Toni Dupree

Toni Dupree

When I was a child we used to say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” our magical chant we used to recite to ward off bullies. Unfortunately, it was the biggest lie ever told. I’m pretty certain after reciting this oh, so familiar chant some of us, if not all went home sobbing to our parents. Fearful of being ridiculed even more by our friend. Types of chants like these were necessary because it was our “self-talk” of sorts. It was what you had to tell yourself to muster up inner courage to face your bully or opposition if you will.

I work at a middle school and I often wonder what kind of verbal courage are children reciting to show strength in the face of adversity and/or bullies today?

Today, bullies come in all different ages, IQs statuses and sizes. They can be your average straight talkers, fast talkers or even an amateur comedians, bully nonetheless.

This idea of saying whatever is on your mind at any cost to another person whether joking about their deficiencies or belittling them can feel like an assassination to one’s spirit. Thereby affecting their self-respect, self-confidence and self-esteem causing them to feel depressed and possibly struggle with other mental issues because we don’t know what another personal is already feeling or dealing with.

It is always best practice to lead people-minded; considering the other person’s feeling by listening to them, fully engaging in conversation and getting to know them. Leaving personal feelings and opinions outside, unless there is a sincere tolerance for highly opinionated views of particular subject matter. Otherwise understand that your strong opinion paired with a colorful description of someone isn’t constructive criticism it’s a rude and inconsiderate assault on their character.