Each morning I would open my eyes, look at the ceiling and grimace at the familiar heavy pit feeling in the bottom of my stomach. It was another school day and instead of rushing out the door to meet with my friends, all I wanted to do was stay in bed. I knew that it would be another day of emotional torture that would leave me feeling at my lowest and I couldn’t bear the thought of going through it again.
Bullying… It’s a real thing! What many people may not understand is that it’s not just a physical shove, push and punch, and sometimes being bullied has nothing to do with a verbal insult about the colour of our hair or the shape of our body… The type of bullying I am talking about is COVERT bullying, which is, someone indirectly playing on another’s emotions and knowing they are affecting the person on the inside.
This type of bullying is the harsh whispers and giggles while looking at another person, it’s the words that are condescending or passive aggressive that targets a person but might not come across bad to those in earshot. The victim may not be able to explain what is going on and often question “is this my fault and am I just being too sensitive”?
I went through this a lot at primary school and now being older I have seen my sister go through the same type of bullying. It leaves you questioning everything about yourself and makes it difficult to trust people. What is also dangerous about this subtle manipulative behaviour is that other people can get involved without realising what they are doing or supporting. What seems like innocent remarks, actions or even non-actions, such as ignoring someone, can feel like torture for the person being bullied.
Bullying whether physical, verbal or cyber causes hurt, disruption and the after effect can be crucial to the victim’s wellbeing.
As today is National Day of Action Against Bullying let’s come together not only for a day but every day and practise love and kindness to others. If you see someone being bullied, or sitting alone, take a simple act of kindness and chat to them, you may make a new friend.
Watch your words and your tone so you are not misunderstood. Be kind, give encouragement and CHOOSE to see the best in others.
Look through the eyes of love – no one is perfect, and it’s important to remember that everyone has a story. Loving on people with encouragement and a smile could change a person’s world.
One last thing… and yes, I know it’s cliché, but we ALL can forget this one… Don’t whisper or talk badly of others! If you don’t want people to hear what you are saying, why would you say it in the first place? Speak words you would want people to speak of you.
Make peace and speak love.
The String Movement exists to disarm bullying by encouraging young people to use their voice, creativity and community to make a difference. Join the movement online by going to www.thestringmovement.com.
Tie it, tell it, yell it and make a difference in your world today!
Hillsong CityCare Team