Become an Influencer, No Social Media Required!

Become an Influencer, No Social Media Required!

What does influence mean? Influence is the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself. Social influence involves intentional and unintentional efforts to change another person’s beliefs, attitudes, or behavior.  Let’s talk about why we would want to be influencers, specifically upstanders.

  • Why? Social influences from peers and family have a powerful impact on both positive and negative youth adjustment. When we don’t stand up to bullies we send the message that their behavior is okay.  We also send the message to the target that they don’t matter.  But, if we stand up for them, we send strong, positive messages that we care about the victim and that we don’t approve of the bully’s behavior.  Statistics show that in cases of bullying, if an upstander intervenes, then bullying stops within 10 seconds.  Now that’s real influence!


  • What? Standing up for those who are bullied is a simple way to change the world and save lives.  About 30% of bullying incidents include physical attacks.  Sometimes it isn’t safe to intervene personally (and we highly advise against it in those cases), but we can tell a trusted adult and seek help.  Whether we stand up to bullies directly or indirectly, we are showing the victim that they matter.


  • Who? Everyone and anyone can be an upstander and make a difference!  When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior they send the message that it is not acceptable.  Parents, school staff, and other adults in the community can help kids prevent bullying by talking about it, building a safe school environment, and creating a bullying prevention strategy.  


  • How? We can all learn to say things like, “No!”, “Stop!”, or “That’s not okay!” Keep it simple.  Tell the bully that what they are doing is wrong.  You can try distracting them by changing the subject. Another indirect method would be ignoring the bully but walking over and moving the victim away with you to a safe place. Getting help from others is also a way to stand up to bullies.


  • You can become an upstander by printing the S.T.A.N.D. with me Pledge {{linked}}, then writing one way you pledge to take a stand against bullying. Take a selfie while holding the sign and post it on social media. Tag a friend and challenge them to take the pledge. Then be brave and take action when you encounter a bullying situation. Remember to tag #standwithme with your pledge so that you can join our community of upstanders! 


  • When? Start today! The number 2 is usually associated with harmony, balance, consideration, cooperation, peace, and love. Let’s make 2022 the year we increase kindness and stomp out bullying!


You’re not alone in this and neither is your child.


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