Someone told me that the key to ending all bullying – the trump card in all scenarios – was self confidence.

If a person is self confident, there’s no need to worry about bullying, as a negative comment hurled at them won’t interrupt their stride.

But most of us aren’t born that way. Confidence is something encouraged, taught and learned through daily caring reinforcements. Telling someone to simply be more confident is useless. You need to show them how, even if it involves a little pretending on their part.

Walking with a purpose, looking directly at someone, speaking clearly in front of your classmates or even to a single individual are small things that can be demonstrated and practiced. Even those baby steps can be difficult if you lack the confidence to even try. That’s why every effort needs to be acknowledged and praised. Until they have the confidence to take those first steps – find something else to applaud.

We can all make a difference. Say something positive to everyone you see today. Children and adults will be boosted up and you may be surprised how it lifts you as well.

Maryfrances Palmisano
Former social worker and juvenile/criminal defense attorney
Instructor at JK Lee Black Belt Academy in Milwaukee, WI
Mother of three children