According to Oxford University (2014) a bully is “a person who uses strength or influence to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.”

Why am I defining the word BULLY (probably in the worst APA format possible because its been forever since I’ve used it)?  Heres why:

Us women need to stop the condemning and belittling of one another and it needs to happen now.  We need to connect as one and start empowering each other.  Believe in one another.  Encourage and support one another.  That girl you called “too skinny” could be on chemotherapy for cancer.  Or even worse suffering from Anorexia Nervosa a condition well out of her physical control.  Chances are she’s probably really healthy and disciplined, perhaps just shaped a little differently than you.  The girls photo you commented on telling her she was ugly, she has suffered with a lack of self confidence her whole life.  Or that grown women you tell all your friends if awful, she is actually the kindest person you never gave a chance to get to know.

We must make this stop.  I have to admit there are times where I have caught my self in a moment participating in the act of “bullying” and it was a pretty shitty feeling.  Making others look or feel bad does NOTHING to my self confidence other then make me feel like less of a person.

I hadn’t really personally experienced nor understood bullying until my recent adult years.  I was manipulated and put down and made fun of by people who have NO concept of who I really am.  That one person of ‘power’  made a choice to tell them all the awful things I am and convinced them into believing in it.  They would physically stand in front of me and point and laugh (remember I am 27 years old).  I hated them for this and wanted the world to know how awful they really were.  That was my mistake.  Retaliation is just as cowardly as bullying itself.

The truth is that the person who is the bully is the one who is truly suffering and that is not my place to make them feel worse than they already do.  Whether they are hiding behind a computer screen or using what “power” (I’m ashamed to even call it that) they have to make others feel bad or better yet, make themselves feel better.  

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 10.04.34 PMData from: http://www.erasebullying.ca/bullying/bullying-bb.php

Behind every single Instagram account is a human being.  Reading and taking in what you are writing to them.  Use this space to spread love, encouragement and support.  Not everyone is going to like you and you aren’t going to like everyone but this doesn’t make it okay behave negatively as as result.  The effects of bullying are detrimental.

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The truth is the bully is probably threatened, jealous, insecure and perhaps lacks understanding of just how awful their behaviours really are.  You know what can be equally as bad as being the bully?  Being a secondary bully.  If a bully had no one to partake in the negative behaviours then perhaps the cycle would end.  Interesting right?

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Do you dislike someone without getting to know them?  Have you based your opinion on someone else’s behaviours or ill words?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then I highly recommend you check yourself.  Take a second and ask yourself why?  Has this person done you wrong personally?  Do you know the whole story?  Does this person have a history of putting down or belittling those around you?  

Why does a person choose to make fun of someone for being the way they are?  Or better yet why does someone try and manipulate others to believe you are something other than what you are.  

Guess what girls (and boys)? No more.  We must come together and we must be the reason it stops.  We are the solution to this reoccurring problem.

If you feel responsible to being a bully at some time or another its okay to recognize this and forgive your self.  We are human.  We make mistakes.  But perhaps we must ask ourselves why?  Is there something we are missing or pehaps need to work on ourselves?  You know when your mom always said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all?” Well, she was right.  Mothers are always right.

I wanted to write this post today because I wanted to bring awareness to one of the most discouraging things in this world–ourselves.  If you are with me on this today and you believe that it is about time we make a change on the way we act and treat others then please, lets come together and make a change.  If this post helps one person know that they aren’t alone, or that its okay to make mistakes and learn from them, then my mission has been served.  I have certainly learned from my own mistakes and I will continue make more mistakes and learn from those too. Self reflection is the most effective way to grow.  

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