The Real Truth about Getting Picked On
By Rebecca Sebek
If you feel as if you have a flashing neon sign above your head that reads, “Please make fun of me. I like it!” know that you are not alone. Many teenagers feel this way.
Here is an example of what many teens may deal with on a daily basis. Let’s say you’re a vegan or vegetarian and your friends talk about their favorite foods and restaurants knowing that you don’t eat meat. Your friends go on and on about the succulent steak dinner they had last night and it makes your stomach turn. They tease you and say something like, “Oh wait, she doesn’t eat meat.” It may seem like not a big deal, and to them it probably isn’t, but for you, it’s a different story. You remain quiet because you may be afraid to say something out of fear of losing your friends. Here’s a hint: these people are not your friends if they ‘pick on’ or tease you about being a vegan or vegetarian. This may be painful to hear, but it’s true. Hopefully, your friends will grow out of it. If they don’t, you may want to get some new friends.
Being picked on isn’t fun. It hurts, especially when your friends are the ones picking on you. However, you can learn a valuable lesson in standing in your power and speaking up for yourself. Calmly tell your friends that you don’t appreciate how they pick on you. If they don’t understand that it’s wrong to pick on you, or anyone else for that matter, they have some serious growing up to do and don’t value your friendship as you do theirs. You may want to find a new group of friends. Who knows, your former friends could change and become your friends again someday.
The real truth about getting picked on
Why do teens pick on each other? Some teens may not have the same experiences as you. If their parents shelter them from the world, they won’t be able to mix n’ mingle as well as their peers. Other teens follow the crowd out of fear. It’s easier to follow along, but it’s not always the best choice.
Here are some reasons why teens may pick on you
Teens usually fear what they don’t know. If you are different from them, they will fear you because they have not been exposed to other cultures, languages, foods, etc. It’s not their fault, it’s how they were raised. Perhaps their parents feel the need to ‘shelter’ their children from the world to save them from it. Unfortunately, this has the opposite effect.
Teens don’t know any better. You probably didn’t raise yourself; your parents, grandparents, or others raised you. If your parents or guardians were brought up a certain way, chances are they’ll raise you the same way. It’s a cyclical effect that can go on for generations until one day someone in the family questions the parenting methods and tries a new approach.
Teens follow the crowd. No one wants to be picked on, right? In order to avoid this, teens will follow and do as others do. Deep down they probably don’t want to and know it’s wrong, but they do it anyway because they don’t want to be picked on or be seen as different.
If you’re being picked on, tell your parents, teacher, guidance counselor, principal, or some other adult and get help. Please realize that you are loved and valuable. Anyone that picks on you has issues and is probably being picked on at home or school. It doesn’t make sense to lash out or take it out on someone else, but that is how some people deal with their problems. Know that you are fine and this too shall pass. Stand in your power, set your boundaries, love yourself and remember that God loves you even more!