Have you ever felt awkward about a group of people when you see them in your school? Are you afraid of going to school that many times you wish you won’t go or that your parents change your school simply because of a boy or girl or a group of them that make you feel your head is too big, you are too proud, you parents are not rich, you do not have a good bag, your shoes are bad or that you’re not good enough? Do a group of people pick on you unnecessarily, make fun of you and then you begin to feel like you do not fit into their class or group? 98% Chances are that you are going through bullying.
Bullies usually make fun of others for many things, including appearance (how someone looks), behavior (how someone acts), race or religion, social status and family background (whether someone is popular), sexual identity (like being gay, lesbian, or transgender) and so many more.
It is not a new thing that bullying is rampant among humans – it exists both in adult and kids – and those of teenagers and minors are mostly in school, among distant relatives, in church, sporting and training centres and it is usually hard for teenagers and kids to pull through. If adults will sink into depression as a result of bullying, then kids and teenagers are likely to feel more. It is usually a traumatic experience and it diminishes self-esteem, leaves teenagers feeling depressed and anxious and bad about themselves. It most times has a long lasting effect, if not addressed ASAP. No thanks to modern technology, more opportunities for bullying now exist than ever before and teenagers are faced with wanting to have phones like their friends do, the types of trending clothes they have and many more.
Two Things To Know About Bullying
There Is No Stereotype: Anyone can be bullied because it varies from situation to situation. There is no one type of teenager that gets bullied despite what may be generally portrayed in movies and on TV. It is not always about the teenager that is reserved, nerdy, or antisocial – so many outgoing extrovert teens get bullied. A teenager once shard her experience, saying she never though she could be bullied as a junior in high school. She was a varsity cheerleader, vice president of multiple clubs, and a prominent face in the student body thanks to being on the yearbook staff. She always thought of herself as someone who was friendly and fair while always trying my best to be compassionate to those around me but suddenly, some a group was created in her school and she was not added and then on the group, pictures and videos of her were sent, followed by nasty comments. So you see, bullying is not stereotyped, it can happen to anyone.
It Is Not About You But The Bully: Whenever and every time I talk to teenagers about rape, sexual assault and bullying, I like to reiterate that being a victim is not their fault, neither is it about them. I will explain. Someone hating you is not your decision or action, they are the ones hating – except that you hurt them and do not apologise. Even if you do hurt them, it is a thing of their heart to keep you in mind forever. Most times, the bullied kid is not the problem but the bully. Some bullies want to be in control or have power over others, hence, they bully. Some are focused on themselves alone, have poor social skills and have a hard time getting along with people, might not care about people, or lack empathy or are often insecure and jealous that others are better than they are and so, they resort to bullying. Teens who come from abusive homes are more likely to bully than other children because aggression and violence are modeled for them. For some, it is a way of retaliating, some use bullying as a means of justifying their actions because they too have been harassed and tormented. So you see, it is not because your head is big (it may be big truly), but about them because they fail to understand humans come in different form, shape and size – everyone cannot be the same.What To Do When Bullied
There are many things that you can do if you’re being bullied or know someone who is. They are but not limited to:
Telling a trusted adult. Adults in positions of authority, like parents, teachers, or coaches, often can deal with bullying without the bully ever learning how they found out about it. It may help to talk to a guidance counselor, teacher, or friend — anyone who can give you the support you need. Talking can be a good outlet for the fears and frustrations that can build when you’re being bullied.
Ignore the bully and walk away. Bullies like getting a reaction. If you walk away or ignore them, you’re telling them that you don’t care. Even if you are saddened by their actions, master and be in charge of your reaction so you don’t et them see you weak.
Invest in yourself and walk tall: bullies will make you feel bad but you need to invest in yourself. Understand that not everyone will like you and you cannot be good for every one. Understand that you cannot satisfy everyone too, and so, accept yourself that you are good whichever way you are. Tell yourself positive things and walk in that light – walk with your head high. Using this type of body language sends a message that you’re not vulnerable.
Don’t get physical: You’re more likely to be hurt and get into trouble if you try to fight a bully. Work out your anger in another way, such as exercising or writing it down (make sure you delete or tear up any emails, posts, letters, or notes you write in anger).
But be confident. Practice ways to respond to the bully verbally or through your behavior. After you feel good about yourself and unbreakable, you have to face the bully, not with the fists or angry words, but words that will subtly savage them and hurt their ego. For instance, if you are abused for having a big head and you are always coming among the top 3 of your class, you need to be proud of your head in respect to your intelligence. Like, “Yes, thank you. I like my big head and that is why I come first in class. Probably if you had one, you won’t come 15th.” Say it with all confidence and smile, so that you don’t feel abusive, then walk away as soon as possible.
Try to talk to the bully. Try to point out that his or her behavior is serious and harmful. This can work well if you notice that a member of your own group has started to pick on or shun another member.
Read also: Top 10 Things You Should Focus On And Master At Your Teen Age
Find your (true) friends. If you’ve been bullied with rumors or gossip, tell your friends so that they can help you feel safe and secure. Avoid being alone, especially when the bullying is happening a lot.
Stand up for friends and others you see being bullied. Your actions help the victim feel supported and may stop the bullying. You may join your school’s bullying or violence prevention programs. If your school doesn’t have these programs, start one of your own, with your true friends, accepting and appreciating one another and standing up to the bullies confidently.
Photos Credit: Getty