Last week I followed the story of the kid who was bullied because of his height. My friend Hannah initially sent me the article, and it was a total tear jerker. Bullying is real and it happens everyday in real life and online. The rise of popularity in social media has only made bullying more severe, leading kids to self-harm and even commit suicide. A decade ago, no one would have thought that a comment on a social post or a post on Facebook could stem so much depression and anxiety among people of all ages, but it does.
I’ve spoken out about bullying since the beginning of my career. I started my blog to overcome the classic mean kids in middle school and my own personal insecurities. As I’ve gotten older, I would be lying if I said that I don’t deal with situations of bullying now. There have been moments in my business and in my personal life where I have had to take a step back to understand how people who are so much older still have the evil streak to put someone down. It’s terrible! Sometimes I find myself feeling uncomfortable to talk about what happened, but I’m learning that the more I can talk about bullying, the easier it is for you to help overcome what you’re dealing with.
We all have bad days. We have weak moments and times where we will take whatever we are thinking (positive or negative) and put it on someone else. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apologize or take it to a new level by posting someone on social media. You’ll regret that, so keep your social media clean and avoid putting someone down regardless of how angry or sad you may be.
3 WAYS TO COMBAT BULLYING:
- Reach out for help. I never felt comfortable talking to my guidance counselor and my mom wasn’t as involved as I wish she had been when it came down to more personal situations. Had I felt comfortable reaching out to a close friend or someone in the school, I would have. If you are like me and didn’t feel comfortable talking to anyone, call one of the online hotlines out there. We made a full list on M.I.N.T. and you can find a free resource in every state right on that website. The minute you feel sad or angry, call.
2. Parents, it’s your duty to be involved. Research Snapchat and Tik Tok. Understand what makes YOU comfortable and what makes your kids UNCOMFORTABLE. Begin the conversation without any anger or aggression, and simply sit your child down to explain to them the difference between kindness and meanness. What it means to put someone down and what it means to be put down. Slowly, your child will begin to feel like they can open up to you. As the adult, if there is a case of bullying that your child discloses to you, don’t shy away from bringing it to the principal. If that fails, go to someone above the principal. You may need to approach a PTA group and have them help. You are in a better position to combat bullying by having more people on your side!
3. Start an organization in your home town. I know you may be scared to share your experiences, but you’ll slowly learn that the more you talk about what is going on in your school, you’ll realize you’re not alone. Ask your guidance counselor or principal what the rules are on starting an afternoon club, and ask a few of your favorite teachers and friends to show up for the first day. Email a local restaurant in your community and ask if they’ll give you food. Make it happen! We can’t combat an epidemic without talking about it, and that begins with you.