Some people will not say thank you, say well done or say congratulations. Some people will not acknowledge how hard we try, how much time we put in or how much we sacrifice. Some people will not accept us for who we are and will pick at our imperfections. Some people suck. But we don’t need them. We shouldn’t rely on others to validate what we do or who we are. We need to be that source of inspiration, encouragement and love for ourselves. We know who we are and decide what we do, and we don’t need anyone else to tell us that we’re beautiful, hardworking and loved. Don’t let anyone make you doubt yourself. Love yourself and believe in yourself.
… don’t do nothing. Because doing nothing is still something. And we might not understand the gravity of standing by. Bullying can range from name calling and teasing to violence, intimidation and harassment, and can manifest at school, at work, or online. So if we do witness bullying, here are a few ways of doing something about it:
- Don’t make assumptions about the bully’s motives or the victim’s feelings. It might seem as if the bully’s words are meant as a harmless joke and it might seem as if the victim brushes them off, but that may not be the case. And even if it is, that’s not an excuse to ignore it.
- Don’t encourage the bully. It might be tempting to laugh at a bully’s remarks or gossip about someone behind they’re back, in an attempt to fit in or avoid being bullied ourselves, but if we keep encouraging it, we keep normalising it. And bullying has too serious consequences to ignore.
- Call it out. If you see the bully in action, in person or online, and you feel safe enough to do so, confront them. Sometimes a bully needs their sense of power to be stripped away. They can thrive on the idea that nobody can stop them. Tell them that they’re wrong. But be careful not to confuse calling out the bully with becoming a bully yourself.
- If standing up to the bully is too frightening, focus on the victim instead. Ask them how they are. Listen to them. Offer them the support they ask for. Befriend them. Invite them to sit with you at lunch times. Whatever you can do to make them feel less alone. There’s strength in numbers and it gives the bullied something to look forward to in a usually hostile environment.
- Tell someone. Sometimes we might lack authority over the bully, for example if we’re classmates or colleagues. We need find help from someone else, like a teacher or someone in human resources – whoever you feel comfortable talking to and who you can trust. Just make sure you’re sensitive and careful about anything you share about the victim.
Got any other advice? Leave it in the comments!
For more advice on dealing with bullying, visit this post: http://wp.me/p2Q5YU-3C
A great part of our life is made up of our interactions with other people. People influence our mood, our actions, our sense of self. And we influence others in the same way. So we’ve got to be careful what we put out there. Encouragement, politeness, guidance, kindness, positivity, hope – these we should pour into the world. Because if we surround people in darkness, they will either run from us or try to cover everyone else in it too. But if we emit light, people will absorb that light and glow too. And the world will be a happier place to live in. Be the person others want to be around. Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.
Hope is deemed by some as weak, impractical and useless; it’s an excuse for those who are caught up in delusion, because they cannot face reality. But although some of what we hope for cannot always materialise, hope is powerful. It illuminates possibilities. It offers encouragement. It provides strength. It brings direction. It can make the difference between a good and bad situation or even a bad and worse situation, because it gives us something to hold onto in all the darkness. Don’t blow out the candle. You never know when you might need it.
Let’s imagine we are in a situation where we need to motivate someone using our words. Let’s imagine that someone has made a mistake, perhaps a miscalculation, or maybe they have simply failed to maintain their routine and targets. What would you say to them? Are they words of disapproval, blame and criticism or words of encouragement, affirmation and compassion? Most likely, the latter. Now let’s picture ourselves in the position of that person, lacking motivation and passion, where we only have ourselves at our disposal. What would you say to yourself? Are they words of disapproval, blame and criticism or words of encouragement, confidence and compassion? Did you say something different?
It is easier said than done, but the words we feed ourselves on a daily and even hourly basis shape our motivation. We do not always have somebody to inspire and support us; we need to be our own support, inspiration and motivation. We cannot expect ourselves to be motivated, let alone succeed or feel content, if we are constantly harassing ourselves with negative comments. If we tell ourselves that we are slow, lazy, unproductive, worthless or stupid, whether we are running out of steam or still ploughing on, we will eventually begin to believe ourselves and we won’t feel like there is use in trying anymore. We need to start having some self-compassion and self-forgiveness. We need to start picking ourselves up not pushing ourselves down. Life will throw us enough curveballs that we don’t need to be adding to them. Fill your minds with positive thoughts about yourself and you are on step closer to succeeding, simply because you believe you can succeed. Reassure yourself, have confidence in yourself, praise yourself. The rest will follow.