Over the past few years, everyone knows that there has been an increase in school violence by students, and shockingly yet, they are blaming it in part of being harassed and tormented by their peers. The best defense against this trend is to understand the characteristics of bullies and how to prevent this occurring to you.
Girlfriends, bullying is about power! It can be more than physical abuse and can take on many different faces. Teen girls exert enormous power over their peers. Their weapons are not their fists, but their emotional mind games and their mouths — gossiping, name-calling, excluding, withholding friendships and silence — can be as harmful as physical intimidation and violence. The effects can cause low self-esteem, depression, poor grades, isolation and sleepless nights. Even worse, some teens decide to end their lives instead of facing this kind of misery on a daily basis.
You need to know that bullies are often people who have been abused, and somehow need to take control of their lives. To cope with their situation, they take it out on someone else that they feel is weaker, who has low self-esteem and is insecure. Remember, the bully feels the needs to dominate and be the center of attention because it makes them feel better about themselves. Regardless their reason, it is wrong!
It’s hard for teen girls to deal with this type of behavior, especially when the harassment is happening to you. Here are a few tips on what to do if you find yourself in a tough spot.
- Be assertive and stay calm. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” -John 14:27
- Don’t react to the comments. Walk away. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1 NIV
- Don’t be afraid to report the behavior to an adult. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return on their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
- If you see someone being bullied, stand up and step up! Help the person out of the bad situation. “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” –Philippians 2:4 KJV
- Be the power of influence! If you are popular and well liked, it only takes one positive comment from you about someone to change how others view that person. Be positive and uplifting. It could change a life.
Terry Squires is the creator and author of the TodaysGirls.com series and the One Impact Bible.