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Experiencing online bullying and harassment is challenging. It make us feel isolated, alone, angry, and it can affect our mental health.
The good news is our resilience acts as a buffer against the negative consequences of bullying. This does not mean we do not feel hurt or angry because of what we are experiencing. It does mean, that despite feeling angry and hurt we know what we are experiencing does not say anything about us as a person but says everything about the person doing the harassment and bullying. It tells us they feel so bad about themselves they have to try and hurt other people.
Resilience is important in helping us manage what we are experiencing. If this “thing” called resilience is so important, what is it and how do we build more of it?
We all have resilience. Some of us develop it more than others, but it is something we all have. It is the ability to manage difficult situations that come our way. It is a bit like swimming. When we start swimming, we can barely manage 50 metres, but the more we swim, the more distance we can swim.
We develop resilience in responding to the difficult situations we face. The only difference between you and a person who says they don’t have any resilience is that you have chosen to keep responding rather than giving up.
Resilient teenagers are problem-solvers. You, as a resilient teenager are a problem-solver.
As a problem-solver, we can think about the best way to manage the harassment or bullying we are experiencing.
- We can acknowledge what we are feeling. Remember, emotions, our feelings often change. We can choose not to react on how we feel at a certain point because we know it will change.
- We can choose, how to respond. We cannot control what the other person does, we can only decide how we want to respond. There are different ways to respond, ignore the situation, block the person, speak to a friend, report the person to the social media platform or to the eSafety Commission.
- We might not respond the way we want all the time. That is okay. What matters is you are trying, and you are building your resilience.
Give yourself credit for being a resilient teenager.