Tag Archives: bullying

Gabrielle Bernstein: How to Handle Negative Comments

Recently I’ve faced negative comments on my social media feed. While my immediate response was to forgive and delete, in time my ego got the best of me. I found myself stuck in the discomfort of negativity and personal attacks from people I’d never met. I felt sad, hurt, and worst of all, defensive. But rather than lace up my boxing gloves, I chose to find the lesson in the Internet backlash. I called on a message from A Course in Miracles, “In my defenselessness my safety lies.” In this video I share my experience and the spiritual solutions I used for handling negative comments.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on handling negative comments!

More from Gabrielle Bernstein:

Calming Meditation

A Meditation to Help Treat Addiction

Interview with Daphne Oz on Healthy Eating

Study Says Effects of Bullying Last Into Adulthood

BullyA study published in JAMA Psychiatry reports that the effects of being bullied are long-lasting for both victims and bullies.

The study assessed 1420 participants 4 to 6 times between ages 9 and 16 for both bullying and being bullied.

After taking into account family hardships and childhood psychiatric problems, the study found that victims had a higher prevalence of agoraphobia, generalized anxiety, and panic disorder as young adults .

Both victims and bullies were at increased risk for depression and panic disorder into young adulthood.

The conclusion that being bullied has long-lasting effects for both victims and bullies begs the question, What can we do to stop it?

Talking to your kids about bullying is important, but so is setting an example of how to treat others with respect and kindness at all times.

Our actions speak louder than our words, and our children are watching and will imitate our behavior.

Kids often play multiple roles depending on the situation and the type of bullying. A bully in one situation can be a victim in another. There can also be kids who assist, defend, or reinforce.

Try not to use labels when talking to kids about bullying. Refer to the roles as “the child who bullied” and “the child who was bullied” instead of using the label of “bully” or “victim.”

Using labels can reinforce certain conduct, making it seem unchangeable, as well as limit a full understanding of the many roles children play in different situations.

Keep the lines of communication open with your child and discuss potential scenarios and how they can respond.

While we cannot accompany or protect our children at all times, we can equip them with tools so they know how to respond and feel safe reporting incidents of bullying.

Find out more at StopBullying.gov.

photo by: trix0r

Mallika Chopra: Where Do We Draw the Line with Bullying?


By Mallika Chopra

My daughter recently told me about an incident with some of her friends. A group of them were together singing, dancing and having fun. One friend, a free spirited, earnest girl, was enthusiastically participating, feeling secure in the trusted circle.

My daughter heard another friend, who had a cell phone with her, laugh and say, “Let’s record her,” without the other girl’s knowledge. My daughter said no, feeling intuitively that it would be inappropriate.

This incident brought up several issues for me.

  1. All the girls involved in this scenario are really nice, kind, good girls. In fact, I feel very fortunate that my daughter is surrounded by such wonderful friends.
  1. I was in the room, and had felt uncomfortable with the cell phone in this particular situation. But I did not take it away.
  2. Our children are living in a new world where everything they do has the potential to live forever online, whether they upload them or not.
  3. Was this a potential incident of bullying? I’m not sure, but I think so. And I am proud of my daughter for knowing it was inappropriate to record another friend without her knowing.

Bullying has happened throughout the ages. In the last few years though it has gained more media attention – from Lady Gaga to Demi Lovato to tragic incidents where young kids have been humiliated both online and offline, and it has ended in the worst situation imaginable for parents.

Kids can be mean. Perhaps it’s part of their exploration of boundaries and their power in social circles. As parents we can teach our own kids the importance of kindness, respect and treating others as we want them to be treated. And, we can guide them to stand up to bullies.

I tell my daughters that when someone is being mean to them, it’s more a reflection of that person’s insecurity. Of course, when my daughter was teased by a friend and locked out of a room, I was livid with anger — not really accepting my own advice and immediately thinking “What a little b….!” Yes, I will admit my own thoughts waver often from what I aspire to be as a good mom.

In our first episode of Perfectly Imperfect Parents, my co-hosts, Dr. Cara Natterson (author of The Care and Keeping of You books by American Girl) and Dani Modisett (author and creator of the book and play, Afterbirth) discuss bullying. We would love your thoughts on how you have addressed this issue with your kids. We can all learn from each other!

Subscribe to The Chopra Well to get updates on the latest episodes of Perfectly Imperfect Parents!

More on conscious parenting by Mallika Chopra:

Back to School Bliss!
Talking to Children About the Batman Shooting
Mommy Days – Balancing Work & Kids (in a somewhat frenzied way!)

Reach Out: The Communal Side to Parenting

God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers.There’s no class on parenting, no university degree in child-rearing. Yet for those who decide to become parents, it is a lifelong, 24/7 job that no amount of babysitting or book reading can fully prepare you for. So you dive in headfirst; you improvise, make mistakes, learn from your mistakes and adjust as time goes on. It may be some consolation to know that billions of people before you have survived the trials and joys of parenthood and that thousands of your neighbors right now are on the journey alongside you. And if questions arise? All you have to do is ask.

This week, The Chopra Well YouTube channel launches a new show entirely dedicated to conscious parenting. “Perfectly Imperfect Parents” features three Los Angeles mothers (a pediatrician, an entrepreneur and a comic) in a roundtable discussion on their challenges, successes and failures as they strive to raise balanced, happy children. They share stories and compare notes on some of the biggest issues parents face with their kids, including bullying, social media, healthy living, sex and body image.

Mallika Chopra, author and founder of Intent.com, hosts the show, alongside her friends, Dr. Cara Natterson and Dani Klein Modisett. Cara is a pediatrician who has authored several medical and parenting books, including the best-selling American Girl book, The Care and Keeping of You. Dani is a writer, actress, and comedienne who created the live show “Afterbirth,” which has been running in Los Angeles for eight years.

Perfectly Imperfect Parents” reminds us of the resources at our disposal through our friends, colleagues, siblings, and our own parents. There’s no science to being a parent, but anyone who’s been down that road before may have some useful tips to share about the journey. Mallika, Cara and Dani come together every week to discuss a different topic, bringing to the table a certain set of experiences and methods. But each of them walks away with a richer understanding of the issue and even some new tricks to try out, proving, as Dr. Cara says, that it’s never too late to try something new as a parent.

The show kicks off with a discussion on one of the hot button issues of parenting: bullying. This topic has come to the fore of public discourse recently, particularly with Amanda Todd’s tragic suicide in October of 2012 and with media coverage from celebrities like Lady Gaga and Jennifer Garner.

Join us on Thursday, February 7 at The Chopra Well for Episode 1 of “Perfectly Imperfect Parents.” And be sure to subscribe to the channel to stay updated on our latest videos!

photo by: legends2k

Are You a Perfect Parent?

How about a perfectly imperfect one?

This February The Chopra Well launches our new family-centered show, PERFECTLY IMPERFECT PARENTS. Consider it your go-to for thoughtful, realistic parenting advice, with a twist of humor.

Three Los Angeles mothers (a pediatrician, an entrepreneur and a comic) sit down to compare notes and share stories from their challenges, successes and failures in parenting. Host Mallika Chopra is the driving force behind the website Intent.com and has authored two books on parenting. Dani Klein Modisett is a writer, actress, and comic who created the live show “Afterbirth,” which has been running in Los Angeles for eight years. And Dr. Cara Natterson M.D. is a pediatrician who has authored several medical and parenting books, the latest an update and expansion of the best-selling American Girl book entitled The Care and Keeping of You.

Screen Shot 2013-01-17 at 1.31.14 PMAs these three moms strive to raise balanced, respectful and happy children, they all face similar challenges, but with a slightly different approach. Every episode tackles a unique issue of family life, with plenty of tips and humor interspersed. How do you instill children with a sense of community responsibility? Do you allow smart phones? How about sleepovers? And how do you broach the subject of sex with squeamish adolescents?

The show launches on February 7, with an episode on bullying. This issue has featured heavily in the news recently, especially with celebrity coverage from the likes of Lady Gaga and Jennifer Garner. The hosts discuss the prevalence of bullying and what parents can do to ensure their kids’ positive school experience. Not to miss!

Subscribe to The Chopra Well now so you don’t miss the launch of PERFECTLY IMPERFECT PARENTS!

Confronting the Bullies on the Bus

Can you remember a bully from your school years? Did you ever confront him or her? I remember our elementary school bully. He teased me mercilessly for having a weird name and a tendency to blush. I slapped him in the face once and got sent to the principal’s office. So unfair, I thought.

Stormy Rich, an 18-year-old Florida high school student, recently experienced the same injustice when she stood up to a group of her peers for bullying a girl with special needs. The teenagers all ride the same bus to school, meaning the bullies have the rest of the students captive for torment during the morning rides. It sounds dramatic, I know, but as a former bus rider, myself, I remember how these things go.

As Rich said, according to Take Part News:

They would be mean to her, tell her she couldn’t sit on certain spots on the bus…just because she doesn’t understand doesn’t mean that should be happening to her.

Apparently Rich reported the bullying to her school’s officials but saw no action taken. It was then she decided to step in and confront the bullies, herself. It’s unclear what Rich actually said and did, but whatever it was caused her to be labeled as a bully and her bus-riding privileges revoked.

Regardless of what actually happened, the fact remains that bus drivers, school officials, parents, and all other adults involved in student life need to seriously examine how quickly and effectively they respond to reports of bullying. How long will it take us to step in to prevent emotional and physical violence?

From Take Part:

The bottom line is something more needs to be done to combat bullying in our schools. Three million students will be absent from school this month because of the emotional and physical toll of bullying, and according to the organization Ability Path, children with disabilities are significantly more likely than their peers to be the victims of this mistreatment.

As long as adults let bullying go unchecked and, as in Stormy’s case, punish those who rebel against it, then they are little more than bullies, themselves, in my book.

Were you or your children ever bullied? How did your school respond? Keep the conversation going in the comments section below.

15 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 15

* Written by Xian Horn

High school-like situations may not end when we graduate (adult relationships, auditions, the workplace), but we can get much better at handling them.

These are the fifteen things I learned the “long” way:

They can keep puberty and daily life (at any age) from being the end of the world.

1. If your love interest (or employer) doesn’t notice, like, or love you “that way,” it does NOT mean there is something wrong with you. It simply means they are wrong for you right now.

2. How people treat you says more about them than it does about you. It’s not always personal or all about you.

3. Everybody has insecurities, they just manifest differently in every person.

4. Bullies and gossips are more insecure than their targets. “Haters” need your sympathy and prayers more than your hurt and anger.

5. Judgment (of yourself or someone else) clouds your clarity of a situation. This can lead to all kinds of misunderstandings and bad decision-making.

6. When you are secure you’re not so easily offended by what people say or think.

7. Envy is a waste of time: if something good happens to someone else, it means it can happen to you. If you can’t have what someone else has, you can have something else better for you.

8. The strongest person is not necessarily the person with the biggest muscles or loudest voice.

9. The beauty in someone else does not take away from the beauty in you. Trust that you have beauty, talents, and gifts—whatever company you keep.

10. You don’t have to do anything to be more beautiful, but you may have to put in work to feel beautiful everyday.

11. Rather than being perfect (flawless), focus being authentic or becoming whole.

12. Loving everybody does not necessarily mean making everyone your BFF. It’s okay to be selective about your inner circle.

13. People-pleasing is the easiest way to lose your authentic self. Don’t let others’ opinions or fear of rejection have power over your God-given gut instinct.

14. Standing for something doesn’t mean standing for everything. Be prepared to disappoint some for the greater good; be prepared to accept those who disagree.

15. The “oops” you have made are not mistakes or regrets per se; they are lessons to help you and/or others do better. It may even be a blessing in disguise. You may not see it now; it may take time to see what the lesson or blessing is. Be patient with yourself. Let your story unfold.

Xian Horn is a joyful half-Asian woman with Cerebral Palsy, serving as writer, mentor, and positivity activist. A member of an international network of extraordinary women, 85 Broads, she was heralded by founder Janet Hanson as an “amazing role model for all women.” With her personal stories and ongoing mentoring work, Xian Horn is invested in contributing positively to self-esteem and the collective self-image, especially for women. To support her True Beauty efforts for people with disabilities, please join Xian’s Facebook community and follow her on twitter here.

Photo by katerha.

Be the Anti-Bully: There’s No Such Thing as an Innocent Bystander

In case you haven’t heard, bullying is a hot topic this school year.  It is likely you have already sat through a bullying awareness assembly at school, seen your favorite celeb blog about standing up to bullies, or have read about another tragic teen suicide triggered in part by bullying.  And if you haven’t been a victim of a bully, I’d be willing to bet you have witnessed some of this drama firsthand.

“So what?” you’re probably saying. “It’s not like anyone is actually pro-bully.”

The thing is that it’s not enough just to know the signs of bullying or how to report to your parents or school administrators that you’re being bullied.  As

To be a person of character, to make a difference, to save a life…you have to learn how to be an anti-bully.

When it comes to addressing and ending bullying, it is not just about dealing with the bully and his/her victim.  There is a third person involved who makes the biggest difference of all.  The bystander.

The bystander sees it all. You know what I mean. The bystander witnesses eye rolls, the name calling, the Facebook wall posts and likes, the Formspring messages, and even the more aggressive bullying techniques like physical violence.  But often times the bystander does nothing. After all, were we not taught to mind our own business? Don’t we have our own problems to deal with?

Here is the deal. The bystander is all of us at one point or another.  We have all seen people being treated unjust or victims of mean-girl drama or guy bullying. By not taking a stand for what is right, the bystander becomes a contributor of sorts.

When it comes to bullying, the bystander is not innocent. In fact, anti-bullying bystanders who adopt a “cruel’s not cool” mentality can make the biggest impact of all.  Think about it. If a bully is shamed by his peers for the names he calls his victim at school or if she is chastised for the false rumors she spreads on Facebook about her victim, why would they continue to behave this way?  Removing any social stock that a bully feels they obtain via bullying can go a long way to neutralizing this behavior.

Bystanders stay quiet for a variety of reasons but the ones I hear most often have to do with fear of being ostracized themselves or retaliation from a bully.  The good news is that all of this bullying awareness has caused parents, school administrators, and even the police to start taking bullying much more seriously. Some might even argue that there is liability for authority figures who don’t take bullying reports more seriously.

So if you see something, say something. It will be ok.  As the bystander, you have the power to step in, stand up for what’s right, and maybe even save a life.

Here are five tips about safely reporting what you see: 

  • Recognize that bullying is not just a schoolyard fight. Social drama, mean girl behavior, and spreading false rumors or name calling online is also considered bullying.
  • Report incidences of cyber-bullying, which most parents and administrators don’t see.  You can print out pages, remove identifying info if you want, to prove what you are seeing.
  • Go to the top.  While you may have a teacher you feel more comfortable with, most principals and assistant principals have been trained to take bullying reports very seriously.
  • Don’t rest. If you witness repeated bullying, say something again or report it to someone else if nothing has been done to stop it.
  • Don’t let other people define who you are.  You may feel pressured to stay quiet or mind your own business but if you want to be a person of integrity, you will stand up for what is right. Period.



Jerry Weichman, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist focused solely on teen and preteen issues.  Dr. Jerry is in private practice at Hoag Hospital’s Neurosciences Institute in Newport Beach. Dr. Jerry is also the author of the teen self-help book, “How to Deal,” and is a noted public speaker on teen-related topics including parenting, bullying, and adolescent coping skills.  To receive tips for teens and parents, register your email at www.drjerryweichman.com.

The Lies We Bought as Love

The Lies We Bought As Love
By Piercarla Garusi


What are the lies we bought as love that are causing us to suffer?
What are the lies we bought as love that are causing us not to be happy?
What are the lies we bought as love that are causing us not to love ourselves?
What are the lies we bought as love that are causing us to put up with situations that are not good for us?
What are the lies we bought as love that are causing us to stay stuck in manipulative or abusive relationships or to be treated badly?
What are the lies we bought as love that cause us to be abusive?
What are the lies we bought as love that in the name of eliminating separation, are causing pain to people?
What are the lies we bought as love that cause us not to ascend?
If we look around, how many people are suffering of situations that can be avoided? And I am talking in families, workplaces, communities, and in the world at large.
There is so much judgment and bullying in society to young and adults, that is causing people to suffer from social anxiety, depression and even suicide. If we just found the statistics, I think we would be shocked.
Love and abuse are so confused and so much abuse is done in the name of love. And abuse might be not recognized or even justified by cultural or societal beliefs. How many lives have been destroyed by abuse?
There are so many rules and have tos on how to be loving, that are putting people in destructive traps thinking that that is care or communion.  
How right are we of the beliefs we are holding? And these beliefs might come from society, from culture, from religion, from education, from upbringing, from peers, etc., from the media.
Here are a few important points:
– awareness
We need to become aware of the lies we have bought as love, and see them as lies. They cause people, they cause you to suffer – would God/Source/Consciousness, however concept you have of Him/Her, ever want us to suffer? The answer is absolutely no.  These lies are preventing a positive change on the Planet. These lies also prevent our ascension.
– accountability/responsibility
How much denial or justification do we see of bad behavior, not simply from the people doing the behavior, but from society or culture? Until we become accountable, until we take responsibility for our behavior and we recognize it as such, we will not be able to change.
Many people do not want to recognize how they have behaved because unfortunately the world is still functioning from blame, guilt and wrongness. We need to get out to that paradigm, because it is preventing people from changing, it is preventing the Planet from healing, and it is keeping the behavior in place. Yes, the behavior might be wrong, but we need to take away the label of wrong as judgment. It was a choice the person made out of their consciousness, probably out of the teachings they had received in their life.  As they recognize the lies they hold and let them go, they can make a better choice for themselves and for the whole.
We need to enter in a paradigm of sacred respect for each individual, without exception, on this Planet. Once we recognize the uniqueness and truth of each person, much healing will take place.
And probably the best question we can ask ourselves is:
As the Infinite Beings we truly are, what does it mean to Love? And start from there …
Piercarla Garusi Copyright 2011
Piercarla Garusi is a spiritual coach and painter. Much of her coaching work is currently focused on improving the way we treat one another, with new workshops just being created. More information can be found on www.pgcoaching,co.uk. Her spiritual paintings ‘Art from the Soul’ are for healing and a shift in consciousness. You can find more explanation, view them, find information on exhibitions and healing projects on www.piercarla.paintings.co.uk.    

Where’s the Zero-Tolerance Policy for Bullying?

So now we come to gay bullying, which seems, somehow, to be in a different class from other garden-variety bullying. Why is that?

"While we have openly gay politicians and gay characters on television, the reality of life still seems dire for some of these young people," said Michael Cole, spokesman for Human Rights Campaign, a national gay rights group. Despite increasing tolerance for gays on some fronts, the most-heard insult at schools is, "That’s so gay," he said.

So often bullying is based on rejection — really, the inner rejection of parts of ourselves that we cannot or do not wish to own or acknowledge. Think of the government scandals or the church scandals (I won’t name names, we all know them) focused on who’s gay and who isn’t. Who says he is and who says he isn’t? Who accepts it and who denies it?

Truth to tell, who cares?

Why does it matter what people choose to do with their own bodies and those of other consenting adults? I mean, really, Seth. Really, Amy? I’m pretty sure neither Seth Meyers of Weekend Update on SNL nor Amy Poehler of Parks & Recreation gives a hoot about what we’re doing behind closed doors. Really.

But that’s not the real issue, is it? It’s what we’re doing with the doors wide open that is the problem.

Gay bullying, purple people-eater bullying, ethnic bullying. It doesn’t really matter. It’s time we not only put a stop to bullying, but more, that we adopt a zero-tolerance policy on bullying of all kinds. Read that again: zero-tolerance. Zero, as in none, nada, zip. No bullying now and in perpetuity.

Dan Savage, author of advice column Savage Love, started It’ll Get Better, a video campaign to help gay teens fend off self-rejection and despair. In the same vein, a pride of gay comedians gathered at the Gotham Comedy Club to add their hilarious two cents.

The first time I saw it, it made me cry. And that’s really what I don’t understand. Why aren’t we all up in arms? Why aren’t we all crying? Why aren’t we all tired of how separate we feel from each other?

Why can’t we just learn to get along?

For spiritual nourishment, visit Dr. Susan Corso’s website and blog, Seeds for Sanctuary. Follow her on Twitter @PeaceCorso and Friend her on Facebook.

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / ccarlstead

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