I was watching the news a couple of nights back and came across a segment on bullying and why some teens are withdrawn during what is supposed to be “the most special time of your life.” After resonating with the young girl they were interviewing, I started to reminisce on my own teenage experience, and while I did have some happy moments, it wasn’t all sunshine and Clean & Clear ads.
I’ve been the withdrawn type my whole life. When I was a kid, other kids threw sand at me for being so quiet (lolz for real though), so naturally, I started to hate people. Everyone was mean, besides a select few, so I stuck to who made me feel like a human being and tried to hide my hurt whenever those who weren’t so nice were around. Junior high and high school were no different but in high school, I had my set of friends, who to this day, no matter what was said (or not said) between us, I still love. We had a lot of great laughs but little did they know that a lot of what was said to me at the time killed me and played a big part in deciding to distance myself from them after we graduated.
I went through a rough patch in high school. I was depressed, my grandmother was dying, and just being a teenager took it’s toll on me. Why anyone ever said that your teen years are supposed to be the most special is beyond me but I tried really hard to live up to that. Maybe I tried too hard, because life just wasn’t cooperating. I wasn’t like everyone else – up for anything with anyone at anytime, so people gave me a hard time. When the guy I had a crush on for 2 years started dating someone else, I was devastated, but I got through it. Alone. Nobody asked me if I was okay. Well, maybe they did, but I’m not entirely sure they meant it.
Let’s go back to that sad, sullen girl from the news segment. She felt like her friends abandoned her and she didn’t know why. She felt bullied and unloved. She even considered suicide. All of this brought me back to where I was 9 years ago today at 17 years old. People would tell me that they didn’t want to be around me because I was always so sad. None of them even tried to be a friend and help. I’m not sure why I never thought of this sooner, but if you see a friend in need, do the right thing, step up and lend a hand.
Here are 3 things you can do that just might save a life:
– Sit down, drop down your guard and listen. Let them talk and only reply when they say it’s OK. Don’t spit out your harsh opinions on them. Just listen. You don’t have to understand. Sometimes, all a person needs is to be heard. What they’re saying may sound ridiculous. Trust me – most of my problems sound ridiculous when said out loud, but remember that we are all human and humans are meant to feel things that are odd and uncomfortable.
– This may sound archaic, but whenever one of my friends was sad or going through a break up, I would make them mixtapes. Music saves and I wouldn’t be here without it. Put some effort into it and find songs that not only will speak to them directly about their situation, but help them heal as well. Years later, they will hear one of those songs and they’ll be reminded of who showed it to them and how it made such a positive impact on them.
– I seriously think there is a human contact shortage going on. Hugs are very important, not just for newborn babies but adults as well. Sometimes, silence speaks louder than words. Go up to the person who is hurting and just hold them. It may be awkward at first, but they’ll really appreciate it. I hope. If not, you can yell at me later. 😛
Don’t be the person who just sits back and does nothing. Remember how it feels to be the one who is hurting. What did you want? What did you wish someone had done for you during those times of need? Ask them if they’re okay. Don’t be like the others and tell them what everyone else is telling them. Listen. Be present. Look up the word “friend” and go be it. Go further than the definition. Love.
As for that girl on the news, I hope she finds what she is longing for.