01 Mar How to make sense of bullying as a teenager
Sadly, many young people know what it’s like to be picked on, singled out, bullied and harassed. Some experience this to a minor degree and others to a much more severe extent. If you have been through any of this, you’ll know that it doesn’t feel good. Bullied people can suffer all sorts of emotions – from shame and vulnerability, dread and anxiety to fear and despair. Let’s look at ways to make sense of bullying and how to overcome anxieties.
“Silence the negative inside voice and find your positive outside voice.” – Unknown
- Why do bullies bully?
- How can you stop being a victim and become a victor?
- If you are, or ever have been a bully, how can you develop your understanding of why you acted that way?
Because you can choose to change your behaviour going forward.
Protect your mental and physical wellbeing
When you’re being victimised, there are so many emotions that flood through your nervous system:
You may also experience feelings of not being safe, of having to watch your back everywhere you go.
All of these emotions are absolutely real and they can be damaging. As your adrenaline flows with the stress of the situation, so negative self-talk begins and in turn keeps the adrenaline flowing. It is this negative internal talk that keeps us returning to the same questions, replaying situations and reliving scenarios again and again.
We need to break that cycle – internally as well as externally.
A great tip is to find a nice, quiet place to sit down or lie down. Close your eyes and go to a place in your mind that’s absolutely safe, calm and happy for you, whatever that safe place is. It may be a quiet place in your house or it could be your favourite place that you’ve been to in the past.
It could be a little hideaway – a log cabin, a hammock on a beach. I don’t know where your safe place is, but I’m sure that you have one. As you go to that safe place just stop and notice what there is around you.
Take in the sights, the sounds, the temperature, the feelings of being safe, calm and peaceful. Find joy in that place, love in that place, think of all those things and feel some new, more pleasant emotions. Breathe them in really deeply and blow out all the stress and just for a little while enjoy the escape.
“You do not need to stay a victim. You can decide what tomorrow looks like.” Unknown
Turning a corner
Don’t even go there with the ‘why me’ question. ‘Why me, why are they picking on me?’
Do you know something? It probably isn’t even anything to do with you personally.
Asking the question, ‘Why me’ will drive you crazy. You are not at fault in the least. You just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I’m not dismissing what you’re going through but you need to understand that you did nothing wrong.
You need to silence the negative inside voice and find your positive outside voice. If you only listen to your inside voice, you will stay trapped as a victim.
Tell somebody about bullying
You have to use your voice and tell someone about what you’re going through. Connection is your protection.
When you connect with the outside world and stop isolating yourself – that’s when you’ll find protection from the bullies.
Find a group of friends who are like you in some way. It might be a small group. It might be one or two people – but you need to make sure that you do not disconnect from the world.
You are not alone, you are not separate, you absolutely are cared for, you absolutely are more than enough.
You must find people to trust and to connect with and if you seriously think that you have no one, then connect with us here at Back on Track Teens because we will always be here for you!
If you did tell someone and they didn’t do anything to help then please do not give up. Tell them again or tell somebody else. Tell them again and again and again until they listen and act.
Keep a diary and keep evidence. Write it down.
Become your own private investigator so that you have all the facts and the details and dates and information that you might need in the future.
Take back your power. Don’t be the victim, be victorious. Call them out, take a stand, tell the world what’s been happening.
You are special
Maybe you are a bully and you’re bullying other people right now. Hurt people, hurt people you know.
If we are not feeling significant, if we’re not feeling special, if we don’t feel loved, then sometimes people lash out to meet their needs. They take their power back by asserting power over others. I don’t condone this behaviour but usually it’s because something is missing somewhere else in life.
For both victims and bullies, if you really and truly believe that there is nobody to talk to in your world then please reach out to us here at Back on Track Teens. You can contact me privately by email.
Choose the life you want to lead
It’s difficult to make sense of bullying as a teenager, whether you are the bully or the victim, but everything manifests for a reason.
If you feel comfortable sharing any experiences then please do connect on social media and offer a support line to others.
Hold your head up high and remain positive at all times. You are a magnificent individual – never let anyone tell you otherwise.