No one likes to be called names or harassed. No one wants to be labeled fat or ugly or the stupid kid.
Even adults are guilty of being cruel to each other. At all ages there is no excuse for this type of behavior.
People need reminders that labels don't define them.
Labels can be harmful especially to kids. Every label sends a message that tells children how to think about themselves. Too often, these labels can be hurtful, and both positive and negative labels can cause problems.
A sad statistic is many of these kids and grownups are silently suffering. Many don't report being bullied or harassed and will keep their feelings of shame to themselves. This can cause them further isolation from others are well as sadness.
Why don't kids tell? According to StopBullying.gov there can be several factors:
- Bullying can make a child feel helpless. Kids may want to handle it on their own to feel in control again. They may fear being seen as weak or a tattletale.
- Kids may fear backlash from the kid who bullied them.
- Bullying can be a humiliating experience. Kids may not want adults to know what is being said about them, whether true or false. They may also fear that adults will judge them or punish them for being weak.
- Kids who are bullied may already feel socially isolated. They may feel like no one cares or could understand.
- Kids may fear being rejected by their peers. Friends can help protect kids from bullying, and kids can fear losing this support.
Why don't adults tell? It is very similar to the children. You feel humiliated. You may not know who to tell or embarrassed that you don't know how to report the abuse. You have reached a level that you are paralyzed in fear. With all of this, you have to find the strength to reach out to a good friend or family member that will assist you in getting help. There is help out there.
Bullies and cyberbullies are truly the unhappy people in the world. Don't allow them to give you the ugly label. It is about projection and they are in need of attention, even though it is negative, they crave it.
Remember your words and keystrokes matter. Use them with care and kindness.