Advice Column: Dear Avery


Avery Kalter, Writer and Editor


Dear Avery, 

This school year, I have been facing bullies. They have brought down my self-esteem and bullied me for things like my clothes, appearance, social status, and more. I don’t know what to do in order to gain my confidence back. Do you have any advice?




Dear Anonymous,

Sadly, I am not too surprised that you are a victim of bullies. Between social media and bad mental health, bullying has become way too common, and unfortunately, you are one of the many middle schoolers facing it. In language arts, we are learning about different types of problems and how characters solve them. We have learned about personal problems, systemic problems, and external problems. You are dealing with an external problem. Someone else is causing you this problem, and you can’t change them and how they act; however, the solution to your problem is not changing them, it’s changing your mindset and how you approach their bullying.

Despite concerns, no increase in bullying or cyberbullying among high school students in 2017 - Child Trends

   From the time I was little, I have lived by a certain motto that has kept me going when things become hard. I like to think about life like this: Your opinion doesn’t matter to them, so why does theirs matter to you? When you think about bullying, they are making fun of you because they feel a certain way about you. Whether they are making fun of your clothing, hair, or facial features, or they are doing it out of pure jealousy, their rude remarks come from their opinion of you. It’s just an opinion, and as we know, opinions are opinions, not facts. Some people think dogs are better than cats, and others think cats are better than dogs, but they are both just opinions, and one’s opinion doesn’t have to match yours. Your opinion most likely doesn’t matter to them, so why is their opinion about you getting in the way of your confidence? Sometimes you need to think rationally like that, and you see how meaningless a bully’s words are.


Another thing I have always been told is that bullies are just unhappy people. When you are happy, you are all smiles. Everything is just a bit more colorful, and life is a bit more beautiful. There is no reason to bring others down because you already feel good about yourself. So, when someone bullies you, it is a clear indicator that they are just an unhappy person. There is something in their own life bothering them, and as a coping tool, they are trying to make others feel the misery they are feeling. When someone is so unhappy that they feel the need to make others feel unhappy, that shows how weak they are. They aren’t strong enough to deal with their own problems, so they put them on others. They are trying to make you feel weak, but the strongest thing you can do is ignore them. 


Of course, if someone is physically hurting you, you should always talk to a trusted adult, but if someone is using words to hurt you remember that their words are just an opinion that has no meaning in your life. I really hope that things get better because no one deserves a bully. Just remember that they can only get to you if you let them and that the only weak person is them. 


If you need, here are a few hotlines for teens experiencing bullying: 1-800-273-8255

Teen Line- 800-852-8336