Bullying has become an unfortunate part of modern culture that we just have to accept and deal with. Many tell stories of how they were bullied in school or college or work. It is relentless and never seems to stop. But today we stand united #StandUpToBullyingDay.
Bullying can take many forms including physical attacks to verbal abuse but we must establish that no matter what form, it is NOT acceptable. It is NOT okay. For example, recently we have just voted in the EU referendum. I have heard a few people tell me they were voting to leave because of the immigrants as if this will automatically shut them out from our society. It won’t!
With the rise of technology, increases the rise of bullying. The young generation of today arguably spent a lot of time on social media. Bullies have sought into this and began to use the internet as another way to get at people. I often wonder what someone must have went through in their life to target another and do anything they can to destroy that person’s happiness. Yes, you don’t have to like everyone. You don’t even need to spend time with everyone, but you DO have to respect them.
Recently I have began to notice that if someone doesn’t like a particular person they may act against them and do what they can to upset that person. This is the wrong way to think. Why should you be in charge of another person’s happiness? Happiness is not for you to control. If you don’t like them and don’t wish to be friends with them, then why not just leave them alone? Instead of spending time fueling hate against them?
In my younger years of high school, I had a big falling out with a member of staff. I made a simple mistake, but instead of owning up to this, I began fueling anger into the situation. I began talking about them behind their back in the hope that they would hear me. I wasn’t well, but that’s no excuse. More importantly – I could have just apologised for my mistake and then moved on with my life. Instead, I wasted months of my time hating her and making things difficult for her when an apology would have just ended the disagreement. I have regretted this ever since and now wish I would of just spoken to her about the issue. Since we did get on before it, we trusted each other and we got on after it reasonably well, just without the trust. I was naive and young, If I could go back, I would of probably of done things differently. Then again, if it wouldn’t have happened, I wouldn’t of became the person I am today.
Why waste days, months, year or even decades of your life fueling hate against other people when you could focus your energy on helping others and making the life of others? You could spend your time working, studying, with people you actually care about, living your life instead.
Bullying is never okay. While you are fueling your anger at other people. Think of what you could be doing to them? They wouldn’t tell you, but they might be going home, crying into their pillows every night. They might be wishing they were dead. They might have family struggles going on. They might be struggling with a mental illness. They might be in an abusive relationship. There are probably over a million or more different scenarios about what this person you don’t like may be going through. You don’t know the full story, you don’t know what they are struggling with. So how does this give you the right to manipulate their weaknesses? It doesn’t!
After I left high school, I lost touch or fell out with most of my friendship group. Now, three years later, I have only kept in touch with two people out of my friendship group. There was one girl who I thought I’d continue to be friends with who then abandoned her school friends for her University friends. People change, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst. You will need to accept this. I lost touch with most of my friendship group as I realised that they had not been very good friends. They were only ever there for me when they needed or wanted something. Other than that they were nowhere to be seen.
Pain or stress can make all sorts of people behave in all sorts of different ways. Towards the end of high school, one of my friends I lost touch with decided to start arguments with me just because she could. Around the time of our exams, she started an argument with me publicly over my friends Facebook timeline. She didn’t even have the decency to private message me. I forgave this despite no apology because another friend had a word with me briefly about what she was going through at the time. Then once we left, another argument began. At this moment, I decided that it was better off us not being friends, and me not being in her life. I didn’t see the point being friends if she was going to start regular arguments and leave us both upset. She had me crying myself to sleep some nights with worry for her. I made a decision on what was best for her and stuck to this.
I don’t see the point creating arguments for no reason, targeting people just because they are different or you don’t like them. When I was in my younger years of high school, a girl in my year went as far to send a virus to my computer just so she could see what I had accessed and tell others to make fun of me. She did all that at the thought of being popular. Popularity can be a deadly poison. Some people will stop at nothing to be popular which is unfortunate because they end up missing out on a great deal in life. One of my friends at that time even screwed me over because she was getting the attention from the popular students who only spoke to her for gossip and someone else to laugh at.
I thought and hoped that when I left school things would changed. I hoped that I would have got rid of the kids that like to upset others to become popular. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case. For two out of three of my college years, everything was exactly how I thought it would be. Then this year something changed within our class. A bunch of students got into what you would call a clique. A girl I thought was my friend began blanking me all of a sudden for no reason at all. I just let her go, after what I had been through in school I decided it would be pointless to try to talk to her about it and that I was better off not having anything to do with her.
This clique began to sit in classes in a group and laugh and snicker at those not in their group whenever they spoke in class. They began finding people’s weaknesses and manipulating them to get what they wanted. Unfortunately this divided the class into groups. I was lucky to have another two I could call friends. I ended up witnessing a lot of hurt this year but was glad that I managed not to end up involved in any of it. It went as far to get our lecturers upset and for them and the few of us not in this group to get sick of the class.
Now that I’ve left, I’m glad to be rid of that class setting but I do miss certain lecturers who I hope to stay in touch with. I was lucky that the last three years at college I’ve had the same guidance lecturer who has been a great support to me. He has been there for me whenever needed and hasn’t let me down and I really appreciate this. Just goes to show, there are decent people in this world if you look for them.
Bullying creates a poisonous/toxic atmosphere that isn’t healthy. It causes tension and hate. If more people were to actually stop and think about how their actions could affect someone else then maybe they would see this. Stand Up to Bullying Day is about saying STOP to bullying. It is NOT acceptable and we need to work to change people’s opinions sooner rather than later.
If you are being bullied, then PLEASE speak to someone you trust. I know it can be very difficult, I myself have major trust issues. If you look hard enough you will find someone you can put your trust in, just like I found with my college guidance lecturer. Be it a teacher, a parent, a friend or someone else. Please let others in. Perhaps if I’d have just let in that high school teacher in my younger years I could have saved myself a whole lot of hurt and regret. On the slight chance if anyone had read this far – If you don’t have anyone you feel you can talk to you can email me at email@example.com. I will list some useful resources that you may find useful at the bottom of this article.
If you have the feeling that someone you care about is being bullied then handle with caution. You may just scare them away if you fife off at everyone. Let them know that you are there for them and want to listen when they are ready to talk. Alert them to any resources that you may find useful yourself. Perhaps have a quiet word with a teacher or parent if you have serious worries about their health/and/or mental status.
If you think you are a bully, then also speak to someone you trust. It can be difficult to change your ways. It is up to you to decide the person you wish to be in life. If you look at yourself and don’t like the person you’ve become then maybe its time for change. It can be difficult to make that first step, but having the support of those around you can be a life changing way of changing yourself as a person.