From the time we are but small children we were taught that bullying is wrong. We all know in our hearts that causing someone else pain for your gain is disgraceful. Yet, some people just can’t seem to stop. Bullies convince themselves that their negative opinion about another is important. They love the attention and sense of power they get from making someone feel weak or humiliated.
Usually, the bully’s behavior is due to their own insecurities, depression, or abuse they suffer from. We all need to remember it is never our fault why someone chooses to bully us. Several times a week the R&S team hears stories from students of all ages. It’s very common for a victim to blame themselves for the bullying they face. “I’m weird looking.” “I’m to quiet.” “I don’t know how to stand up for myself.” Understand that there is no excuse for someone to treat you in a demeaning manner. We all have the choice to keep our mouths shut. We all have the choice to love others for their differences. Choosing to bully only shows the persons immaturity and inner conflict.
If you have ever been harassed or bullied, you know that all you want is for someone to speak up for you. You may have a strong voice yourself but, it always feels great and empowers you further when someone makes a stand on your behalf.
We see thousands of anti-bullying advocates online, at events, and at schools. Supporters wear their bracelets and T-shirts with phrases like, “Stand Up. Speak out” and “Speak for the Silent”. These are wonderful phrases we all should follow but how many of us really do?
Each week we hear of several online cases of bullying. We see the post made by bullies looking for trouble. One thing we always notice is there aren’t enough people taking a stand to stop it. The same people wearing their anti-bullying gear make comments like, “I just don’t want the drama.” Or “It’s not my fight.”
We get that most people don’t want added drama in their life. We understand people don’t want to get in the middle of someone else’s fight.
We aren’t asking anyone to fight someone else’s battle. However, you have no idea how just a few words can make an impact on the persons life who’s under attack. Ignoring the abuse or outright refusing to stand up for someone only makes them feel weaker and empowers the bully. Your behavior can either justify the bully’s actions or humiliate them for their actions. Which would you rather do?
As for the Rise & Stand team, we choose to speak up. With the permission of those who sent us some emails, we want to share with you some of our recent questions and answers.
Q. If I stand up for my friend who is getting bullied and get my friends to stand up too, are we just bullying the bully? -Tara
A. It all depends on the behavior of you and your friends. You can tell the bully how you feel without reverse bullying. Try saying things like, “My friend does not deserve this kind of treatment.” or “No one likes a bully. Please stop now.” You will find that once a few friends take a stand others will follow. The bully can’t get the satisfaction they were looking for if no one is backing them. Remember, name calling or threats will only fuel the fire of the bully.
Q. What if I take a stand and then the bully attacks me? – Stephanie
A. We can’t promise this will not happen. It’s happened to us. Most bullies are just really angry people that don’t know how to blow off steam so they take it out on people. The best thing you can so is not let the bully faze you. Online you can block them and ignore them. Let your friends, teachers, and family know what is going on. Do not try and fight back or argue with them. A bully will try their best to pull you in but you cannot give them the satisfaction
Q. I continue to block this person online but they keep making new accounts to harass me. What can I do? – Daniel
A. Contact the social site the bully is attacking you on. Give them the names of all the accounts that bully you. Send the support team all screen shots you have. Tell them anything you may know about the bully. If you think you personally know who the bully is, tell your school, workplace, or even the police. If you need a contact email for a social site we can help you with that.
There is always an answer. You are not alone. The Rise & Stand team is happy to assist anyone who is suffering. Together, we CAN make a difference.
R.I.S.E. & Stand Team