Real Teens Talk: Bullying

We asked our Everly Mag Ambassadors* to tell us their thoughts about bullying.

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“I define bullying as the repetitive use of superior strength or influence to intimidate someone.  At my school, an action is not considered bullying if it only happens once and there is not an imbalance of power.  So, if two people are fighting and they are both being mean, then it can’t be bullying.  It’s considered bullying when one person is getting insulted or physically hurt, and they aren’t doing anything back.” – Olivia*, 14

“Bullying can break someone’s confidence entirely, it can affect mental health even in the long run.  The worst thing is that it’s in school every day, and sometimes it never ends.  I think it’s important we all come together to help stop bullying, but teens are impressionable and some don’t even realize they may be bullying.  An action is not considered bullying if it’s just an inside joke where they are laughing with someone and not at someone.” – Sawyer, 14

“Bullying occurs when someone purposely tries to make someone else feel uncomfortable.  That would include teasing, even if the other person is your friend and even if it’s only a joke.  I was teased a lot through high school, and from time to time, I still struggle with my social life because of it.” – Mari, 19

“I think too many young people use the word bullying too much now.  Every day, I hear kids say that someone is bullying them, when in reality they weren’t, they were just joking as friends.  Most of the time, the person knows that the other one was joking but they continue to say they were bullying.  I think this may be why adults don’t get involved in bullying situations that much.” – Kaylin, 17

“I think bullying is purposely being mean to someone with the intention of hurting them, especially when they’ve done nothing to hurt you.  There’s a line between constructive criticism and bullying, and I think that sometimes the former can become the latter.  I don’t think it’s bullying to tell someone something that may make them feel bad.  People have told me before that my essay for English class had a lot of flaws in it, and while it made me feel bad, I welcomed the feedback and found it really helpful.  That being said, there are nice ways to say things that might hurt, and can sometimes define the difference between constructive criticism and bullying.” – Brianne, 15

“Bullying is like letting someone down for your own need.  It makes you feel better but it actually makes the other person feel bad about themselves.  It’s like forcing someone to be a way they don’t want to.  Using harsh words, hitting someone, making fun of someone based on their race, ethnicity, looks, gender, or beliefs are some examples of bullying.  Joking about my insecurities or how I look make me feel bad.” – Sasha, 13

“Bullying, in my opinion, is to exploit other people and take away their social leverage, and to belittle them.  Bullying is only when someone does this intentionally.  As an immigrant, I was always bullied for my Chinese ethnicity, and it made me feel unworthy.  But, I overcame this through the support of my family and friends.” – Leslie, 15

“Bullying is the act of purposely making someone feel bad in any way, whether it’s emotional or physical.  There is a stage that jokes with friends do go too far and turn into bullying, recognizing this is important and knowing when to stop is, too.  If an action makes you feel bad, but was not the intention of the person to do so, I don’t believe that is bullying.” – Frances, 15

“Bullying is the act of making someone feel as if they’re less than they are.  It can happen anywhere, at any time, to anyone.  Whether it’s name-calling in person or slander on social media, it exists everywhere and has totally plagued the past few generations.  However, there are many ways that make you feel not so great about yourself that are not bullying, such as honest advice or constructive criticism.  In those situations, it is best to either listen to the advice or forget about it altogether, especially if you don’t agree with it.” – Samantha, 15

“Bullying is teasing or being mean to someone to make them feel bad about themselves.  It is not bullying if someone says something about a band you like that makes you upset.  I was bullied in elementary school for being tiny.  I was also bullied by students and teachers for being quiet.  I used to come home from school crying every day.” – Halle, 14

“No matter if you’re beating a person up with your fists or your words, they’re both bullying.  If someone is telling you the truth, even if it makes you feel bad, it’s not bullying.  I have personally been bullied by many people, and about different things.  A big thing when I was a freshman was that people would call me ‘brick head’ multiple times a day because they were making fun of my forehead being bigger.  I never used to feel insecure about myself until I found out that people were saying that about me.” – Morgan, 17

“I think the word bullying means for someone to pick out your insecurities and show them to you to make you feel bad about yourself.  Some people get mixed up between constructive criticism, which is giving people advice, and bullying, which is being rude.  I personally haven’t had many bad experiences with bullying.  I have had some people say things about my skin, but fortunately I had the confidence and self-esteem levels to let it pass and ignore it.” – Christine, 14

“Bullying is taking your own hurt and casting it on someone else to make them feel your pain, or feel even worse.  Making fun of someone, telling someone they aren’t worth it, being rude overall, or physically or emotionally attacking someone for being who they are.  If someone makes you feel smaller than you are, then it is bullying.  No person deserves to be continuously hurt over and over.

From 2nd grade until 7th, I was constantly bullied by 2 different people with dirty looks, rumors, and even getting their siblings to gang up on me and try to get me into trouble.  Just know that if you are the bigger person and show them kindness, you will always be better safe than sorry.   It will take a while to recover, but once you do, your life will completely change and you will be a much stronger and more empowered person than ever before.” – Anna Rose, 15

*All ambassador names and identifying information have been changed.

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