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Bullied because of bieber

Hey sam,
um i am a massive bieber fan, i love justin so much but the only trouble is i get bullied so bad for it. I feel like i cant be a belieber anymore because people are putting so much preasure on me about it, its really stressing. All i do is sit there in class and they shout 'gay bieber' or 'hes a *****' and it really hurts me because i love him so much. I find it really hard to concentrate at school because i never know when someone is going to throw a insult at me. Am i being childish?
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Sam

Hi there,

I’m so glad you thought of writing to me, telling me how you’re being bullied for being a massive Bieber fan.

You’re not being childish. I’m glad you know what’s happening is bullying. It sounds very hard to be worried all the time that someone might say things that are hard to hear. I can understand how this is making it hard for you to concentrate at school. Not knowing when the bullying will happen or how mean the next comment will be sounds very difficult.

Not only do I think bullying is wrong, I think you have every right to your personal taste in music and performers. Bullies always want to find something “different” about someone and then try to make them feel miserable about it. It can be about musical taste, clothing choices; any aspect of appearance (like hair colour, weight or height), sexuality, home life, how someone speaks and any disability or issue a young person is trying their best to cope with.

One of the things I sometimes point out to young people is the words bullies use are all about getting a reaction, seeing someone else look uncomfortable or unhappy. I think it’s useful to remember that is what the words are about, not about telling the truth. As for what to do about it, one option is to make sure some adults in your life know how stressful this has become for you. This might be a parent or it could be a teacher who knows a lot of the bullies.

Another idea (which really amounts to sometimes pretending you’re an actor) is, no matter what the bullies say, to just agree in a very calm voice, like you’re really not bothered. This can make the bullies feel that they are wasting their time trying to upset you. Of course you’d be acting, since on the inside you feel upset. But it’s a way for you not to lose your voice and for you to show them that what they’re saying isn’t of value. For more information on this, read about “fogging” on the being assertive page (you’ll  need to click on the section called “what techniques can I use to be more assertive?')

It’s up to you what you think is the best thing to do. I know sometimes my ideas work and sometimes they don’t. Every person and situation is different. But you could let us know how it goes. A really good way to tell us is to either phone us or log on to have a chat (like instant messenger) with one of our counsellors. You also could tell us in an email, if you’d prefer that.

I hope you’ve seen the section on our website about bullying. We also have a message board on bullying where young people post comments to support one another. By looking at that, you may find that others have had to deal with a similar problem.

I hope you can keep enjoying the music you love.

Take care,

Sam

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