Archive | August, 2012
31 Aug

mothersfriend

If you are one of the lucky ones with kids who have never been bullied, it can help to be informed and help your child to be aware, prepared, and helpful to those in need. If your kids are directly affected already, here are some tips/thoughts that might be helpful. There are many resources and support groups out there. Seek help and know you are not alone! This is serious business.

Help your child avoid being bullied by teaching him how to cope. Teach your child the “CALM” way to avoid bullies:
Stay Cool if you get picked on, because if you react, the bully wins.
Assert yourself using a comeback skill. For example, use sense of humor, Dr. Borba suggests.
Look the bully in the eye. If you look more confident through your body language, you are less likely to get picked on.
Make your voice sound like you…

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31 Aug

BE UNLIMITED

Be Unlimited is taking a major stand against bullying.  Our 3 On Bullying feature appears on the last Friday of every month.  Here, you’ll learn facts to keep you informed, skills to help you handle bullying situations, the support you need, and much more.  This month’s 3 On Bullying profiles the targets of bullying.

Many targets of bullying live in silence.  Some hide it better than others.  But no target of bullying is able to hide the pain that it causes.  That pain can linger for the rest of one’s life, long after their school days are over.  Someone very close to you could be a target of bullying right now, and you might not even know it.  Here are some signs to be on the lookout for:

ONE: Issues at school could be an indicator that someone is dealing with a bullying situation.  These indicators can…

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Bullied Bus Monitor Fights Back

28 Aug
Karen Klein crowd funding campaign by Max Sido...

Karen Klein crowd funding campaign by Max Sidorov – $628,233 (Photo credit: k-ideas)

Good on you Karen Klein for speaking out against bullying and turning your experience into something worth while.

Check out the story at http://www.jacehallshow.com/blog/daily-cause-bullied-bus-monitor-fights-charity/

If you feel like getting involved or supporting the Karen Klein Anti-Bullying Foundation, click here:

https://www.giveback.org/cause/31285/Karen-Klein-Anti-Bullying-Foundation.aspx

Introvert To Extrovert: One Week Later

27 Aug

It’s been a week since I started my little social experiment. Initially, it seemed that I was able to conquer each challenge but as with anything, life gets in the way. By life, I mean friends, studies, health and everything in between. Sometimes it’s a lot to handle and it can get you down. That’s what happened this past week. I allowed the stress to get to me and the more I focussed on my work and everything I needed to achieve, the more I crawled back into my little shell.

Stressed to the max, I didn’t want to socialise with anyone, yet alone with new people. Deep down, I was conflicted. I wanted to curl up into myself but at the same time I had promised myself to see this challenge through, so I tried. That’s the most amazing thing about the human body and mind, we try. Even when there is a risk of failure or humiliation, we try. It’s as if trying is second nature. You try to fix something, or explore somewhere new, attempt a Sodoku puzzle etc. You try. Ever heard of “try and fail but never fail to try?” My Dad instilled that in me when I was younger and I’ve tried to live by it since. See…I’ve tried 😀

Anyway, back to the challenge. Saying ‘Hi’ to someone new everyday is easy. When you’re at the store and the shop keeper says “Good Morning” and makes small talk, it’s difficult and not to mention downright rude not to reply with a bit of a smile. The challenge however, or rather how I interpret it, is for me to break the silence first. Responding to shop keepers does not count. So in that respect, I didn’t do too well this week. I didn’t say ‘Hi’ to anyone new but I ensured that my voice was heard by engaging in conversation with friends and family. Again, not what I was hoping to achieve with this challenge but it’ll have to do for now.

Instead of delving in to how I failed to overcome each challenge this past week, let’s just keep it simple and say that yes, I didn’t achieve all that much. My achievement however was the fact that I tried. The best part of this challenge? I can attempt to conquer it again this week and every other week ahead. Life is good that way. As it keeps going, you get to keep trying until you achieve what you’ve set out to.

I’d just like to make one thing clear though. Just because I failed to achieve much this week does not mean I will fail every week. One small setback will not stop me and to those of you attempting this challenge along with me, it shouldn’t stop you either!

Till the next update,

D.

Introvert To Extrovert: Day 1

16 Aug

My day started out with afternoon classes, which was perfect as it gave me time to mentally prepare myself before tackling  each of the challenges I had set out to achieve (see previous post).

This is how Day 1 of the experiment unraveled.

Arriving at University, I walked into the student magazine office to start my first official day volunteering and spoke to the Editor. We had a brief conversation about the magazine and what volunteering involved before he introduced me to others in the team. I made it a point to be vocal. I greeted each member of the team with a cheerful “Hi. How are you?” and “Nice to meet you.” My parents always taught me to be polite 😉 I also asked the Editor a few questions which ensured that my voice was heard.

Not only was I vocal but I smiled. Smiling comes naturally to me so that was easy but it didn’t exactly fit in with Challenge #3, which was to smile at people who make eye contact. Sure, I smiled when I was introduced to others working for the student magazine and there was eye contact involved but I didn’t smile to the stranger who made eye contact while walking past me.

Have you ever gone walking and noticed a guy checking you out? I’ve hardly ever come across that, most likely because I often look away when I notice someone looking at me. I did exactly that today. I was fully aware, as I made my way toward one of the University buildings, that for a brief second my eyes locked with a young man walking in the opposite direction. Now, I could have smiled. I really could have but it was almost as if my body went into auto-pilot and diverted my eyes away from the guy immediately. Bummer. And he was cute too. Double bummer.

Later in the day as I talked to one of my friends, my brain decided to go into overdrive before my mouth could catch up, which resulted in me stumbling on some of my words. Embarrassing no? The good thing, which personally is something I quite like about myself, is that I laughed. Not one of those hearty, tears inducing laughter but a genuine laugh nonetheless. I found it funny and didn’t judge myself for making that mistake, yet alone making it in public.

As for the last challenge? I didn’t go all out and bust a couple of hip hop moves but I did sway to some music. Maybe even a little bopping, which I believe comes with being a nerd 😉 That counts right?

So here’s a breakdown of Day 1.

  • Challenge 1 : √
  • Challenge 2: √
  • Challenge 3: X
  • Challenge 4: √
  • Challenge 5: √

I might have failed in one but succeeded in others. That, I must say is progress 😀

The next couple of days may be tricky as it’s the weekend and I do have to study you know? However, I will try to work through these challenges again. Trying is important in anything you do. As the saying goes, “Try and fail but never fail to try” (original author unknown but I learnt this from my Dad).

If you have any ideas of challenges I should tackle, lay them on me and comment below. I can’t be doing just these 5 forever!

From Introvert To Extrovert: My Social Experiment

15 Aug

I’ve reached the point in my life where I’m just so sick and tired of being an introvert. Don’t get me wrong, being an introvert is completely fine. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it but it’s just not me, the real me I mean.

Who am I really then? Well, I recently went through some old Facebook chat conversations and one particular thing that stood out to me was the way I ‘spoke’ online, which was totally different from the way I am outside of cyberspace, in reality. It’s almost as if I have two separate personalities. First, there’s the quiet, introverted, almost invisible girl who stands in the corner and socialises only with people she knows. Second, there’s the witty, nothing phases me girl who just can’t stop chatting to anyone and everyone who will listen, or rather, in this case read. The latter, I realised, was exactly how I used to be ten years ago, before everything just got too much. I wasn’t always the shy girl. I used to be the fun, bubbly, happy-go-lucky kind of girl who made friends instantly.

Knowing that I once was an extrovert must mean that those characteristics are still within me somewhere, right? I believe that they lie dormant deep inside and need some coaxing out. So I’ve decided to challenge myself. Call it another social experiment, if you will. My aim is mainly to test the theory of “mind over matter”.  To see if the power of the mind really can control and influence the body.

Here are the challenges I have set for myself:

1. Say ‘hi’ to someone new everyday. If there’s a positive reaction from the other party, engage in light conversation. (I will try my best to do this every single day but if it’s not possible, every other day still counts)

2. Make sure my voice is heard. This can be either by asking questions in class (which I’ve never been able to do) or by simply saying ‘hi’ as per challenge 1.

3. Smile at people who make eye contact. I have a tendency to dart my eyes away immediately whenever I make eye contact with someone and never look back. It’s not a conscious thing but just a habit that I now wish to break.

4. Laugh, not just at something funny but at myself when I make a mistake or do something silly. Laughing at myself will hopefully train me into not taking everything so seriously. (I laugh at myself and at some very silly things quite often so this shouldn’t be a problem for me)

5. Dance. This will most likely take place in the privacy of my own bedroom when no one is at home but it should still work. Dancing, I feel, regardless of form, will help me be comfortable with my body. Dancing the goofy chicken dance will also help me to lighten up.

That’s 5 challenges for now. Number 4 and 5 shouldn’t be too hard to handle but the rest may be a mission. So over the next few days or week, depending on how things go, I will post updates on how I’m going with the challenge.

If you have any thoughts or ideas for more challenges to help me and others who want to break free from being introverted, please comment below or e-mail me. I will, at the very least, give it a try.

And so the experiment begins. Wish me luck 🙂

D.

The Most Difficult Phase Of Your Life

12 Aug

Based on this quote, the past ten years has been the most difficult period of my life. Not only did no one understand me but I didn’t understand myself. I couldn’t fathom why I was the way I was. Looking back at all the things I’ve been through, I feel as if I was a completely different person. It may seem strange, but when I reminisce those horrible days, it’s as if I’m watching a movie. I’m a member of the audience, just a bystander.

As the years go by and as I continue my journey through life, I still don’t quite understand myself  but at least now, I am slowly learning to. Is this part of growing up? I think so.

Life is funny like that. It’s a constant journey in which you learn new things everyday, even about yourself. Whatever it is you’re going through now, things will pick up and look better soon. I can’t recall who the author of this quote is but as the saying goes, “Everything is okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

P.S. I still believe that not everyone understands me but that’s okay. It leaves a little bit of mystery 😉