What would you say to your younger self?

Last year we surveyed over 1000 people to get the facts about bullying. We found:

anti bullying week 2017 - what would you say to your younger self?
  • 55% of people have been bullied at some point.
  • 70% of all people bullied did not seek support, ever.

Our school years can be both the best, and the worst years of our lives. While we’ll all go through ups and downs during our life in education, for some, they are utterly miserable. Bullying affects one in two people. Despite half of the population having been affected by bullying, when you’re a victim, you can feel incredibly, desperately alone.

Why me? What have I done wrong? Is it my fault?

When you’re a child or young person, it can be hard to see a positive future. Bullying can be destructive – it can tear your confidence to shreds and affect you for the rest of your life.

If you’re being bullied – know that it is not your fault. Things will get better.

You may not be convinced just yet, so we have some words that might help.

What would you say to your younger self?

Don’t listen to anybody else, because if it all goes wrong and you aimed for the moon, at least you can say you did it your way and landed near the stars! – Maurice, PR assistant

Try not to worry so much. Fickle friends will come and go; boys will still seem just as impossible, no matter how old you are; and no, you’re never going to be great at peopling, but it gets better. It’s worth the wait in the end. – Bonnie, Creative writer and producer

Do what you really love; finding things in life that make you truly happy can break the relentless torment for a while, and can connect you with other people just as amazing as you. And, more than anything, never apologise for being who you really are. Sure, strive for improvement, to be the best you that you can be – but never change for anyone else. – Becky, Comms executive

Do not listen to the bullies who constantly say nasty comments to you about being “too freckly” or being “too tall”. I know it is something you hear constantly and it is upsetting, but take it with a pinch of salt. You can’t change it so why waste time dwelling on it? One day it will seem completely irrelevant and I guarantee you will not hear those comments again. – Sian, Customer service executive

I would tell myself that there was a big wide world outside of school and that what I was experiencing wouldn’t last forever. I would tell myself to be brave, be proud of who I am and that none of what is happening is my fault. I would assure my younger self that things will get better – so much better. – Kat, Comms team leader

I like the proverb, “this too shall pass”. Reminds us that the tough times won’t last forever, but also encourages us to embrace and enjoy the good moments too. I’d also probably say: there is power in being underestimated. When people might put you down, or tell you you aren’t good enough to do something, or can’t do something, use it as motivation to prove them wrong. Believe in yourself and what you are capable of. You might even surprise yourself. – Becca, Writer for Happiful

I would tell myself that it is really important to stay honest to yourself, and not to pretend to be someone who you are not. Be kind, be thoughtful and always consider how you can better help others. I have found the key to self happiness is to help others find happiness. The world is full of possibilities and do not be afraid to try new things and even make mistakes. Nobody will ever be perfect. – Matt, Business advisor

And these words of wisdom don’t always have to be from someone older than you, reflecting on their own experiences. Elodie, age 10, says: “I would say to be good in school and work hard, play fairly and share, do things for your family and help friends if they are sad.”

We asked our Twitter followers the same question!

  • 39% said be yourself
  • 24% said it’s not your fault
  • 19% said you’re doing great
  • 18% said this won’t last forever
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Written by Ellen Lees
Head of Content.
Written by Ellen Lees
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