What do you say?
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He was sitting by himself. Usually, he hung out in the library, I guess he felt safer there. For some reason he wasn’t in the library. His body was half turned as if he was trying to melt into the bricks and disappear. He looked sad and alone.
I felt sorry for him. He wasn’t from around here, his colour made him stand out and he was useless at sport. A bad combination in this place.
You needed three things to survive here, you had to be like everyone else, half decent at sport and hang out with a group that would protect you. He had none of them and being a loner, he was easy pickings for Trev.
Trev, was big, with a mean nasty streak through him but he was the top sports man so he got away with being mean. He also had a group of losers who hung around him like a bunch of hyenas laughing at his piss-weak jokes and willing to do what they were told. Trev hated me but kept his distance.
Trev was hassling the kid, he was bullying him online, saying he was gay, a bender and worst stuff. What did it matter what his sexuality was?
I didn’t want to get involved. It’s bad enough trying to survive myself without ending up with someone else with hassles. At the same time….
I took a deep breath and had a quick look around to make sure Trev and his hyenas weren’t around. I walked up to him and said;
He spun around, eyes wide with fear,
“It’s ok” I said, just wanted to say “hi”.
He looked at me and a brief smile flickered.
I nodded and walked on…
Sometimes it is challenging when we know people around us are being bullied either online or in person. We don’t want to get involved. We don’t want to end up being cyber-bullied ourselves because we stick up for someone.
It is important though.
Cyber-bullying and bullying works by making a person feel isolated and alone. This is why acknowledging the person can help, because it let’s them know they aren’t alone.
This doesn’t mean you have to become the person’s best friend. Simply saying “hi” and acknowledging the person as they walk past you can help them feel not so alone.
If we know a person is being cyberbullied and we do nothing, we are leaving the person feeling even more alone and isolated.
All we need to do is to think of something simple to say that lets the person know they are not alone.
What will you say?