“So what did you do when they picked on you?”
These were the words a young kid bravely mumbled as I was sharing stories of overcoming being verbally bullied when I was his age. As his eyes peeked out of his hoodie I could tell he was desperately looking for answers. Inside my soul, I was praying that I could share something with him that would help.
This happened during a personal story development presentation that Brandon and I gave to a group of students at Howard Bishop Middle School. Our goal was to teach them the importance of knowing your story before anyone else could write it for them.
So I told him that growing up, the “jokes” people said about me did hurt my feelings and for too long I let their words determine what I thought I could be in life. I told him that no one has the power to take your confidence away, unless you let them. I told him that if you know your story, know your truth, and believe in yourself more than anyone else, nothing they say could ever stop you from being awesome.
He sat back in his chair, nodded in approval, and I knew that what I said helped him in some way. I can’t explain how good it felt to feel like I helped him just by simply sharing my story.
7 out of 10 kids are bullied
9 out of 10 kids will not intervene
Bully behavior occurs once every 7 minutes in school
Those who are consistently bullied are 7% more likely to attempt suicide
We also know that Children and adolescents who are bullied are at an increased risk for mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, headaches, and problems adjusting to school.
Bullying is a complex issue to combat, but we can all make a difference in some way. We feel that it is Self Narrate's job to encourage kids to talk about what’s going and remind them that being bullied is not their fault. We establish trust with them by being vulnerable in sharing our bullying experiences as well. Many of these kids are feeling alone in their struggle and after hearing our stories, know that someone understands. It is our belief that hearing the stories of how someone else dealt with being bullied can provide the individual being bullied with a new narrative of hope, one that they may have not yet imagined.
Photo credit for post thumbnail: Anthony Kelly