Bullying has become a word often accompanied by an eye-roll and an annoyed sigh. The novelty of the word has worn off and what’s left is a feeling of boredom. Among students is an assumption that there are low rates of bullying at North Tahoe High and students treat each other with respect.
However, the spotlight on peer-to-peer bullying has forced other types of harassment backstage. Our discussions hardly examine the types of bullying that are most hurtful: the bullying going on between our ears.
How we speak to others is critiqued and corrected, yet the dialogue we have in our heads has no limit. Our inner voice is a lifelong companion and intimate source of creativity. But this voice can be pushed to extremes and be the source pain and withdrawal. Negative self-talk is a default.
Self-bullying exists at North Tahoe High School, here’s what it looks like for NTHS students:
“Picking on yourself and feeling down about yourself. It can happen anywhere. You doubt yourself and you feel like you’re not good at something. On some level, to some extent, we all do it.” —Emily Tewksbery
“Negative thoughts, negative comments. You’re really close to yourself so you know who you are and what you think of yourself more than anyone else…. So if someone calls you some rude name, you think that’s not me, I am this. So it’s not making a difference what other people think. But you know who you are personally, so you what to call yourself, what’s your problem, what’s your weakness.” –Miranda Valadez
“You bully yourself and put yourself down when you don’t have enough self-confidence. I think it does happen here … I think it’s putting yourself down because of stereotypes that are around.” —Alondra Leon
“I think it means when you don’t feel confident in yourself so you bring yourself down by saying you can’t do stuff, you’re not good enough to be on the team or something like that.”
—Jose Hernandez Ponce
This October, for National Bullying Prevention Month, begin with stopping the bully in your head. Don’t be a bystander to your own thoughts.
Cutton, David M. and Hearon, Christopher M. “Self-Talk Functions: Portrayal of an Elite Power Lifter.” Perceptual & Motor Skills: Motor Skills, Vol. 119, No. 2, 2014 pp.478-494.