathy
  • Examples include:
  • Eye roll
  • Shoulder shrug
  • Shake your head
  • Disengage from the teasing
  • You can do this by:
  • Walking away
  • Looking away

If you are the one helping a friend or family member learn these skills, help them to practice and give kind and helpful feedback to things that might improve the situation.  Everyone has something that they need to work on and so we want to be helpful, but not shaming when giving feedback.  Process through social situations afterwards in order to give more advice and feedback.

**Check back for more tips in the Social Skills Series!**

Want more information?  Check out The Science of Making Friends:  Helping Socially Challenged Teens and Young Adults by Elizabeth Laugeson, PsyD

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