I never liked going to school during my childhood because I was bullied. Now I am in Std X, there have been drastic changes in me. I am a good student academically, but very much an introvert. I have seen many fights in my home and experienced domestic violence due to which I have become very sensitive. My parents are always making fun of me about this. I want them to stop
You have been through difficult circumstances which have a left you a changed person, who is deeply sensitive and introverted, and when your parents poke fun at you it hurts you the most.
Do ask your parents for time and sit and speak with them. Let them know that they are your support, and that you care for them, and that when they tease you, it hurts you a lot. Request them to stop, and instead support you. If this does not work, then express your own needs firmly, yet respectfully. Before doing so, acknowledge your own feelings — whether anger, hurt, helplessness — then respond instead of reacting.
You can request the other person(s) to stop by firmly saying ‘Stop’ or ‘Enough’ or by holding up your palm in the stop gesture, followed by: ‘I don’t appreciate you teasing me’. You can add: ‘I have the right to feel the way I do/I have a right to my feelings’. Whatever precise words you use, repeat the same words each time you ask them to stop teasing you till they get the message. If you wish, you can state the above, then walk away.
Another way is to wait till they have said what they want to and calmly say, “Have you finished teasing?” And then walk away. Or even by ignoring it. When the other person doesn’t get a reaction from you, they usually stop.
What is most important is that you accept yourself for who you are — a worthwhile person with your own inner beauty — even if you are introverted and sensitive by nature. Your introversion and sensitivity can be your strengths — perhaps you can be a better and more empathetic listener to others.
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.