As part of Seventeen‘s Delete Digital Drama campaign, CEO and E3 long-time friend Cheryl Lynch of Lynch Archer PR sent over this essay where Drew of Emblem3 talks about his emotional experience being on both sides of bullying, which you can view on the Seventeen Magazine website at: http://www.seventeen.com/entertainment/emblem3-bullying-letter
“A lot of people, especially middle and high schoolers, struggle with being bullied. As someone who has been both a bully and a victim of such behavior, I have unique insight into the real reasons people bully and the effect it has on victims.
When I was in middle school and early high school, I was a punk who used to try and prove my strength by picking on other people I thought were physically or mentally inferior to me. In reality, this was just a juvenile reaction to my own insecurities. I thought that by bullying people and bringing out others’ insecurities would mask my own feelings of inadequacy. In retrospect, I see how immature that mind frame was and that bullying is the result of ignorance.
Then, I moved to Arizona and attended a new, bigger high school. I went from feeling like a king and bullying those I believed to be inferior to being a “nobody” among nearly 5,000 students and a victim of bullying. The situation escalated to the point where I was hiding between classes in order to avoid being physically bullied or publicly humiliated.
I can assure you that being a victim of any form of bullying is damaging to a person’s will power, self-esteem, and happiness. Bullying caused me to hide from life and live in fear. I hated myself for it. That’s the crazy thing about bullying: It’s not just about what others inflict on you. Before too long, you begin to internally bully yourself too.
You start to believe what the bullies say: that you aren’t cool enough, good enough, strong enough, or smart enough. Thoughts like that cause you to lose your will power, your drive. That’s when depression and anxiety can set in and you begin to question why you should continue living a life that is pure hell. You may believe your existence is purposeless, and these feelings can lead to thoughts of self-harm.
If you’re experiencing or witnessing bullying, it helps to remember the reasons why people bully others. Bullies are looking for validation: They’re often misguided individuals with misguided emotions. I’ve noticed that creative types tend not to be bullies—maybe because they understand how to channel their emotional energy positively, through hobbies like arts or sports.
Bullies don’t know the damage they cause. In fact, they justify their negative behavior by thinking that they’re just being funny or cool, but those are just cover-up words for “I’m insecure, help me.” I’m speaking from experience, because I was a bully!
If there is one thing I hope readers take away from this, it’s that you need to love yourself. When you love someone, you want that person to be the best they can possibly be, physically, mentally and spiritually, right? Well, you need to treat you the same way.
When you love yourself and have self-worth, you become untouchable. You’re spiritually invincible! That is all that matters. No bully can take the love you have for yourself away from you. In fact, confidence may deter a bully from attacking you. Because remember, those who bully do so because they are insecure. When faced with others who are confident and self-loving, bullies lose the opportunity to exploit others’ insecurities to mask their own.
My personal experience is why I started Team Inspire! We are that force of inspiration that encourages young people to keep going when they’ve lost their will power, because the only thing that can regenerate will power is inspiration. Think about how you can better yourself: Whether you want to improve your physique, start a new hobby, or pursue a talent, make goals, write them down, or take a picture. Then, tweet it to me, @DrewChadwickE3, with the hash tag #GOALS4LIFE. I will do my best to follow you and help you achieve your goals. It’s not about achieving what you think is perfection, it’s about achieving self-love.
If you’re reading this and you have struggled with bullying, fear, anxiety, or insecurities, just #AskMe about it, and I will help you in any way I can.
I totally support Seventeen’s Delete Digital Drama campaign! In my own attempt to stop Internet bullying, I created the hashtag #BulliesAreInsecure. So, retweet this post with the hashtags #BulliesAreInsecure and #17Delete, and if you witness any negativity or bullying on social media, please have the courage to comment #BulliesAreInsecure to counteract such negativity.
Thanks! Don’t forget to come to our shows and chill! #TeamInspire
What do you guys think? Tag us on Twitter @LynchArcherPR with #BulliesAreInsecure and #17Delete and let us know! We’ll pass the word along to Drew! #TeamInspire. Always.