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20 Ways Celebrities, Parents, and You Can Combat Bullying

20 Ways Celebrities, Parents, and You Can Combat Bullying

When Beyoncé dropped her Lemonade flick with the world a few weeks ago, the Internet, of course, went berserk. But then came the immediate attacks following the “Becky with good hair” lyric from her short film.

Her fans, notoriously known as the “BeyHive,” attacked other celebrities, assuming they were the proverbial “Becky,” causing the rift between Beyoncé and her famous husband, Rachel Roy and Rita Ora.

But there has to come to a point where I’m sure Beyoncé probably thinks her fans take things a little too far. Bullying, be it in person or online, is never OK. Roy eventually tweeted her frustration with the attacks, when some of the “BeyHive” bullied her teenage daughter.

And that’s just one recent incident. Malia Obama recently decided on Harvard as her school of choice in the next two years. But when Fox News posted the story to their website, the President’s daughter was bullied immediately. The commentary got so bad, Fox News had to close the post to comments.

Let’s not forget the Old Navy ad of the biracial family that met a barrage of racist insults and comments. It was so bad, Jack McCain, son of Senator John McCain, came out in public to slam the insults.

And it doesn’t end there! Dejah Jones of Newport News, Virginia; Nicole Mittendorff of Fairfax, Virginia; Amy Inita Joyner-Francis of Wilmington, Delaware; Destiny Gleason of Warrenton, Missouri — all of these individuals recently took their young lives from the result of constant bullying. The list is as long as time itself.

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So what gives? Does Beyoncé, Old Navy, and Fox News have at least a moral obligation to combat extreme bullying? In fact, why not everyone put more of an effort into fighting against bullying? Yes, our country was founded on free speech and liberty, but it was also founded on ensuring domestic tranquility and promoting general welfare to one another, per The Constitution.

So, let’s all work to put bullying in its place. Here’s a list of ideas to adapt to get started.

1. Speak up.

If you see something, say something. Not speaking is not an excuse. There are entirely too many anonymous avenues available in workplaces, schools, and universities to allow bullying to continue.

2. Don’t share social media depicting bullying.

We have a real problem with glorifying violence. Chances are you see at least one video of kids viciously fighting or bullying each other on social media once a week. Don’t fuel the fire by sharing it.

3. If you do share, give ways to stop it.

And implement it in your life. It’s one thing to share something because you’re disgusted by it. It’s another thing to leave a disproving comment and then do nothing to change your own behavior. Facebook and Twitter both have functions to report abusive material. Use it. If enough people report abusive posts, these companies will have no choice but to act.

4. Write more letters to leaders.

If your child is being bullied, inform the principal. If the principal wants to sit on their hands, inform the superintendent. If they decide to twiddle their thumbs, inform the major or the local television station. Everyone has someone to answer to.

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5. You’re not entitled to your own opinion.

I know this is an American right. But think about it. If you were really allowed to say whatever you want, why are there affirmative action laws in most workplaces? So, while legally you are allowed to have an opinion, it could cost you your job or livelihood. You’re entitled to your opinion, not a job. Learn to shut it up and keep things to yourself.

6. Learn empathy.

Words do hurt. Take yourself out of your bubble and try to understand words that don’t affect you could wreck havoc on someone else. We don’t know each other’s story, so don’t assume a little name calling or teasing is OK in every situation.

7. Recall some of your misfortune.

Before you start teasing the new coworker on the job for being a little out of the loop, simply recall how ridiculously clueless you were starting out on a new job. Yeah, doesn’t feel good, does it?

8. Humble yourself.

Not everything requires to be pointed to and laughed at simply because everyone else is laughing. Someone who was a great friend maybe turned into a real jerk. Humble yourself and do not fall into that category.

9. Pull out your cell phone and share it — with law enforcement

If you’re going to use social media to call out bullying, make sure the local law enforcement officials know, especially if it’s a serious crime taking place. And from the looks of many bullying videos that turned into brawls, it wouldn’t hurt to forward your video to the cops.

10. Stop giving excuses for kids.

In Shawano, Wisconsin, fining parents for bullying is a reality. Stop saying kids will be kids and other lame excuses. It could cost you a ton of money! And yes, this law in this small town is growing to be quite popular around the country. You’ve been warned!

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11. Don’t be scared to be an iron-fist parent.

Sometimes a little tough love is all it takes to get bullying children to realize their behavior will not be tolerated. Cut the phone and iPad use. Disconnect the laptop and cable. Cancel all their leisure activities until they can show and improve their behavior towards others.

12. Stand up for yourself.

You have a right not to be physically or verbally antagonized. And if they don’t want to listen, have an authority figure break it down to them.

13. Know when to get authorities involved.

Be able to distinguish horseplay from nefarious play. And if you’re not 100% sure, get them involved anyway and let them make the determination.

14. Use your platform.

Are you so proud of your thousands of Instagram and Twitter followers? Use your own platform to reach thousands of people in your own network when promoting anti-bullying.

15. Encourage celebrities to use their platform.

Simply because celebrities are celebrities, they shouldn’t sit idle and allow people to viciously attack others, especially if it’s being done in their name. Many celebrities, like Lady Gaga, have spoke up about bullying. In fact, she started an anti-bullying foundation. Unfortunately, her message needs to be heard throughout all of Tinseltown a little louder.

16. Know your harassment laws in the workplace.

Some of your coworkers will treat the workplace like a playground. If you suspect bullying, even if you’ve informed your supervisor, get familiar with workplace harassment laws just in case. You never know when you’ll have to call legal counsel to get your point across that you will not be bullied at work.

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17. Please. Please. Please don’t be scared to talk to someone.

Many of the poor souls who’ve taken their lives over bullying tend to have one thing in common: the lack of support. If you’re being bullied, please don’t feel you’re alone in the world. There are many online bullying forums to chat about bullying anonymously if you’re scared to address it in person.

18. Join anonymous groups — even if you’re not being bullied.

It makes even more sense to take a peek every now and then into forums if you’re a parent of a bullied child or someone you love’s being bullied. Get help, insight, and tips from others actually going through the ringer.

19. Encourage stricter laws for bullying around the world.

Shawano, Wisconsin is on to something with fining parents for bullying. Other cities and countries should follow suit. Hitting people where it hurts the most (their wallet) gives them no choice but to MAKE change happen or face some serious legal ramifications.

20. Don’t feed the trolls.

Many bullies are simply crying for attention. Don’t give it to them. Let them bask in their own misery alone.

21. Stop sitting idle.

When we hear about another young person taking his or her life, it’s not enough to pray and wish their family strength. Going to town hall meetings, speaking out about the deaths of numerous young people to administrations that are often left shrugging their shoulders, going to the media, or even campaigning to Capitol Hill are some of the loudest ways you can combat bullying.

Featured photo credit: Sad by Loren Kerns via flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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