We were all bullied at least once by someone we know or by someone we don’t. Before getting into Anti Bullying, let’s learn a little about bullying. Have you ever bullied someone? Some of us have, at some point in time.
When I ask this question to you, remember that I asked that to myself a million times before that? To my own utter discomfort, my answer is YES. I have bullied people without even thinking about the consequences.
What is Bullying?
According to Bullying UK, Bullying is quoted as
Repeated behaviour that is intended to hurt someone either emotionally or physically, and is often aimed at certain people because of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation or any other aspect such as appearance or disability.Bullying UK, Website
- Have you insulted someone to make yourself feel superior?
- Have you assaulted someone in the name of a prank?
- What happens when you call people names just to agree with your peer gang?
- How do you retaliate with someone who has disagreed with you?
- Is it easy for you to deal with an insult?
- Have you reciprocated anger with threats?
- Have you made someone feel defensive because of their financial status?
- How do you behave to someone who looks thin or fat?
Bullying is ugly because it could hurt anyone’s sentiment. If you have made someone feel uncomfortable in their own skin, then you have been a bully. I could relate to this because I have been on both ends.
On Being Bullied and Being a Bully
I have been bullied at school and by some close family members. Also, I have also bullied people. To be honest, I have felt insulted on many occasions during my school due to my financial background. On many occasions, I have also been bullied for being underweight.
Just being fair wasn’t enough, flawless skin was mandatory. I felt inadequate many times for having acne-prone skin. Some people don’t understand. I was told that I was a dirty pig, hence I had acne. There have been moments where I did not have the slightest confidence to show my face.
During high school, I became a different person. Instead of covering my flaws, I started finding faults in others and passed rude comments. There I went to another extreme where I shared rude remarks in the name of being honest.
On one such occasion, I shared a rude remark straight on my senior’s face at school. I shared a terrible comment about my senior’s appearance on one of the fun occasions, in the name of truth or dare. I must admit that I am ashamed about it now. However, I cannot change the past, but I do not share remarks about anyone’s appearance anymore.
Making fun of Appearance
I had to go through a lot of devastating impacts when I had acne as a teenager. My peanut-sized confidence was further immensely shattered by many people’s rude remarks, some of them coming from the closest family.
To cover up a few of my personal hurt, I have also bullied other people. I have emotionally hurt my sister many times, and I feel that was the worst thing to do as a big sister.
I have changed a lot since then, but still, it was not easy to change. When you are being constantly judged and insulted for everything you do, sometimes we just want to shovel it back on someone else. It took me a long time to realize that is not how it happens.
It is not easy to stand up for yourself when you have a lot of self-doubts. However, we all need to overcome these blocks. I decided to be the happy go lucky kind, the one who started seeing the brighter side of things in everyday life.
It was not an easy start for me. I used to cry a lot on my own, but I slowly stopped sharing remarks that hurt others. For a long time, I hoped people would stop criticizing my life too. Even though I was still shadowed by some demons of my own, it was vital for me not to let them overpower me.
As a mother to a 3.5-year-old today, I am still getting so many comments about everything. Many people have started sharing their jokes about my daughter too. We are filled with criticism, aren’t we?
- Why have I gained weight?
- Do I ever cook?
- Why is my daughter so thin? Do I feed her, or do I eat it all?
- Do I ever plan to work?
- Why do I wear the same thing over and over?
- Will I ever become financially strong?
If you are hurting someone emotionally or physically, but covering it in the name of a joke, kindly stop and talk to yourself! Would you like the same question pointed to you?
Today I have come to the state where I see the beauty in a person’s deed rather than their words or appearance. Honestly, appearance doesn’t matter to me anymore.
Anti Bullying Week at School
I received a notice from my daughter’s nursery about #antibullyingweek. It was considered one of the special days at school. The children were invited to wear odd socks to support anti bullying week. It was a significant initiative for preschoolers. I wondered what they would know about it now?
” If not now, then when?” was the question that popped in my head.
When I told my 3.5 year old to wear odd socks, she immediately asked me why she must wear it. I had to answer a few questions before she agreed to wear them. She wanted to know why someone would wear different socks instead of the same.
That was a valid question. Isn’t it true that we could not relate to something that we have never experienced? I explained to her that some children cannot differentiate between colors and wear odd socks to school. Sometimes other children do not understand them but instead make fun of them for wearing odd socks.
We must never make fun of others for being different than us. If we can help, we can stop by and ask them why they did what they did. We spoke for a while about this. I explained to my daughter that one must understand the situation before commenting about their difference.
Let Children Learn
I asked her how she would feel if someone made fun of her about her dress? She said she would feel sad. She agreed to wear odd socks to her school and said that they look nice on her legs.
Since I had no idea if my daughter understood what I was trying to tell her, I asked her if she would make fun of someone who wore odd socks to school. She said she would not do that.
As a child, I was having difficulty embracing the odds. As an adult, I think and analyze about embracing the odds, but only as a parent, I understood what it is like to stand up against bullying.
It is important to encourage our children to appreciate everyone just the way they are! Bullying can get messy for adults and children. Take the time to connect with kids and build a better relationship with yourself. Let us open our hearts and minds to be compassionate to one another.