I am a boy of 17, and I have been living in a hostel for two years. I am dark-complexioned because of which my friends call me ‘blackie’. This makes me very angry and I shout at them, but they insult me even more and do not talk to me. I feel very sad.
You must feel deeply hurt when ‘your friends’ mock you for your skin colour. Looks like you feel quite helpless that you cannot stop them, and this makes you shout angrily. Unfortunately, when you shout, people don’t take you seriously at all, and instead they make fun of you.
Speak calmly but firmly to these people. Each time they laugh or mock, stand still and look at them directly and state: “I don’t appreciate it when you call me ‘blackie’. I request you to stop.” If they continue to mock you, state it again and state that you have had enough. Then walk away calmly. Let them shout, but you keep calm.
If they continue to hurt you, ask yourself — are these really your friends? Friendship is about accepting someone just as they are, and not making fun of them. It is always better to make friends with those who accept you the way you are.
Finally, learn to appreciate your own worth and value. Accept and love yourself the way you are. There are many people who are dark-skinned and yet are considered handsome or beautiful. However, more than physical beauty, work at becoming a beautiful and kind person. You may have dark skin, but you can spread light!
Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.