Thursday, March 16, 2017

Sticks and Stones

I'm sure everyone remembers the old saying "sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me". Well that isn't necessarily true when it comes to bullying and name-calling. I recently read an excellent article by Sherri Gordon on the "Very Well" website. Sherri mentions name-calling is a particularly harmful way of bullying because it labels another person and attempts to define who they are. It leaves victims with negative messages of who they are.  Sherri states that when someone is called "fat", "retard", or "nerd" enough times, this ruins their self-esteem, sense of self worth and self-concept. Basically the person begins to tell themselves that they are not good enough or they don't measure up.

The article mentions nine ways that a person can become affected by name calling. I want you to take a close look at these and truly grasp the damage that can be done to a person. Here they are:

1) Name-calling erodes a person's sense of self
     - eating away at self esteem
2) Name-calling causes kids to compromise their beliefs and values
     - if called a "goody-goody", student's may try to shake that image by doing things that go against their belief system.
3) Name-calling affects a victim's sense of well being
     - victims make excuses to miss school and avoid outside activities
4) Name-calling impacts a person's identity
     - a hurtful label can become a part of who that person is
5) Name-calling opens the door to violence
     - many hate crimes begin with name-calling
6) Name-calling encourages internal criticism
     - if a person is called a "loser", they begin to call themselves a "loser"
7) Name-calling impacts mood
     - changes in sleeping habits and moods
8) Name-calling affects mental health
     - research shows name-calling leads to depression and possibly suicide
9) Name-calling affects physical health
     - upset stomachs, headaches, stress disorders, ulcers, etc

I can't imagine that a person would wake up and say to themselves "whose day can I ruin today?". I tend to think that a person may make comments that they seem are innocent and not realize how much they may hurt someone. I hope this article will help people understand how words can definitely hurt worse than sticks and stones. If you are a student who makes fun of others, I hope you will realize the immense pain you are causing the other student. I hope that you will think before you speak. If you are a student who hears another student name-calling, please stop them and explain how they are hurting that person. Maybe you could show them this article. Finally, if you are a victim of someone else's name-calling, please know that you are not at fault. You are not those "names" they are putting on you. You are special, you are important and you are loved. The staff here at Vantage care about you and we will be there for you. Please stop down to my office so we can talk about what is going on. You have lived with that pain long enough, it is time to take back your life. I would love to walk that journey with you and allow you to see how great and wonderful you really are.

No comments:

Post a Comment