How to Navigate Mean Girls

Athena

Hi!

I’m Athena.

You are magic and it’s my job is to help you tap into it so you can create the life you were meant to live.

LEARN MORE

Our teen years are an incredible period of growth and transformation.  We’re becoming independent, developing beautiful friendships, romances, discovering our gifts, interests, and talents.  But amidst all this excitement and self-discovery, we also frequently hit some bumpy roads that are challenging to navigate.  As we are learning whom we are and how we want to show up in the world, others are doing the same, and often struggling in the process. When people feel uncertain about themselves or unstable in their lives, it is common for them to lash out or to put others down because it makes them feel better about themselves and their egos feel more in control.  These anxieties and uncertainties are often expressed through the actions of bullying, gossip, teasing, or harassment.  While it’s not always easy to know how to respond when confronted with such a situation, the following suggestions can serve as a guide to help you gain some clarity on what to do and how to stay in your center during turbulent times.

Guidelines for Dealing with Bullying in a Positive Manner

Look the person in the eyes, and speak up for yourself confidently and clearly if you are able. Don’t be afraid to use your voice to tell someone ‘No’, ‘Stop’, or ‘I don’t like what you’re saying/doing’.  Keep your temper and try to speak with kindness, rather than using words charged with anger The less emotionally reactive you are to a bully’s taunts, the less power they have over you.  Generally, bullying is only satisfying if the person trying to intimidate you gets a reaction.  The bigger and more emotional your reaction is, the more satisfaction the bully gets.  Often, one of the most effective ways to deal with the situation is to diffuse it by remaining calm and composed.  But if this doesn’t work, don’t stay and allow yourself to be victimized; walk away calmly with your head held high. You can’t control what other people do, but you can control how you respond.

Let an adult know what is going on.  This could be a teacher, parent, principal, counselor, or relative.  Even if you feel like you are able to handle the situation yourself for the moment, if things escalate later and you need additional support, it’s important to have a record of what has been going on and for how long.

Remember that whatever the other person is doing or saying isn’t about you; so, as much as you can, do not take it personally. It isn’t true.  It is a reflection of his/her own internal pain and judgment, and this generally holds true for all our relationships in life.  This doesn’t make it acceptable or less hurtful, but it can potentially create a space within you for compassion and forgiveness.

Acknowledge your emotions, and be present with how being treated in this way makes you feel.  You might feel fear, anger, frustration, anxiety, or sadness. Release these emotions when you are safely on your own in a journal, or with someone you trust, like a friend, parent, or counselor.  Don’t keep these energies bottled up. And if you need a good cry, to scream, punch a pillow, or go for an intense workout, do it!  Better out, than in!

Take care of yourself and create time for some self-love and nurturing.  Channel your emotions into something productive like a sport, music, art, going for walks in nature, dancing, etc.  Engage in activities that you enjoy, listen to songs that makes you feel good, read an inspiring book, or indulge in some yummy dark chocolate to elevate your mood and treat your senses. You are still the same beautiful and worthy person you were before the bullying began, and you deserve happiness and enjoyment in your life. You may also want to engage in some self-affirmations (for example, ‘I am a good person who is worthy of love and kindness’) and spend time around positive people who support you and lift you up. Remember what real friends are like, and keep those people close.

Don’t overdramatize and get lost in the story.  You might be tempted to share your experience with anyone who will listen, blast it on Facebook, or try to ruin the other person’s reputation in retaliation.  Resist these temptations.  Be the better person and don’t engage is gossip, backstabbing, or bullying yourself. They will only add fuel to the fire and keep you from being able to focus on the other positive aspects of your life.  Remember that the bullying is only one area of your life, and try to keep it from overflowing into activities that you enjoy, or time with friends and family.  Share when you feel the need, certainly, but don’t focus every conversation around this one part of your life.  The bigger deal you make out of something, the bigger it becomes.

Remember that nothing lasts forever.  When you are in a traumatic situation like bullying, it may seem endless, but the truth is that this situation, like every other, will have a beginning and an end.  What causes a lot of pain now and seems like the end of the world will already be old news in a few weeks.

You are always stronger than you think, and life will never give you a situation that you aren’t powerful enough to navigate.  With each challenge you face in life, whether in a bullying situation or otherwise, allow it to be an opportunity to show up in your full strength, rising in confidence, self-assurance, and responding in a way that allows you to hold your boundaries while acting with integrity and compassion.

You are a wise, powerful, beautiful being. Trust yourself, and remember that you are not alone.


Written by Jennifer Douglas

Instagram: @jendouglas99

Bio:  Originally an Iowa native, Jennifer Douglas has been roaming and exploring this beautiful planet for the last 13 years.  With a BA in  Elementary Education, and an MEd in International Education, Jennifer has taught in international schools around the world, including Namibia, Indonesia, Qatar, Malta, and Vietnam.  In the last 3 years, she has shifted her focus to natural healing, and has been studying traditional medicine in Peru, as well as Reiki, yoga, meditation, and ancient Thai massage. A vegetarian since the age of 15, and now entirely plant-based, Jennifer also has a passion for health and nutrition and loves guiding people towards a healthier lifestyle using the medicine of food (especially raw vegan desserts!). Jennifer previously worked as a writer for the Health and Wellness section of ABODE Magazine, out of Qatar.

Athena

Hi!

I’m Athena.

You are magic and it’s my job is to help you tap into it so you can create the life you were meant to live.

LEARN MORE
By |2018-09-12T21:51:08+00:00April 25th, 2018|Mental Health|0 Comments

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