As we grow up, the common misconception that has been embedded into our minds is that bullying is totally normal and it is part of the growth process. Honestly, is it really though? Let’s just take a minute and think about the time in your life when you were being bullied as a child or even an adult for being different. Aside from the fact that it is not the best memory in your life, such an unfortunate experience actually left a profound impact on your self-esteem. Although you think that the bully does not affect your mental health, you might unconsciously put yourself down by agreeing to the mockery that others have hurled at you. Whether you have been bullied before or not, standing up for yourself or others is the right thing to do, especially during this Pink Shirt Day.
How did the Pink Shirt Day Started?
The movement was actually initiated by two teenage friends, David Shepherd and Travis Price in 2007. They both witnessed an incident when a new student in Grade 9 was bullied for wearing a pink t-shirt. Both of them decided to stand up for the kid by organising a school protest, whereby they encouraged their peers to wear pink t-shirt. In fact, Shepherd and Price went out of their way to purchase a total of 50 pink shirts from the department store and they distributed the tops to other students. “I learned that two people can come up with an idea, run with it, and it can do wonders,” said Price in an interview with Global & Mail. Since then, the movement has grown bigger each year with countries all over the world celebrating Pink Shirt Day which were held on the last Wednesday of February every year.
Tips to Defend and Protect Yourself from Bully
The first thing that pops into mind when we think of bullying is the profound effects that it has on mental health. Whether it’s depression, suicidal thoughts or substance abuse, these negative outcomes can influence our perception towards ourselves substantially. For some people, the thought of standing up for themselves can be quite distressing. However, with the right tips, they can actually put an end to such a situation. If you are being bullied in any type of way, know that you deserve to be treated with respect. These are the tips to help you cope with such an experience:
- Do not consider yourself a victim
- Share your experience or internal thoughts about the situation to your loved ones
- Take a stand for yourself and walk away from the situation
- Don’t put yourself down with the bullying
- Express your feelings through activities or hobbies
When I was a kid, having straight hair was the norm and it defined beauty. Hence, my curly hair was considered ugly. I was not allowed to sit with anyone, laugh at any jokes. I got dirty looks from my classmates just by being born with a different type of hair. Until today, it is still difficult to accept my hair in its natural state. Whenever I straightened my hair I would immediately get compliments. Even today, when curls are embraced more in society, it’s hard to let it all go but as more people embrace their curls, I strive to one day accept mine, fully, because what’s wrong with being unique?
Previously, I worked for a boss who appeared to be very nice and accommodating. I looked up to her at first, until I began working closely with her over time. Every time she becomes stressed with her tasks, she accuses me of being blurred and disorganised. I am the type of individual who always gets the job done properly, and I have never been called untidy in my life. When she was frustrated, I was essentially her punching bag. I’d rather not say anything because it would cause unnecessary conflict at the time. Despite being online friends with her, I kept my distance and tried not to be as friendly. Nevertheless, I have no bad feelings towards her and have closed this part of a chapter in my life. I only wish her the best. Never meet your heroes, as the saying goes.