Cyber bullying has become increasingly common, unfortunately. We live in an age where instant communications can cut down a person’s confidence and undermine their lives completely. Don’t get caught up with a cyber bully, deal with them directly, instead. These seven tips can help you get through:

1. Keep Your Cool

It’s important that you don’t get down on the level of a bully, by being rude or obnoxious in return. Be the stronger person, by recognizing that wrong is being done and realizing you really want no part of it. Whenever possible, just walk away or click away to some other site.

2. Gather Evidence Of The Cyber Bullying

If the bullying persists or follows you around online in any way, start gathering evidence. Take screen shots of the things that are being said and print them out, making notes explaining the situation further if needed. Keep this paperwork on hand, as you may need it if the situation escalates.

3. Discuss The Bullying With Someone Else

No matter who you are, how old you are or why you’re being bullied, it’s important to realize that you don’t deserve to be spoken to or treated that way – at all, ever. Talk about what’s going on with a peer, colleague, parent, teacher or family friend. Be sure and keep them updated if the bullying continues or gets worse and always remind yourself that the hurtful words really have nothing to do with you; they are a reflection of the bully and should not be taken personally or believed.

4. Change Your Privacy Settings On Social Media

Anytime you’re being bothered on social media, you should change your privacy settings to the maximum allowed by the site. Inform your friends and family of the ongoing problem, so they know how to contact you, but laying low should discourage the bully from bothering you.

5. Don’t Be Afraid To Block And Report Bullies

While you shouldn’t let the words of a bully get to you, if they persist in their efforts, you do want to take note of it and block them whenever possible. Report them, too, if the site you’re on has a report function.

6. Step Away From The Computer

Sometimes, you just need a break from cyber space, especially if you feel wrong and mean things are being said about you online someplace. What often happens is that the victims of bullies become obsessed with finding out what was said about them; thereafter, they are constantly online either trying to defend themselves or feeling worse with every mean word typed about them. If you feel overwhelmed by the situation, take a break from your online devices. You could talk with friends, go for a walk or catch up on housework or homework – whatever it takes to get your mind off the bullying.

7. Take Threats Very Seriously

If cyber bullying escalates to physical threats or verbal abuse, it’s time to take action. Take your accumulated evidence to some authoritative body, such as the school or police department. Also, if the victim of the bullying has made any indication that they “can’t take it anymore” or will do “whatever it takes to get away”, take that very seriously too, as they may need immediate help. If that victim happens to be you, reach out to someone who can help you put the situation into perspective. Understand that no matter how much it hurts now, bullying is a temporary situation you can and will overcome.