By: Hannah L.

We all know what a bully is. What a bully does, and how a bully does it. What most people don't know is how bullying impacts a person's self-confidence. What a bully can drive people to do, and how a bully can impact people even after they've stopped. A bully comes in all shapes and forms. They could be your friend, or ex-best friend.

In the first semester of sixth grade, I had a friend who we'll call Carla. Carla was bullied, A LOT. My friends and I always tried to help to get the bullying to stop but she always pushed us away.

She was bullied mainly because of how she looked. One day she started to act differently, she was quieter and didn't talk much. At the time I didn't pay attention to it or realize it but, this was loss of self confidence. When someone tells you something negative about yourself, and you hear it often, you may start to believe it. This can cause loss in self-confidence.

We all sort of forgot that she was acting differently, until one day Carla pulled me into the bathroom during locker break. She said she had to tell me something. She told me that she had been hurting herself because of what people had been saying to her. She had been harming herself.

Again I didn't realize what it was, but this was self-rejection. Self-rejection is when someone starts to think that what they're being told is right, and that they should change, this is usually from hearing it so much. That's what Carla had been doing. She describes it as “not feeling like you're good enough, like someone is always going to judge you no matter where you are.”

Even after bullying stops it can still have a huge impact on the victim. The victim could have many issues, like low self esteem, body image issues, and even eating disorders. What I mean by this is that after the person has not been bullied for a while, and someone makes a joke that makes them feel insecure it can spark the same emotions they had while being bullied. It can remind them of what the bully said and they could fall back into having loss of self-confidence.

As long as I live I will never forget the days when Carla would come into school with bandages around her arms. Bullying is never right, no matter the cause.

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