OK, I’ll admit I’ve been putting off writing this post. I’ve been practising ukulele, painting my nails, looking at a picture of Crow in a dress... even revising for my Irish test. Bullying is a really depressing topic, but it’s something I’ve experienced and feel strongly about and I felt that I should add to the resources already out there, particularly as this is a blog for teens. I’m not going to go into my experience in a lot of detail, because frankly this blog isn’t about me, it’s about you guys. I want it to have a personal touch, but it’s not my secret diary and it’s not my place to talk about personal issues which maybe I still haven’t got past. As my mum advised me, in five years’ time I might feel differently to the way I feel now. Some blogs are very personal, and that’s great for them, but me... not so much. So, bullying in general...
Bullying comes in many different shapes and sizes, so it’s hard to identify. Let me put it this way: If you think you’re being bullied... you probably are. If, on a regular basis, you’re being made to feel bad by another human being, this is bullying. It can come in many different shapes and sizes, from obvious and physical, to cyber-bullying which is getting a lot of press lately, to comments so subtle you don’t even notice them until it’s half an hour later and you’re feeling upset.
Probably the first question a victim of bullying asks themselves is this:
The answer is... there’s simply no reason. I know at least three girls, each of whom is so beautiful I envy them, who have told me they were bullied “Because I was fat.” As I’ve said to them, they weren’t bullied because they were fat—none of them were—they were bullied because people wanted them to think they were fat. Characters in films and books, like poor old Neville above, who get bullied, usually have a specific characteristic: they’re clumsy, they’re geeky, they’re supposedly ugly, or maybe they just don’t act like the rest of us. But there are plenty of clumsy, geeky people who aren’t the same as everyone else, but who go through life without ever getting bullied. There are also people with none of those characteristics who do. The point is, there’s no stereotype when it comes to bullying. Anyone can suffer from it, once people decide to pick on them.
But there is one thing the movies get right. Eventually, people overcome bullying and turn their lives around. And often, the bully gets left behind.
As for why the bully feels they need to act that way, it’s not because they hate you. It’s because they are jealous of you, or maybe they like you so much that they don’t want you to have tons of friends. Yes, that’s easy for me to say, and I know that’s hard to believe, but I can guarantee it’s true. Nobody is bullied through their own fault, but there are some things we can do to stop it.
My next post will be about how to deal with bullying (advice which should be taken with bucketloads of salt), so if you’re being picked on, hang on in there! Please comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org to tell me your views on bullying.