Sometimes parents can be the bullies in your life.
In our society, we are socialized to respect our elders. Therefore, the thought of standing up to one or challenging what they have taught you to better yourself is tough. No one likes to be pushed around or interrogated for their everyday life by people they do not know. Being pressured by a parent can be even more overwhelming and can result in some psychological issues if not dealt with properly.
Up until my grandmothers passing, we had a bit of a rocky relationship.
Because I was so expressive in my presentation, she would think that I was somehow disobeying her and disobeying God. I grew up in a conservative Baptist home. I struggled with why I was so concerned with how other people viewed me. It was because I had been raised, and based most of my life around, this idea that if I looked like I was okay, then everything was okay on the inside. But that was far from the truth. My grandmother’s inability to accept me for who I was took a toll on me in ways that I cannot explain. And on top of that, it felt as if the whole world agreed with her.
The saying that people treat you how they treat themselves can apply to this situation, and many other things.
According to www.kidshealth.org, “Sometimes bullies know that what they’re doing or saying hurts other people. But other bullies may not really know how hurtful their actions can be. Most bullies don’t understand or care about the feelings of others.” Some people come from backgrounds where people have abused them or mistreated them and use you as a target to project that onto. Others might come from places of insecurity or belittlement.
In some situations, I feel as if it is important to be brave.
Do not be afraid to stand up for yourself especially if you know there was something that you didn’t do wrong. If you are in a position where you cannot stick up for yourself and it requires someone in higher authority, like an adult, to speak up then I would suggest pulling them to the side and telling them what’s going on. Two heads are better than one. On top of having courage, the fact of having a support system will catapult you into a completely different arena. And if you also see someone being bullied, do not stand back and be a bystander. Be a voice for them and do not hesitate.
Work on being good enough for you.
I know a lot of teenagers and children want to do their best in order to be on their parents’ good side, but truth be told, this is impossible. If you are not giving yourself the credit to excel, then you’ll only continue to live in that docility and that dark place. And always remember if someone has the audacity to touch you, belittle you, or make you feel inferior, there is a likely chance that all of those emotions are going on inside of themselves. You have to believe that you are on the right path.
Makayla Smith is a third-year student at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She completed an internship at Girlspring in fall 2018.