Updated: Apr 2, 2020
Have you ever been bullied, and wondered how to deal with it?
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a situation where someone is saying mean things to you. Any sort of body-shaming is bullying and can leave you feeling down about yourself.
In reality, negative situations happen to everyone regardless of how positive your mindset is. But, the moment you recognize that you have the power to take control over your emotions and accept the situation as it is, no matter how bad it might be — is the moment when you can make a positive change.
Ten years ago, I moved to a new city and started at a new school. Around that time, a wart appeared under my nose. I don’t know what caused it but it was obviously the best place and timing for it. The result was me being constantly bullied for more than a year on a daily basis, which shows how judgmental people can be towards others because of their looks. People made fun of me not only in school but in public places, calling me different names they had created especially for me. Some people just stared at me in disgust. It wasn’t a fun experience to deal with, especially for a 12/13-year-old, but it never got to me to the point that I wouldn’t go outside or develop mental health issues. All because of a positive mindset.
So, how did having a positive mindset helped me to deal with bullies?
1. I didn't take bullying too seriously.
You might think it`s easier said than done, but it is totally possible to take control of any situation if you manage to change your mindset. Humor is a great way to deal with negative situations because it makes the whole ordeal less stressful and more fun. I still remember that some of the names I was being called even made me laugh, and it changed the whole atmosphere. If I would react to it in a negative way, the situation could turn out totally different. It also led to less bullying, seeing as I did not give in and satisfied their negative intentions. Remember, that genuinely happy people don’t want to hurt others, so sending them positive vibes could be a good option.
I’ve been body-shamed throughout my whole life. The most popular phrases I’ve heard about my body are “Do you even eat?“ and “Looks like your body consists of skin and bones”. When I receive phrases like these, I feel like people often mean it as a joke or as a compliment, but in reality, it often can end up having a completely opposite effect. Nonetheless, I still have managed to handle these situations with humor, instead of saying something negative about the other person.
2. I focused more on a positive way of thinking, rather than looking for positivity in the situation.
You have probably heard the phrase “look at the positive side of things and situations“ when something bad happens. But in reality, there are situations where there isn't anything positive, and being bullied is one of them. That`s why you have to focus on positive thinking itself rather than trying to desperately find positivity in that situation.
I truly believe that what we put out in the world is what we receive back. It’s not just about what we do physically, but mentally too. If you let bullying get to your mind and you are constantly giving yourself a negative pep-talk, saying all those negative affirmations about yourself and believing in them, it won’t do any good to your mental state nor will it change anything. That is why it’s so important to give yourself positive self-talk, even if you don’t feel like it.
According to the national eating disorders association, about 65 percent of people who suffer from eating disorders say that bullying contributed to their condition. Negative comments about body image can result in low self-esteem, social isolation, poor body image, and has also been shown to directly contribute to the development of the eating disorder.
And that’s exactly why it’s important to always think before you comment on someone’s appearance. You never know what that other person is going through. Although I have never had an eating disorder, I can only imagine how badly body shaming or any other type of bullying can affect people who already have low self-esteem if they don't have any support system or positive mindset. I believe nobody wants to receive the negativity, so why to spread that negativity to others?
With that being said, let's all spread positivity and be kind to each other. This world seriously needs a lot of it.