Having been a victim of bullying myself in high school, this story was extremely heart-breaking for me. I watched Amanda’s YouTube video and cried my eyes out for a long time. Such a sad story 😥
With the recent tragic suicide that happened with local 15-year-old Amanda Todd there has been a lot of focus on the topic of bullying. Which is a good thing, it is just really unfortunate that it took such a horrible tragedy for people to get serious about how to create some change.
Bullying has been going on for as long as anyone can remember. It’s an old problem that needs new solutions.
Bullying causes all kinds of mental health problems that for many stay with them for a lifetime. Low self-esteem, low-self-worth, low self-confidence, anxiety, depression, etc.
According to a recent study, when young people, aged 11, 13 and 15 were asked to report on their experiences with bullying and victimization within the preceding two months, prevalence rates ranged from 1% to 50% across 25 countries in Europe and North America. Overall, about 35% of students reported bullying others at least once over the previous two months while about 34% of respondents reported being victimized at least once. For 11%, peer victimization occurred 2 or 3 times or more in the preceding two months. The figures vary considerably across countries, ranging from 9 to 73% for bullying others and from 2 to 36% for victimization.
Bullying is about power – the abuse of power, and happens in four different forms:
Physical bullying: direct physical aggression or attacks
Verbal bullying: teasing, mocking, name calling, and other forms of verbal humiliation and intimidation, as well as threats, coercion and extortion. It can also include racist, sexist and/or homophobic taunts.
Social bullying: the use of relationships to harass others through gossip, public humiliation and/or embarrassment, rumor-spreading, alienation and exclusion from the group,
Cyber bullying: use of the Internet, email or text messaging to threaten, hurt, single out, embarrass, spread rumors or reveal secrets about others. Interestingly, although adults tend to be especially concerned about physical and electronic bullying, student reports indicate that it is social and relational bullying that are experienced far more often.
Hurt people, hurt people. Hurt people intentionally try to hurt other people. Bullies are hurt, insecure people.
The bullying happens because of a lack of self-confidence and self-esteem –both the bully and the bullied suffer from a lack of self confidence and self-esteem. Bullies target people they see as being weak in some way. They bully because they are too insecure to let others have power and influence.
Children need to learn the essential skills of self-confidence at a young age. Those who do, deal with bullies very differently. They will tell someone about it, ignore the bully, use humor, or let the bully know that they recognize that they are not as tough as they think they are. As a result, the bully will not get the validation and reaction they are seeking and will stop bullying.
Children also need to learn to know and appreciate who they are, focus on their strengths and learn assertiveness skills so that they will feel good about themselves and they will make better decisions.
Here’s a few tips on how to handle bullying:
1) Be An Engaged Parent
Parents need to consistently communicate with their children and be aware of the signs of a child being bullied:
- not wanting to go to school
- isolating themselves
- changes in their personality
- sadness and/or depression
- loss of interest in social events
- changes in phone or Internet use
2) Project Confidence and Assertiveness
Even when we are silent we communicate a lot. In fact, 55% of our communication is body language! It is absolutely essential to have confident, assertive body language. The subconscious messages and mannerisms we are sending out to the people around us speaks volumes, without us saying a single word. So it is incredibly important that we are very aware of what we are projecting.
Poor eye contact, slouching, nervous gestures, fidgeting and other non-assertive behaviors displays insecurity and makes for an easy target.
When we move confidently and carry our bodies confidently, you not only feel more confident but others assume that you are.
3) Communicate With Confidence
- Use a confident tone of voice. There are many aspects of voice that affect the impact your words have on others.
- Speak loudly and slowly enough to be heard and understood.
- When communicating with a bully, use a calm assertive voice say things like: “Stop It!” or “Go Away!”
- Leave as soon as possible and always go to an adult for help.
No matter what age, self-confidence causes people to treat us differently.
For most people the teenage years are filled with feelings of insecurity, uncertainty, confusion, frustration and self-doubt.
At that most impressionable and vulnerable time, I wish someone would have come into my high school and taught me, and all the girls at my high school, about the importance of having self-confidence. It is extremely important in every aspect of our lives, yet so many people struggle to find it because it was not taught to us. That is why I decided to offer a Teen Girls Confidence Program.
My goal in teaching this informative 6 week program is to help teen girls have a healthier sense of who they are so that they can make better decisions and choices in all areas of their life through learning how to be self-aware and empowered so they can love themselves from the inside out.
To learn more about my Absolute Confidence Teen Girls Program click HERE