Dear Ms. Starr: I’m Tired of Being Teased

Dear Ms. Starr,

People tease me a lot. More boys than girls, and I’ve started thinking it’s because I’m more easy to tease than other people.  I hide my feelings at first, but then when I get frustrated, my feelings burst out. I’ve had people call me names. My mom thinks it’s because I’m an only child and I don’t have a lot of practice standing up for myself. I am in the 4th grade, and I used to go to private school. It was quieter there and easier to be in control. Also, the boys weren’t so exasperating.

How do I become less easy to tease?

~ Tired Of Being Teased

Dear Tired Of Being Teased,

Thanks so much for your brave question. I am so sorry to hear that you’re being teased at school.

Whether or not we are used to it, it always hurts when others make fun of us or call us names. I think every girl on planet Earth knows how frustrating, embarrassing, and sad it feels to be teased by others.

As girls, we tend to keep our feelings hidden. When we feel afraid, hurt, or put down, we sometimes don’t let others know that we are feeling this way. Instead, we keep it all bottled up inside until one day, “boom!” our emotions explode in anger. This is what we at GLI call a “Girl Bomb,” and it sounds like that is what is going on for you when you say, “my feelings burst out.”

This “Girl Bomb” cycle can often lead to more teasing from others and leave us feeling even more embarrassed and frustrated than we were before. Although your situation is tough, I do have some suggestions.

1)      Share your feelings with others! Talk to someone about what is going on and how you feel. Make sure this person is someone who you trust and who won’t make fun of you for having feelings–– perhaps a parent, teacher, or counselor at school. Also, writing in a private journal is another great way to express how you feel.

Feeling angry is totally normal and okay. That anger is like an alarm clock letting you know it’s time to take a look at those feelings you’ve been keeping inside. You then get to become a detective with your trusty flashlight, solving the mystery of your hidden feelings. Are you feeling sad, embarrassed, or afraid? Are you feeling put-down or insecure? Discover those feelings and share them with someone who will show you that they care. The more you let these inside feelings out, the less likely they will burst out “Girl Bomb” style.

2)     In a firm and confident tone of voice, try telling the person who is teasing you, “Please stop (doing that).” Tell them exactly what you want them to stop doing, whether it is calling you mean names or making fun of something you are saying or doing. If they continue teasing you, you can always walk away. Sometimes this is the best thing to do to protect our feelings and keep our power.

3)     If the teasing doesn’t stop or reaches a point where you feel really upset or unsafe, you need to talk to an adult at your school. I know many girls are afraid to do this because they fear it will lead to more teasing. But being teased at school on a regular basis is not okay. You deserve to feel happy and safe at school. So no matter what, keep talking to adults until you find someone who is willing to stick up for you and do something that will make the teasing stop.

This is my last and most important point: there is nothing wrong with who and how you are. You (and your feelings) are just right and never deserve to be put down by other people.

“Cause you are beautiful no matter what they say,”

Ms. Starr

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