Has it happened to you? I’ve had my fair share. There were the nasty girls in primary school who walked away as soon as I approached or made me feel unworthy because I wasn’t the best dancer in our grade 3 rehearsals. The sound of those snickering giggles infected my mind so much that I stopped dancing for about a month!
But I loved dancing so much – especially freestyle dancing – even making up little ‘Step –Up’ inspired routines with my little brother (yeah – we didn’t have a TV!) Anywy, I kept dancing and even started dance busking with my little brother which led to Laura Enever giving me her back up surf board and starting this surfing life!
In the surfing world bullying can mean the way people dominate the line-up – treating some people differently depending on whether they are younger, older, come from a different country or can’t surf very well – the list goes on!
Sometimes I get a bit carried away – jumping on a wave that I think someone may not be able to make it on, or on one of the boys in my class who I helped with their school work and ‘owes me one’ – sometimes I even steal a wave from my little brother! (he always forgives me!).
But almost always, it’s such a fantastic feeling to be out there in the waves that bullying fades into the background. But these days bullies can follow you home through your phone, facebook or ipad in the form of social media. Just a couple of nights ago, I had a bullying experience on line – someone had made a fake private account on social media and used it to post negative comments on one of my photos. I did the only thing I could do and deleted the post and blocked the user – but I have to admit, it rattled me a bit. Whether it’s a push at the playground or a mean comment on social media. If you make a person feel unworthy, isolated or unloved, you are behaving like a bully.
It’s not just physical bullying, or taunting or teasing – social exclusion is bullying. The types of exclusion range from pretending people don’t exist, ignoring them when they say hello or smile, to a dirty look in the hall way, or muttering and giggling to other people.
Bullying is everywhere, not just among kids, or teenagers – but just watch the news and you realise it goes on to adulthood!, And the truth is, most of us have not only been bullied, but have been a bully to someone, sometime in our lives.
So, how do I deal with it and move on?
For me, when I feel bullied I usually talk it out with someone I trust completely – my family; my Mum, my grandma, my brother, my auntie, a good friend… We try to figure out why someone would want to bully; are they unhappy? jealous? have they had a hard time at home? do they feel a lack of confidence in themselves?, have they been bullied by someone else (maybe even their own parents)?
I remember the last time my little brother had a bullying episode, Mum sat us down and we all watched the whole series of ‘The Karate Kid’!
Even writing about it – like on this blog – can be good! Sometimes I take time to just be on my own in nature – in the ocean or in the forest or with my horse or my cousin’s dog – I feel loved, connected and accepted for who I am. I come back to a feeling of love and understanding and can look at my bullies with compassion instead of hatred. PS. Thanks for the photo and the laughs Darren Moorhouse!
Here are some interesting links …
https://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2015/09/exclusion-more-harmful-teens-overt-bullying http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-gail-gross/girls-who-bully-and-the-women-they-learn-from_b_4034100.html http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/what-can-schools-do-about-bullying-20140918-10itn1.html