Sugar and spice and everything nice is not what today's girls are made of! Now it's all about sass and snipes and everything to get more likes! When did that shift happen? I know girls have long carried the bad reputation of fighting the invisible war against each other, but technology has allowed it to reach all new heights. No longer do the taunts stop when you leave the school yard; these daggers are carried everywhere the bullied go because every person today has their phone in a death grip. How do we combat this war that has invaded our most private spaces? How do we console our daughters, sisters, and friends? What do we do if it’s happening to us?
The biggest opportunity we have is to see this fight is lost and won all in the same place. We cannot always block our attackers or avoid their abuse, so what do we do? It starts with looking into the mirror and finding ourselves. Who are we at our cores? What is special about me? What do we believe about ourselves? It is amazing to recognize that we hold onto so many negative thoughts that were given to us by our parents, siblings, friends, and teachers.
“You’re so stupid!”
“You can never do anything right!”
“Nobody likes you!”
Even if these verbal assaults are a momentary lapse in judgment or if they’re thrown at you on a regular basis, they sink in and take root. Can you imagine how it would feel if you were free of those thoughts? What if you chose to only listen to your positive beliefs?
“You’re so smart”
“I’m so proud of you!”
Overcoming bullies starts by having a strong positive belief system that highlights your gifts and talents. Teaching girls to focus their energy on their own truths is key. This allows them to quickly weed out the negativity and stand strong.
Girls also need to understand that we cannot take anything personally. The ugly words are not their truth. It is a poison the bully is trying to get rid of from their own life. The hurt and abuse is a reflection of the bully’s world and they are playing a painful version of verbal hot potato. The realization that even the bullies are getting bullied may make some girls happy, but this is where we challenge all girls to have compassion. Being that angry and spiteful does not happen in a vacuum, so what happens if we extend our hearts to the bullies and show them a better, more loving way?
What does that better, more loving way look like? Well, it starts with forgiveness- even if the other person isn’t sorry. Forgive them anyway because the girls who choose to forgive get freedom from their attackers. Having the strength to say, “I forgive you for…” has so much power! The next step is to challenge our girls to spread the love. Have them say something kind and uplifting to five random people each day. Have their friends share positive messages on their newsfeeds and Instagram accounts. Help your girls feel good about themselves and give them opportunities to make a difference in their world. Go spread the love!
For more on how to BullyProof! your children, contact Sarah for one-on-one family training or have her come speak to your schools at firstname.lastname@example.org