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Ask Bryn

Hi Bryn!

I am a college student, and I do well at school and all the teachers love me because I am very respectful. I also look pretty good (not trying to brag or anything). I feel the mean girls pick on me out of jealousy. They interfere in everything I do and always have something hurtful to say.

I am really bad with comebacks, because I have kind of an anxiety or call it a fear of speaking back. I even suffer from stage fright. I feel really powerless when comes a situation where I have to deal with these kind of people. and it ruins my day. I try so hard not to let them control me but it gets difficult.

I try to be nice even though they are not but it doesn’t change the way they treat me. I can say something rude or harsh to shut their mouths but I fear the consequences. and besides they are not the type of people that can be nice and more positive. Is there any way to sort this out? Ignoring them is not really helping me or should I just state directly that I don’t want to talk to them but that again makes me look like a coward.

I would be so happy if you can help me out in this. i will be forever grateful.

Siah, India


Hi Siah,

If you stand out for your talents, sometimes other people  get jealous.  Instead of working on themselves to get better  people try to bring others down, they call this the tall  poppy syndrome in Australia.

Wikipedia defines the  tall poppy syndrome as a culture where people of high status or value are resented, attacked, cut down or criticized because they have been classified as better than their peers in some way.

Be prepared for a verbal bully, pick a few  comebacks you like and practice saying them for a couple of days. Practice with a friend, so when you have to use a comeback at school it will just slide off your tongue. When you present a strong defense permanently (maybe even required several times with each), bullies usually move on. I would keep low expectations of them changing to be nice people.

Comebacks if someone says something mean

1) Jealousy is a disease, get well soon!

2) It’s funny how the people who know me the least have the most to say.

3) Where’s your off button?

4) If you’re waiting for me to care, you better pack a lunch. It’s gonnabe a while

.5) Judging another person does not define who they are…it defines who you are.

6) Some people should use a glue stick instead of chapstick.

7) Remember when I asked for your opinion. Me neither!

If worse comes to the worse and you feel threatened in any way, please tell someone at school, it certainly can’t make the situation any worse.  Colleges must have a policy regarding bullying, talk to a counselor or someone who can help.

Keep shining on brightly and don’t dim your light.

Wishing you all good things.


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The Role of counselling and self care

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When you are dealing with someone mean and jealous and you find it stressful, consider getting support from a professional. Talking to a counselor is a great way to work through a challenging situation, and help you find some strategies to work through the person’s behaviour.

Better Help is a great resource where you can talk to a counselor from the comfort of your own home. 

Taking care of your own needs isn’t selfish, and you will feel better in the long run.

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