By: Natascha Jones, Guest Blogger
No trust me, you’re ugly.
Even reading these words on a computer screen, written by someone who has never even seen your face, it still hurts.
They say sticks and stones will break our bones but names will never hurt us, but I do believe we’ve come into a day and age where words have become far more powerful than a slap in the face.
And I’m here to tell you it’s not just the high school kids doing the bullying; its grown men, its young professionals, it has even been me. No one is safe from the damage harsh criticism can cause. With Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, words now have the possibility to reach thousands with the push of a button. Throw some technology into the mix and the negative words become “the slap heard round the world.”
I recently read an article about a sweet 15 year-old girl who didn’t go to school for THREE YEARS because she was so bullied by her peers. She ended up getting a nose job just to make life bearable.
And when I Googled “adult bullying” the search engine pulled up 38million results in .19 seconds. There’s a decimal in front of that 19, y’all.
Anyone who is doing self-work and working towards a positive life will tell you we’re hard enough on ourselves; we don’t need the horrible negativity from others. We “hate” ourselves enough without that mean glare in the hallway, the vicious gossip in the office, or the passive-aggressive comments on Instagram.
People are missing out on their lives, going under the knife, getting violently ill on Sunday nights and hiding in their offices until the bully goes away. But what if the bully doesn’t go away? And even worse, what if YOU’VE been the bully?
I’m fortunate enough to have a creative job, with absolutely no micromanaging from my amazing boss; she doesn’t even live in the same state. But the owner of my building makes a hobby of discussing with others how much I do not “fit in” with Beverly Hills. I don’t dress correctly, I don’t stand correctly, I’m not tall enough, skinny enough, or rich enough. He looks at me with such disdain and every day I work to not let his negativity affect me. It is like a part-time job at my job.
You would think I’d know better than to use hurtful words right? But even I am guilty of hurting another’s feelings from a comment I made in jest. I am guilty of gossip and I still have to work on taking my own medicine: “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Bullying, gossiping, and coercing your friends to gang up on another friend is a terrible waste of a lot of energy. If you are powerful enough to move others to take action or feel an emotion, why not choose to spread happiness, motivation, and confidence?
I challenge you to figure out what it is inside of you that causes you to point the finger at another human who is just trying to be happy in this world. Really ask yourself why you are taking the time to attack that person. I think the true answer would shock you because it would probably have nothing to do with that other person and everything to do with your own fears.
We don’t have to be perfect but we can PRACTICE compassion and avoid negative people/spaces. Whenever I feel really hurt by my building-owner’s words, I imagine him as a poor, dirty beggar on the street. He’s hungry, sad, cold, and alone. When I imagine this I am able to send him feelings of sympathy instead of returning his hateful stares.
And thank God we have friends who tell us when we’ve hurt their feelings, otherwise how would be held accountable in my actions? Because my friend told me she was upset, I’ve thought about my actions and what they really mean. The next time I feel like gossiping about someone, I’m going to take a moment to ask myself “Am I making mine and others’ environment positive? Does talking about this person do anything for them? Does it make ME feel better to speak badly about someone else?” The answer to all of these questions is “no.”
Get that finger out of your peer’s face, give her a hug and go get some ice cream, maybe even skip and hold hands. It’s way more fun than calling each other names.
While she would have to inform you that her “day” job is in esthetics and makeup artistry, Natascha truly spends her days in sunny Venice Beach laughing with her friends, riding her bike, and telling grandiose stories encouraging others to laugh, cry or think. She is passionate about her efforts to live life fully and push her comfort zone, which is why she spills her guts to you and she hopes you’ll still love her.
Featured image via sillylily129.tumblr.com