Yesterday we shared a post by a girl who realised as a woman that she had bullied another girl in school to the brink of suicide. This seemed to strike a cord, and we received a few messages from girls who were going through a really hard time and wanted to tell us about it.
If you are being bullied, here are some things we want you to know.
- Tell someone. Lots of us are afraid to tell anyone, because we think it will cause everything to blow up and make it worse. Also, we are embarrassed and don’t want others to know we are victims of bullying. Just start by telling one person you trust; a parent, a teacher, a guidance counsellor, a doctor. If you have been holding it to yourself for a while you will feel instantly better. Then you will be able to come up with a solution together.
- Know that you probably haven’t done anything to deserve it. Being a victim of bullying is rarely actually anything to do with you. If you had done anything differently, looked a different way, said a different thing, worn a different outfit, it probably wouldn’t have made a difference. Think of it this way, when you are upset, frustrated, insecure, or angry, there is nothing more irritating than someone who is the opposite of those things. Bullies try to drag others down to make themselves feel better. Don’t change a thing about yourself to try to please them.
- We all want to be liked. Of course we do. But this world is made up of millions of different personality types, and it needs those types to keep it spinning. Sometimes those personalities just won’t gel. That’s okay. We need to learn to respect those differences and not expect everyone to come around to our way of thinking. Its okay, let it go. Stop trying so hard.
- You are not the only one. Divide and conquer. That’s how bullies work. They want everyone to feel alone so they don’t form alliances and stand up to them. Look around you, there is someone else in your school who is just as alone and scared as you are. If she’s sitting alone, go sit with her. You never know, you could make a real, honest and lifelong friend.
- When they go low, we go high. Don’t behave in a way that you will regret. Don’t sink to the same behaviour . It will only make things worse, and you will feel bad about yourself, because you know better.
- Don’t let what they say give you insecurities. They will keep making comments until they find the one that gets the biggest reaction. They’ll say you have a big arse, a small arse, you’re too tall, too short, too skinny, too fat. Own it. You are you, and the things about you that are different are the things that make you stand out after school when those who are different are considered awesome, interesting and attractive to others.
- Remind yourself that the bully is usually in a very bad place. If you knew exactly what their life entails, you probably wouldn’t swap lives with them in a million years. They are clutching for some form of power and control, a diversion from the things that are making them so unhappy. This doesn’t make it right, but it might help you feel a bit better.
- It will pass. It might not seem like it now, but they will get bored after a while and move on. They always do. And when they do, don’t let it put you off ever trying to make new friends, try new things, or push yourself to achieve your goals. That would be an awful shame.
Also, you’re in good company. Did you know:
Lady Gaga was called a freak in school
Mila Kunis was told she had a funny face and her eyes and lips were too big
People said Rihannas green eyes and boobs were weird
Jessica Alba’s Dad had to walk her to school so she wouldn’t be attacked
Demi Lovato was bullied for no apparent reason
People picked things from puddles and threw them at Victoria Beckam, telling her she was too skinny and had a gap in her teeth
The Girls in Miley Cyrus’s class called themselves the “Anti-Miley Club”
Tyra Banks was told she was too lanky with a big forehead
Winona Ryder was beaten up in school. The bully later asked her for an autograph in a cafe.
Jennifer Lawrence had to switch schools because she was bullied.
Hang in there, talk to someone, ask for help. If you don’t know where to turn , try some of these organisations.