Confession: I have a huge girl crush on singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles. She is uber cute and I totally want to be BFFs with her. For the past couple of weeks I have listened to her album The Blessed Unrest at least once a day. Sometimes twice. I am completely obsessed with her song Brave. It’s got such a catchy melody and the video is just pure fun.
Even though it’s a great pop song, I see it as so much more. I see it as a message to those who have been bullied. To those who are afraid to speak up. I see it as an anthem.
Bullies. Trolls. Mean girls. Sometimes they act solo, other times they go full force in an army, and it’s always with complete disregard of other people’s feelings. Their sole mission in life: Treat others like they are less than nothing. Putting people down makes them feel superior.
Whether it’s at school or on the internet, it seems like we just can’t escape them. But, there are ways we can deal with these monsters.
If you encounter bullies at school, holding it in and quietly suffering will just cause you more pain. The best thing you can do is TELL SOMEONE. Tell your parents. Tell a teacher. Tell the principal. Yes, it might be really scary to do this, but trust me, you will feel so much better when you do.
If you are battling trolls online, just remember three simple things: Block. Delete. Don’t engage. These days online bullying can be even more vicious than bullying in real life. Probably because these bullies can remain anonymous. They feel like they can be as mean as they want because they will most likely never meet the ones they harass. Don’t be afraid to report these trolls to the people managing the websites you are being attacked on. Chances are, you are not the only one being mistreated.
I know it can be very tough to keep your head up when others try so hard to bring you down. There may even be days when you start to believe that you deserve all of this mistreatment. But you don’t. You deserve so much better.
So please, for me and for all those who care about you, speak up, speak out, and be brave.