Recently, while watching a New Zealand reality TV show, the issue of online harassment and bullying was brought up. The people involved in the program were portrayed in a way that painted them in a negative light. People took to the internet to shed their views on these people which included hateful and judgmental remarks. Unfortunately, it’s an ever-present topic here in New Zealand, and around the world.
Let me rewind quickly to my high school years. I was never very physically active and I was more on the chubby-side. I wasn’t obese yet wasn’t exactly skinny either. I was often called fat and would look in the mirror disappointed at myself. I had low esteem and struggled every day. I don’t often share this information because it still hurts to this day.
I’m not sure why people think it’s okay to write hurtful comments or to “bully/harass” other people online or in life. We are probably all guilty of it at some stage in our lives too. I’m certainly no angel but it’s not ok. It’s never okay to put another person down. In my opinion, people bully for one of 3 reasons:
They have low esteem (they knock you down to make themselves feel better)
- They have nothing better to do
I would love to say there’s some magic trick for getting over bullying. Unfortunately, I’m still working on that myself. I don’t put up with bullying anymore and stand up for myself and others. I try to stop myself from contributing to bullying by watching what I say, where I can. And I try not to laugh at inappropriate comments because by doing so, it’s indirectly supporting it. Unfortunately, I still struggle each day with my weight and appearance. It’s something I don’t know I will ever be okay with.
What I would suggest if you are being bullied is to talk to someone. Don’t retaliate. Don’t allow these people to control your life, your thoughts or your esteem. You don’t deserve to be treated badly by anyone. For help, the NZ Police website has some very helpful links and advice on what you can do. You’re never alone. Please join in the conversation in the comments below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.