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It’s up to all of us to start standing up to bullies and standing up for those who are bullied. Throughout the month of October, we are asking our patients at Christenson Family Orthodontics to join us and take a pledge to speak up for those who can’t speak up for themselves. I challenge each of you to start paying attention to how your words and actions make others feel and try to do or say something every day that makes another person smile.
Bullying Takes May Forms
I was bullied in middle school and high school. I got picked on because of my appearance, for being shy, for being smart, for not getting the jokes told by the “cool kids.” Looking back now at the kids who bullied me, I can see that the bullies were probably just trying to prop themselves up by making me feel small. But it really hurt back then.
Unfortunately bullying doesn’t stop just because you graduate high school. Many adults are subject to bullying in various forms at the work place, at the gym, in social settings. Just this past weekend, I witnessed a customer belittling a cashier for not packing his groceries the way he wanted her to. The way he spoke to her was shocking.
What You Can Do
While none of us can single-handedly end bullying, we can all take steps to fight it:
- Treat everyone with respect. Take a moment to think about what you’re going to say or do something that could hurt someone. Remember everyone is different. This doesn’t make them better or worse, just different.
- Think about what you post. You never know what someone will forward.
- Keep your passwords safe from other kids – even your friends.
- Talk to an adult you trust if you see bullying or see anything online that makes you sad or scared.
- Offer a friendly smile and a kind word to someone having a bad day. Show someone you care by including them – invite them to sit with you at lunch or talk to them at school.
Find out more on stopbullying.gov.
Building Self-Confidence through Orthodontics
Did you know that a confident, beautiful smile can improve long-term relationship building skills? People associate straight teeth and a nice smile with higher intelligence, making you more likely to get a job and find success within a career. An increase in self-esteem with orthodontic treatment has been well-documented in both teens and adults. Dr. Christenson & I love watching our patients’ transformations throughout their orthodontic treatment. Seeing them become more out-going and engaging with the staff, watching their self-confidence grow, and sharing tears of joy when they see their smile for first time when their braces come off are why we love being orthodontists.