Stop the Name-Calling, Let’s All Get Along!
We all are familiar with the expression, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Well, for many of us who have been called hurtful names, this statement may be untrue. If you have been a victim of name-calling or witnessed someone who has, you can understand the repercussions of these words.
No Name-Calling Week, January 20-24, was organized by K-12 educators and students to end name-calling and bullying in schools. Founded in 2004 with Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, and evaluated by GLSEN research, No Name-Calling Week was inspired by James Howe’s novel, The Misfits, about students who, after experiencing name-calling, run for student council on a No Name-Calling platform.
The week is rooted in the idea of #KindnessInAction — not just recognizing the importance of kindness, but actively adding kindness into our every action.
When it comes to name calling, many teens or children may not understand that name calling is also a form of bullying. They might start out by joking, but calling someone a name with the intent of hurting them is not okay.
Here are some ways to participate and put #KindnessInAction:
- Speak up for yourself or someone else being bullied. People who bully or name call may think they’re being funny or cool. If you feel safe, tell the person to STOP the bullying behavior. Say you don’t like it and that it isn’t funny.
- If you don’t feel safe approaching the bully, go to a teacher, parent or someone in authority and let them know what is going on. Ask them to help keep you safe after telling.
- If a loved one or friend is being bullied, be kind to them and offer to talk with them about what happened. Let them know they are not at fault and that things will get better. Tell the person to talk to someone about what happened and offer to help by going along.
- If you see others joining in on the bullying, let them know they are not helping and don’t join them!
- Do not lose your sense of self. If you are being bullied, you might start to think less of yourself and believe that what the bully is saying. Don’t let their misperceptions sway your thinking.
- If you notice a mood change in someone, it might indicate that name-calling is taking place. Talk to the person to find out what is going on. It is not uncommon for victims of name-calling and other types of bullying to experience anxiety and depression.
Name-calling can have serious consequences on mental health. Some victims can become depressed from the name-calling, causing them to feel worthless, helpless, out of control or even contemplate suicide. If you or your loved one have been affected by name-calling and need guidance or someone to talk to, our clinicians in our Counseling & Wellness Centers can help. Call our main number at 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632) for more information.