An expert on bullying explains five common characteristics of kids who are bully proof.

Don’t assume that in order for kids to be bully proof, they must act tough or exude a “You’d better not mess with me” persona.

To act tough to gain a bully proof armor is, essentially, over-correcting to prevent being bullied.

Kate Walton, a former public school teacher, has developed very effective anti-bullying strategies for schools, and she speaks to schools and universities on the topic of “The Power of Human Kindness.”

A mother of two, Walton is also the author of young adult novels about the hideous consequences of bullying, “Cracked” and “Empty.”

Walton says that the students she’s worked with throughout the years, whom she’d categorize as bully proof, shared five key traits. They are as follows:

Dignity and respect. Bully proof kids “treated every child around them with dignity and respect, regardless of popularity, race, gender, etc.,” says Walton.

There was no distinction in terms of ethnicity, religion, size, etc. Rather, everyone, in the eyes of bully proof kids, was a human being.

Confidence. Bully proof kids exude what Walton refers to as a quiet confidence. This doesn’t mean meekness, but a self-assured type of quietness; no need for arrogance or loudness.

Happiness. Bully proof kids are happy and comfortable in their own skin, says Walton. They are fine with their physical attributes, even if they don’t blend in.

Diffuser. Another trait of bully proof kids is that of not being afraid to stand up to bullies, but doing so in a diplomatic way.

Bully proof kids also “typically diffused the tension without any resulting drama,” says Walton.

At ease with expression. The fifth trait common to bully proof kids is ease at expressing their feelings, whether on paper or conversationally, says Walton.

These five common traits of bully proof kids all add up to confident, well-adjusted, happy, kind and compassionate individuals, says Walton, and these traits can certainly be cultivated at home by parents who set a proper example.

“When parents or caretakers parent in a compassionate, conscientious, and diligent manner, the result is a great kid!”

A mother of two, Kate Walton is also the author of two young adult novels about bullying, “Empty” and “Cracked.”