Monday, April 18, 2011
TEASING VS BULLYING
I did a recent middle school visit at a school and found that a child committed suicide in the school. Sadness. My heart broke for the school and the child. During my visit on the STOP THE VIOLENCE panel the kids asked all kinds of questions, but most of them focused around bullying.
This one question stuck firmly in my mind and made me remember something my grandmother used to tell me.
IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY, DON'T SAY NOTHING AT ALL!
I used to hate when she reminded me of that considering I was a snarky teen who thought she knew it all. I had an opinion on everything and didn’t have a problem telling it the way I saw it – especially because people didn’t have a problem reminding me that I was “short”, a “four eyes”, a “square”, a “bastard”, had a uni-brow and much more.
TEASING CAN LEAD TO BULLYING
Although it may seem innocent, teasing can stir the beginnings of bullying. I’ll take my own childhood example.
I was constantly teased for having a uni-brow and being fat. I mean, I was teased about this by my family, by friends, by teachers, heck even people I didn’t know.
My response usually was to just laugh it off. So those perpetrators thought that their teasing didn’t mean anything to me and that I Was In On Their Joke….but deep down inside, with all those people saying the same thing over and over to me – well, I started to think that what they said was true.
HOW TEASING TURNS TO BULLYING
So, since so many people were ‘teasing’ me about my uni-brow and my weight, I started to hate those things about myself, because…THEY DIDN’T CHOSE TO SAY SOMETHING NICE – WHAT THEY SAID WAS MEAN, and even now as a writer – I have to fight the negativity and let only the positivity in. But at that time, I was a kid, and all any kid wants to do is – be accepted.
I figured I could change those things about myself, and the first thing I did was shave my eyebrows. Let me tell you – that didn’t go over too well. Everyone noticed and I got teased worst for it. I let them grow back.
My weight, well, I wasn’t fat, but I was chuncky and at 14yrs old when I wanted a boyfriend like my friends had, I thought I could set off to drop some weight. Then the ‘teasing’ changed and people started giving me compliments, only thing was, I was losing weight to the point of near starvation, fainting, and anorexia. Thankfully I had a very aware grandmother, who stepped in, talked to me, explained to me how beautiful I was inside, that I had to eat and she made sure I did. She told me NO ONE WILL LOVE YOU IF YOU DON’T LOVE YOURSELF FIRST.
Wow – and she told me to LOOK IN THE MIRROR to REMIND MYSELF I AM LOVED. You know what, she did it with me that first day, and even more so after that, until one day – I started to do it for myself.
SO SHARE WITH ME HOW YOU HAVE OVERCOME BULLYING. How you don’t let negativity from nasty words affect you.