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Canteen Talk

How to stop being a bully?

Mehul, 13, enjoys sitting at the front of his class for attention from his teacher, and has a reputation for being mean. One day, he bullies a classmate, Aravind, leading to a group chant against Aravind. Feeling guilty, Mehul seeks advice from his school counselor and learns techniques to manage his negative feelings and how he can stop bullying others. Let’s find out about these tips in today’s Canteen Talk! 



Mehul loves to sit on the first few benches in his class. He thinks can use this advantage for maximum retention and to receive the maximum focus from his teacher. 

“Mehul, you’re so smart yaar,” said his classmates with a half-hearted look. His classmates were not so afraid of his intellect as they were of his mean attitude.  

One day, the teacher was giving more attention to students who had a lot of doubts and were facing difficulty in the subject. This annoyed Mehul a little. He was angry at Aravind for asking dumb questions and wasting everyone’s time.

All the cool and popular kids were friends with Mehul. Mehul sometimes felt he was superior to these groups because he was not only popular but intelligent as well.

When the bell for the break rang, all the students opened their tiffins in the Canteen and began to chit-chat among their group of friends. 

Group bullying 

However, Mehul went towards Aravind and pushed him towards the ground. 

“You’re such a dumbo, Aravind. You don’t even know the answer to such a simple question,” Mehul shouted. 

The canteen fell silent as everyone gathered around Aravind and his friends. “Aravind is a dumbo! Aravind is a dumbo!” the chant began, fueled by a few mocking voices. 

Mehul laughed at Aravind’s tears, “Now look who started crying like a little baby.” 

Just then, Ananya, unable to resist, interjected with, “Hey Aravind, if you need help tying your shoelaces, just let us know!” 

Aravind’s humiliation deepened as he fought back tears, feeling the weight of their words in the crowded space.

Everybody in the canteen left their conversations and formed a hurdle around them. 

“Aravind is a dumbo! Aravind is a dumbo!” they all begin to chant. 

Aravind begins to sob. Mehul started laughing when he saw him cry.

With the group surrounding him, Mehul felt encouraged to bully him even more.

“You’re such a crybaby, Aravind. You always cry about everything,” said Mehul while laughing.

When the whole class began to chant again, a teacher walked in. He was Mehul’s Life Skills teacher and also a school counsellor. Mehul noticed a disappointed look on the teacher’s face. She stopped him and asked everyone to go to their classes. 

Guilt after the act

When Mehul came back home that day, he felt guilty about the way he reacted. He always feels guilty after bullying people but doesn’t know how to stop.

“I shouldn’t have pushed and said all of those things to Aravind. I should have talked normally to him after the class but I ended up hurting him.” Mehul muttered to himself.

He wanted to talk to his teacher but he was so afraid that he would hate him for what he did. 

The next day, he went to his school counsellor’s office and somehow managed to confess to him as the guilt of doing such things was gradually building in Mehul. His teacher acknowledged his guilt and had a discussion with him about all the bullying he did. His teacher responsibly interacted with him and gave him some helpful advice.

Given below are some of the tips that his teacher gave to him. If you are someone who bullies people, you should try to do the following like Mehul as well:

  1. Cool Down Technique: When those negative feelings start to bubble up—like anger, envy, or whatever—hit the pause button. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and count to ten. Repeat as needed to shake off the bad vibes.
  2. Flip the Script: Got something that really gets under your skin? Instead of dwelling on it, shift your focus to something positive that brings a smile to your face. And if you’re feeling guilty like Mehul after doing something you regret, let that guilt be your wake-up call to do better next time.
  3. 3. Words Hurt, Actions Sting: Whether it’s a mean comment or a physical shove, bullying leaves a mark. Remember, words can cut just as deep as punches.
  4. Get Curious: Ever wonder why you’re drawn to picking on/bullying others? Take a moment to dig deep and figure out what’s behind those actions. Understanding your motives is the first step to making positive changes.
  5. Choose Your Crew Wisely: Surround yourself with people who lift you and support you. If you find yourself in a group that encourages negative behaviour, it might be time to find some new friends.
  6. See Things Differently: Embrace the uniqueness of others and try to see things from their perspective. It’s like putting on a new pair of glasses that helps you understand where they’re coming from.
  7. Practice Empathy: Take a moment to think about how your actions might affect others. Putting yourself in their shoes can help you become more understanding and compassionate.
  8. Own Up and Apologize: If you make a mistake, taking responsibility is important. Apologise to those you’ve hurt and take steps to make things right. Forgiving yourself is part of the process of growing and learning from your experiences.

Mehul followed these tips given to him by his teacher and has shown considerable growth by not bullying anyone and taking the time to understand the people around him instead of building negative judgements about them. Mehul even apologized to Aravind and is trying to make amends with him.

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Want to learn more on this topic? Check out this interesting video :

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