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TEEN ISSUES-----standing up for yourself

PinteleYid Posted - 15 December 2000 14:07

I have a question as to how to respond.

Firstly, I am a senior. Regardless of this, kids know they cannot pick on me out of kovod for this title. There are two boys at school, who, when make a joke with me, over extend the joke and turn it into a thing that seems to intentionally disturb me.

The other one will do the same thing, but with a few swear words, and often, he will shove me, not far, but enough to annoy me. I respond by ignoring it, but with the boy that does things in a physically intrusive way, I believe he is feeding of me to feel good about himself. I will relate a story to the effect that I think this is true.

Just today, I was on friendly terms with him, and I was painting him. I did a poor job, and, not being artistically inclined, smudged it with a paper-towel, just to see how it’ll look. Someone asked me what it was, and I said, "It is (this boys) true self. He is really sad inside, but puts on a screen to hide himself from us." I didn’t say this to offend him, merely to say something, and this was first thing that came to my mind.

Later, as a walk to clean up the paint-water, he, in another classroom, shoves me, just enough to knock the water out of my hands. He walks away, and I mop it up, thinking I hurt him. I walk downstairs to clean some more, and he shoves me again, saying a slandered him. I told him I didn’t mean to, and didn’t even consider it slander since I didn’t even consider it true.

I called him two hours ago, and I don’t know if he accepted my apology. I explained to him that I made a big mistake, and didn’t realize what my words could do (for good or bad).

In these situations, when people pester me, what is the correct manner to respond?

MODERATOR Posted - 15 December 2000 14:48

First, you should not take this from him. Look at it as if he were doing it to someone else, a friend of yours. How would that make
you feel? What would you tell that friend if they came to you for advice?

You need to learn how to stand up for yourself, to be assertive. The main thing is confidence. Whatever you do in response to this guy, you have to do it with confidence. Even if you walk away, do not walk away like you were forced to, but rather with an attitude of "Oh, no, this moron again? I'm out of here!". The ATTITUDE with which you handle this is as important - perhaps more important - that your actions.

Make yourself look confident, at least. It will help you feel confident inside. Check your posture and body language. Get a friend to help you with this. If you walk around looking like a victim, this guy will make sure you are one.

If this guy bothers you, do NOT let it show. The more he sees he can get a reaction out of you, the more he will want to continue bothering you.

You should tell this guy to bug off, but NOT in an angry, hurt way. I assume he is physically bigger than you and you have no way of physically fending him off. If you show that you are angry and hurt it will just encourage him. Your best bet here is humor. Make some sharp witty comment and tell him to get lost. If that makes him angry enough to shove you real hard, get up with a smile on your face, look at him, shake your head in disappointment as if to say "nebuch...", and walk away calmly and with your smile. If this happens, you've won.

I would also suggest speaking to a Rebbi or menahel about this. Please tell them NOT to tell the boy that you were the one who brought it to their attention. Perhaps someone of authority can do something.

If none of this works, have your friends beat him up (ONLY JOKING!!!).

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