Finding Acceptance When Laughed At and Hurting

By Martha Bolton:

 Are you feeling laughed at? Bullied? Betrayed? We know it hurts, but don’t let those bullies win.

 

Image of sad girl used at thinkingaboutsuicide.com

Feeling betrayed? Laughed at? Wounded by others? Be your own best friend.

Whoever:

hurt you

left you

bullied you

didn’t accept you

discounted you

didn’t see your pain or your worth

laughed at you

wasn’t there for you

betrayed you

devastated you

convinced you that you’ll never be any more than the person they want you to be for their own reasons (usually to feel better about themselves)–

DON’T LET THEM WIN.

They may have labeled you, but their label is far from accurate.

They may think they’ve stepped on you, squashing any hope of your ever rising back up, but they missed you by a mile.

They may have treated you like you’re worthless, made you want to run away or go hide in a corner of the room, but don’t get sucked into their destiny for you.  Move on with your life.  You have better things to do.

Even if you’re the loudest negative voice in your own head, stop listening to it.   If you’re the voice saying, “What’s the use?” then answer yourself as though you’re talking to a friend you truly care about.

If no one else is speaking up for you, speak up for yourself.  Be your own counselor, your own cheerleader, your own best friend.

Do something else for yourself.  Seek help as soon as you can.  Talk to a teacher, pastor, parent, or friend.  It’s not embarrassing to ask for help.  Everyone needs help once in a while.  Life can get tough.  People can be mean.  Maybe a friend has betrayed or hurt you.  Maybe they’ve made your life unbelievably difficult.  You might even find yourself so injured that you have become numb and now find yourself desperately trying to “feel” again.

But hurting yourself isn’t how to feel again. 

This isn’t the day, the way, or the place for your hope to end.  It’s not in “the plan.”  What plan, you may ask.  The one God has for you.  He created you with a clear plan in mind.  No matter what has happened in your life, His plan hasn’t changed.

Your life was meant to go on until you’ve seen all you were meant to see, gone everywhere you were meant to go, and done everything you were meant to do. 

A bully can’t stop that.

Discouragement can’t either.

No obstacle that someone tries to throw in your path can truly block what God has intended for you.

I’ve had to deal with bullies throughout my life.  Like the “anonymous” Letter to the Editor writer who, after my first humorous opinion piece was printed, tried to bully me into never writing again.  I cried when I read it, shook in fear throughout the night, and contemplated following his advice and never attempting to put my writing out there again.

Then, I took a deep breath and went on with my life.

That humorous opinion piece turned into a 9 year newspaper column, and now, 88 books, numerous plays, and an Emmy nomination later, I think maybe he might have been a little off track with his criticism.

Thankfully, I didn’t let his hurtful words stop God’s plan for my life.

As it turned out, that letter was from a middle school boy probably doing a school assignment to write a letter to the editor.

Some bullies are driven by insecurity and jealousy.  Something is missing in their own lives, perhaps it’s something you’re doing, achieving, or are just being, and they can’t handle it.  Without even realizing it, you might be representing something they wish they had.

So don’t change who you are to make them feel better about themselves.  You aren’t the problem.

Bullies will try to rob you of enjoying your life, your work, and your loved ones.  Don’t let them.  And remember, your encouragement might not come from the people you expect it to come from either.  It hurts when it doesn’t, but God may, and often does, send it through someone else.  Sometimes a complete stranger.

So take a deep breath.  It may be hard to see your future right now when someone is making you feel like you have none.  It’s hard to see your worth when someone has left you, friends have betrayed you or not stood up for you, or you’ve endured any number of hurts.  But none of that changes your worth.   How people treat you doesn’t change your value.  Mistakes don’t make you who you are.  And betrayal doesn’t mean you weren’t worthy of being defended.

One more thing, always leave room for people to change.  Whoever hurt you could have a change of heart (yes, miracles do happen) and apologize to you someday.  If they don’t, you can still get over their hurt.  You can get strong enough to stand in spite of any bully in your life.  And you can get strong enough to continue standing.  All it takes is practice and the right kind of friends around you.  They’re out there, just waiting to meet you.

Give yourself the gift of your future.  Don’t be one more person walking out on your potential.  You, more than anyone else, should give yourself another chance.  And another.  And ten thousand more. 

You’ve let the negative voices in your life have the stage long enough.  Replace them with voices of truth.  You are loved by God.  You have value.  Your life is worth living.  You are accepted.  Don’t let anyone, any hurt, or anything else convince you otherwise!

 

Bullying Prevention Tips for Parents and Kids

By Linda Evans Shepherd:

For National Bullying Prevention Month we asked author Shannon Perry (with Master’s degree in education and counseling) some tough questions about bullying.

 

Image: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What do we need to teach our kids about bullying? What should a child do if they become a bully’s target or witness an act of bullying? And what do you do if you find out if it’s your child who is bullying others?

Shannon Perry offers some good bullying prevention tactics:

Linda:  Shannon, I’m glad, as you are a certified instructor in crisis counseling, that you’ve taken the time to talk with me about bullying.  Can you describe to me what the act of bullying actually is?

Shannon:  Bullying is a form of behavior used to negatively affect others where there is an “imbalance of power.” This “imbalance” may be perceived social or physical power and may be based on the grounds of race, gender, sexuality, religion or other perceived positions. Bullies like to dominate others and are very “self” focused. While some bullies believe they have the right to treat others as they choose, many bullies are simply insecure. Some bullies are victims of bullying themselves and others suffer from mental disorders and need psychiatric attention.

Linda:  As responsible adults, what can we do to help prevent bullying?

Shannon:  Teachers and parents have the responsibility to teach children how to recognize bullying and employ tactics to deal effectively with it. There are many steps that parents or educators can take as preventative measures for bullying:

  • Teach zero tolerance for any type of bullying behavior.
    • Show positive examples of acceptance of others via family time, the newspaper, magazines, tv, etc.
    • Discuss appropriate ways to handle/display anger.
    • Teach words of reconciliation and empathy such as “I’m sorry, please forgive me.”
    • Discuss movie scenes that involve bullying. As a family, discuss the appropriate behavior that should have taken place in bullying situations.

Linda:  If a child is being bullied by his peers, what steps can he take to stop the bullying?

Shannon:  Here are some practical things to do when confronted by a bully:

  • Hold your head up and look confident. Refrain from having a hurt or fearful look on your face.
  • Keep your arms to your side and stand confidently on both feet. Keep your hands out of your pockets; not folded or held up as if you want to fight.
  • Keep non-threatening eye contact with the bully.
  • Don’t run away unless you are in danger.
  • Don’t get physical with the bully or argue in return.
  • Do something that brings you confidence in your everyday life by developing a skill you are good at or taking a class.
  • Find good, true friends and share your pain with them once they can be trusted.
  • Tell trusted adults that you are being bullied. Talk to someone UNTIL YOU GET HELP! If the first adult does not take you seriously, keep going to adults until someone believes you and does something to help you.

Linda:  If a child realizes that his behavior toward others is bullying, how can they change their behavior?

Shannon:  Behavior modification starts at home with the parents. If you find out that your child is being a bully, stay calm and meet with the adults who have witnessed the behavior. Apply clear and significant consequences and require (and witness) your child to apologize to any he/she has offended. If necessary, “shadow” your child at school for a day. Go everywhere he/she goes and monitor behavior. Immediately reinforce positive behavior when your child does good and immediately seek professional help if the bullying behavior continues for an extended period of time.

Linda:  If a child’s peers are bullying a classmate, what is the best way for a student to stand up for the classmate without being bullied himself?

Shannon:  If you are a by-stander and see someone being bullied, you can also use the strategies listed above.  But, for example, if someone is being bullied about his hair, you can say something like, “I think his hair cut looks like Justin Bieber, and I wish my hair looked like his!”

Next, ask the victim to walk away with you.

Some counter-bullying tactics include getting a third party involved. For example, the victim may wish to confront the bully who has been spreading rumors about her. To do so, it would be wise to discuss this action with an adult then have others present when the interaction takes place.

 More About Shannon Perry  – Shannon is an author, recording artist, conference speaker and radio host who often tackles issues such as bullying. Her brand-new conference, “In Her Shoes,” is designed specifically for mothers and daughters, tackling issues such as bullying, self-esteem, body image, social media, dating as well as other topics affecting tween and teen girls. Shannon holds a Master’s Degree in Education and Counseling and is a Certified Instructor in Parenting Classes and Crisis Counseling. For more information visit www.ShannonPerry.com.

Stop Bullies with Self-Confidence and God’s Help!

How can having self-confidence stop bullying?

 

Nothing attracts a bully like lack-of-confidence.  In fact, showing good self-confidence is a great defense against being bullied.  But how do you get self-confidence?  Do you find it in the mirror or  in the words of your peers?

That would be nice, but that won’t always work, especially if you dislike some of your features, or if your friends (or non-friends) sometimes tease or harass you. But no worries, you can still show self-confidence to stop bullies with these 5 simple steps.

 1. Know that You are Loved

Confidence cannot be combed into place or wiped away with blemish cream.  In fact, you can be confident no matter what you look like, especially  if you know this one little secret — God loves you.  (Yes, there really is a God and he really does care about you.)  You can learn more about how to have a relationship with God at:  www.GodTest.com.  But before you  check out the ‘test’ or helps on that website, try saying the following out loud.

God loves me and if God loves me, I love me too.

Was that hard to say?  If it was, try saying it again.  Next, try writing it down on a post-it note or note card and put it where you can see it several times a day.  For the more you see it and say it, the easier it will be to believe it.  This believing will have  a big pay-off because the more you believe it, the more confidence you will have.

2. Look Confident

You can learn to project confidence even when you don’t feel confident, but it may take practice.  A recent article reported, “People are less likely to be picked on if they walk and sit with awareness, calm, respect, and confidence. Projecting a positive, assertive attitude means keeping one’s head up, back straight, walking briskly, looking around, having a peaceful face and body, and moving away from people who might cause trouble.”

This may mean you need to practice in front of a mirror so that you will learn to walk with confidence, head up, as you stride purposefully.  You may need to practice how you sit in a chair so you don’t look small or afraid, but instead look sure of yourself.  You may even need to practice how you smile and say hello to others.  Notice how others who seem confident greet others and take some pointers.  Practice speaking in a clear, calm voice when you are in private so you can do so when you are with others.

3. Learn to Walk Around a Bully as Well as His Reach

What are the best words to say to a bully who confronts you?  Imagine this; with confidence you say in reply to a snide remark, “Have a nice day,” or “See you later.” Next, calmly change seats, step out of line, or just walk away.

4. Don’t be afraid to say, “Stop, I don’t Like That.”

If someone is physically tapping, kicking, or hitting you say, “Stop. I don’t like that,” and say it loudly.  Try practicing this with your hands on your hips, with a clear firm voice.  This practice will help you be ready if you really need say it to a bully.  If that time should come and more help is needed, go get an adult.

5. Take a Stand For Yourself

Practice telling yourself the opposite of a remark meant to hurt or insult you.  I found good advice on how to do this in a great article in Kid Power which advices,  “If someone says, ‘I don’t like you,’ you can throw those words away and say, ‘I like myself.’ If someone says, ‘You are stupid’ you can throw those words away and say, ‘I’m smart.’ If someone says, ‘I don’t want to play with you’ then you can throw those words away and say, ‘I will find another friend.’”

For more help, watch what teen Macbarbie has to say about how to get self-confidence, stop bullies, and develop inner-beauty.

 

I Am Getting Bullied

Perhaps you’ve one of thousands of people who  typed, “I am getting bullied’ into your search engine these last 30 days because you’re tired of the name calling, the abuse, and you don’t think you can take it another day.  I understand how you feel,  and I want you to know there is hope for those who are being bullied.
First of all, not everyone hates you.  I don’t hate you (which is why I wrote you this note) and neither does God hate you, plus there are many people in your life who really do care about you.  Secondly, those names you’ve been called do not belong to you.  For instance, if I took a sticky note and stuck the word  ‘CAT’ onto a dog’s forehead –would that word turn the dog into a cat?  Of course not. 
So what should you do if someone called you a name and now you start to believe you are that name?  Don’t own it.  Those names do not describe who you are at all.  In fact, I  have a BIG ERASER named love and I’m erasing that name(s) off of you right now.  And do you know what I see beneath those false labels?  I see you–a real and wonderful person. That’s why those labels cannot stick.  Would you be interested to know that God has other labels or words to describe you?
God’s labels for you are
precious, loved, beautiful, smart, full of promise, a miracle, and wonderful.
Seriously! That’s how God sees you, and that’s how I see you too.   ; )
I’m so sorry you are being bullied, and it hurts my heart to think that people have been cruel to you and know that I believe they were WRONG to do that to you.   But maybe it would cheer you up to read a few more things God has said about you:
  • You are my child.
  • I love you.
  • My son Jesus died on the cross  for you so you could have a relationship with me.
  • You are forgiven.
  • I am with you.
  • I will help carry your pain if you let me.  Just ask for my help!
  • Cast your burdens on me.
  • I will get you through this.  Just follow me, one step, one day at a time!
To learn more about how to have a closer relationship with God, click HERE.

Help Me I’m Being Bullied Song

Also watch this GREAT YouTube.  It’s a song called Who I Am by Katie Belle Atkin that tells what happened to her.
If the video won’t play, click HERE.
I love you!  And so do many others, even if you can’t ‘feel’ that love right at this moment or even if you believe that those terrible words spoken about you are true.  (THEY ARE NOT!)  However, if you are in danger of harming yourself, DON’T!  Don’t let the bullies win.
You are stronger than you know and you will get through this period of your life and you will find happiness and have friendships with people who are not bullies. You have hope and a future and I know God has a special plan for your life.  In fact, Jeremiah 29:11 says (from God to you,)  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)
If you need to talk to someone, call  please the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
I am glad you searched I Am Getting Bullied because it led you here.  I want you to know that we are praying for you and know that things WILL get better.  If I were sitting there with you, I would wrap you in my mom-arms, and tell you how much I care.
Here’s a prayer to break lying words off of you:
Dear Lord,
I break the lying words that people are saying about me off of me in the power and authority of the name and blood of Jesus.  I ask that you replace those words with the loving words you use to describe me; precious, loved, beautiful, smart, full of promise, a miracle, and wonderful.  Give me your power, strength and truth to believe your words instead of the lies.  Please block and cancel the lying words and thought of suicide off of me – in the power and authority of the name and blood of Jesus. Thank you for giving me a hope and a future.  In Jesus name, Amen.

In the mean time, please read the story of Liz – and how she found hope when she was being bullied.  Click HERE.