Tuesday, 2 June 2015

SERIOUS PART 3: THEIR OPINIONS DON'T MATTER. (AND HOW TO DEAL WITH BULLYING)

DRAW WHATEVER YOU WANT ON YOUR HANDS.
GO CRAZY!
I cannot emphasize on this enough: 
THEIR OPINIONS DO NOT MATTER.
And hence, 
their opinions shouldn't matter to you either. 

"Their" could be anyone in your life. Your "friends", your classmates, your family, or society in general.

Please keep in mind that this is not an article to turn you up against those people, the "their". This is to help you understand how to not be bothered by whatever they say to you, by understanding that just because they say something to you, or by them calling you names, you don't actually become those things, and neither are you ALREADY those things.

If you're a person who was or is being subjected to bullying or other hateful comments, or being treated differently for no reason at all, being called things that you're not, or you know someone who is going through the above, you're probably thinking that this girl is crazy and that it's a lot easier to say (write) all these things. And yes, saying (writing) this is easier, but not "far easier". Trust me, I know what I'm talking about.

I'm the type of person who gets angered when I hear racist comments, or discriminatory remarks, even if they aren't directed towards me. I am being brought up in a family which never stopped me from speaking my mind, and having my own opinions. I can very freely speak my mind against my own family members. Unlike other Indian families, where this is discouraged, I am actually encouraged. Even if a family member of mine says something which is pretty racist towards another community, I walk off in protest. But if I think about it, it's not entirely their fault. They've been brought up like this, being taught these things, and not once did they question it. People like B.R. Ambedkar questioned, but got resistance from the other side. 

One theory I came up with was about how people are jealous, and that is what nurtures hatred in "their" minds, further compelling them to slide in remarks that hurt us. I will be very honest while giving examples , but please remember that I mean no harm and also this is a theory I came up with at the age of 12.

Example: 
I really feel, that people are racist towards the descendants of China because they are jealous. Jealous not only of their wonderful economy, their standards of living and their work force, but also because of superficial things like their smooth hair. I know this seems very childish to read, but I beg you to continue. 
They make fun of the Chinese people because they have what many would consider "small eyes" but they would never make fun of their hair.

One way to stop this kind of criticism coming your way would be to stand up for yourself. Don't let the jokes linger. If someone cracks a joke about you, either:

1. Laugh along. That would take out all the fun for them, as they were merely provoking you to see you angry and embarrassed, and after a while they will leave you alone and move to next easy target (whom you could help with this advice).

2. Say something witty/sarcastic - but never abuse or provoke the bully. This is not a pay back game. 

3. Talk it out. If you feel the bully will be upto it, call the bully out of his "group" of followers, demanding to talk alone. When alone, most people do not do anything or crack jokes because they don't have an audience, nor someone to back them up. If they refuse to come out, provoke them by saying something on the lines of how he/she is nothing but a scared kid outside his/her group. That gets their attention straight away. After calling them out, try to figure out why they pick on you, and try to stuff some sense into them.

4. (For school go-ers) Don't go to a teacher. By going to a teacher and complaining, they may leave you infront of the teacher, but they'll be a lot worse when the teachers not around. You can't be in the teacher's shadow forever right? Although sometimes going to a teacher might work and stop the bullying, but you may end up in complete isolation, with nobody to talk to at school. There is a reason behind this too: this usually leads the other non-bully children to think as though you're a tattle-tale and a betrayer vibe sets in. No one wants to be friends with a person who does that. BUT. IF THE BULLYING IS OF HIGH LEVEL AND INCLUDES VIOLENCE OR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL DAMAGE, PLEASE TALK TO WHOEVER YOU CAN FIND. Your parents, siblings, teachers, your counselor at school. Whoever. 

5. (Sort of contradictory to point 4) Talk to someone. Don't complain, or ask them to take action against the accused. Just talk. Let your feelings out, talk to someone you trust. If you couldn't think of someone at the word "trust": keep a diary. Don't write in it everyday, just whenever you're feeling low.

I have loads of friends who I've given this advice to, and have managed to, successfully, use all the above in my life as well. So here's hoping that this LONG article helps those who need it.

P.S If you couldn't understand why you would need this, it's probably because you're the bully.

- Ragini Zutshi Anand 

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