Assertive Phrases for STANding Up to Bullying

In the heat of an encounter with a bully, it can be very challenging for a young person to respond effectively.  When kids learn and practice assertive phrases for standing up to bullies, they become well-equipped to handle incidents of conflict and bullying with their peers.

In Friendship & Other Weapons, kids learn and practice using Bully Bans,  short, to-the-point, assertive phrases that let others know that they will not participate in their bullying, nor will they be bullied.   Some examples of Bully Bans include:


  • “Friends don’t treat each other that way.”
  • “I need a friend that will treat me kindly.”
  • “Not cool!”
  • “Knock it off.”
  • “Cut it out.”
  • “Stop it.”
  • “I don’t want to be treated that way.”
  • “I like the way I look.”
  • “That was not funny.”
  • “I can take a joke, but what you said was not funny—it was mean.”
  • “Friends don’t do that to friends.”
  • “That’s bullying.”


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.


These Assertive Phrases for STANding Up to Bullying are excerpted from Session 4 of Friendship & Other Weapons: Group Activities to Help Young Girls Aged 5-11 to Cope with Bullying.  For more information or activity ideas on how to teach assertive phrasing to kids, please check out Friendship & Other Weapons on this site or on 

You may print the STANd Up to Bullying bookmark below as an easy reminder for kids about assertive phrases that stop bullying in its tracks.



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