“There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so” – William Shakespeare
Let me start by saying, if you get your feelings hurt easily stop reading and return to the safety of your bubble where all your ideas are correct. I’m going to keep it real because I feel so strongly on this topic and I believe it will be beneficial in combatting what gives life to cyber-bullying. Now, I empathize tremendously with people who live their lives enduring psychological and emotional abuse.. It is not my intention to put them down or reduce their pain and their struggles. However, we can all agree that feeling sorry for them will not help them. They need a source of strength and it will not come from being babied or “felt sorry for”. In fact, quite the opposite. My goal in writing this is to direct you to a community of strong people, wherever you are. Or join mine at www.teamhargett.com or www.ribeirojiujitsulaquinta.com
The reason I feel I understand those being bullied comes from the reason I was drawn to Martial Arts (admittedly not %100 true because it seemed awesome and fun to throw spinning kicks and take out 20 bad guys). But, it was also an answer to the vulnerability and struggle I felt as a kid. My intention is also not to put any of the blame on those being bullied, but to share some perspective that may help them or their caretakers. I will however, ask that you hold yourself accountable to your part in the situation.
First, I hate being in a meeting where someone can only point out problems while offering zero solutions. And that is what most people do when it comes to cyber-bullying. They point out how wrong it is, how the internet is bad, they can’t believe it.. Blah blah blah. There are many ways to deal with these types of situations if you focus on the outcomes you want to create instead of focusing on the problems themselves. Dwelling on those things is a way of living in the past. Here are my suggestions:
1. Take a break from social media. You won’t die, life will go on, you can re-enter when your life is together. Use the internet purposefully while knowing that you can create happiness outside of it. Like any skill you may just not be good at it yet.
2. Learn not to be so sensitive. Understand that there will always be douchebags in life so deal with it, work on yourself and know that your time is coming and so is theirs.. Life has a funny way of giving us what we deserve. So good luck to the a**holes out there (huge thumbs up). They’ll probably be your valet in a decade if you play your cards right.
3. Enroll in Martial Arts, and not the BS ones where you dance around and get a black belt at age 12 but one where you learn how to control an aggressive person (such as Jiu Jitsu) and one that develops your mind and body also. The beauty of Jiu Jitsu is it can be highly effective without you having to throw a single punch. This will be important too if any real bullying is to take place. You can effectively neutralize someone larger and avoid any legal troubles in school or outside of school. I am happy to advise you on selecting a great school.
4. Screenshot this a-hole’s conversation with you and put it on the internet (girls I’m talking about you too, actually there’s a better word for you that I won’t leave here since this will stay here forever but really), your local news agency probably has a twitter or Instagram. Maybe they’ll get behind your story. Put this ding dong’s stuff all over the internet. Someone may listen. And when they come to you and ask how you could do that, tell them they shouldn’t be so stupid and to watch what they say.. You don’t have to do the last part but it is the truth. If it comes to this point, you can’t be concerned with what other people think. You need to teach them why adults don’t get away with this sort of rude and unnecessary behavior. If you don’t believe this to be the case, ask Antonio Brown.
5. Understand that their projections towards you are their weakness. Strong and confident people bring others up, weak people put them down. No matter how popular they are or how strong they look, they are little punk bitches and those are big facts.
6. Talk to them. Why do they feel the need to treat you wrongly? Is there a misunderstanding? What did you do to them? If you can’t talk it out, don’t waste your time thinking about this person. Maybe they don’t realize the effect their actions are having. But don’t sit there and speculate. Find out. Use words, but avoid getting emotional.
7. Talk to the parent of this person. Have a conversation, maybe they’re reasonable, maybe not. Maybe they’re blind to it all and so is the kid. Maybe your parent/guardian is the better person for this. The optimistic side of me wants to believe there is a nice part in every person just as much there is a dark side but you won’t know until you find out.
8. Do things that build your confidence. Don’t be cooped up in your room ruled by your electronic devices. Build some shit, get good at push ups, learn a skill. Start developing habits that make you feel valuable. Even if they don’t now, they will.
9. Find better friends. Or find friends in general, go to a church group, the ymca, volunteer somewhere. Or don’t have friends at all. Focus on what you like and get good at that. Your true friends are the ones that like you for who you are and see something special in you. It’s possible that right now you don’t have those people around you or you have some work to do but if you believe everything is out of your control then it almost certainly is.
Second, a lot of this is brought on by a culture and society that applauds being weak. Where else would the motivation to become a better version of yourself come from if people didn’t pick on you or make fun of you. You’re supposed to learn how to deal with it, and if you don’t I got news for you. The real world is going to be even worse. This “problem” has to do with the fact that we are not teaching the importance of being strong, and if we are, many of us are not leading by example. Even if the other person is wrong in the way they treat you, there are still valuable lessons you can take from it and grow from.
Finally, we need our focus to be on what is truly important in our own lives for us to have a better life. Education, health, working hard, learning to be tough and being good to others. Things become much simpler once we block out all the noise from the BS we have going on around us. If you are doing what matters and doing it well, your time will come. You have everything you need. Greek philosopher Marcus Aurelius said “If it’s endurable, endure it. Stop complaining.”. Know that you will have to work hard and suffer like every human that advanced civilization. Or you can sit there and talk about how you were a victim and you were wronged while going nowhere. I completely empathize with those who are struggling, it’s going to suck, it’s going to be hard, you may hurt, you may cry, you may feel like nobody cares about you and maybe that’s the case at this moment but you can improve your situation. Don’t expect anyone to make your life better or easier for you. Instead, focus on developing yourself, look to people you admire and follow their lead, unfortunately that person won’t always be a parent. I want to end by saying that this is %100 in your control and if you don’t think so, you are right. Thanks for reading this, if you know anyone who needs to read this, please send it to them so we can stop seeing cyber-bullying ads which does nothing for the person being bullied. Seriously, let’s keep this word from ending up in a future dictionary. We don’t need awareness, we need stronger humans who are going to help others and it starts with you.
To utilize the power of the mind, you must exclude your mind from the world. -Wim Hof