Girls Above Society Founder Offers Bullying Advice!
Lauren Galley is the 18-year-old founder of Girls Above Society, an organization that teaches girls to be confident in themselves and helps them to overcome peer pressure.
Last week we posted an interview with Lauren about what inspired her to help other girls believe in themselves!
As the leader of Girls Above Society, Lauren knows a thing or two about peer pressure. She has been a model and actress since she was just 5-years-old, and was faced with many pressures to be "perfect."
Through her experiences, Lauren has developed a lot of great advice for other girls who are facing pressures to change.
"The best way for a teen girl to deal with peer pressure is to consider what she truly wants out of life and to understand the consequences of whatever she is being pressured into," Lauren explained.
She noted that peer pressure isn't always negative.
"For example, if you enjoy singing but you are too shy to sing in front of people, and your friends are pressuring you to sing karaoke, then you SHOULD," she said. "They only want what is best for you."
Sometimes, you'll have to make an assessment about peer pressure.When it's negative, Lauren said that you can usually tell from the way you feel about the situation.
"The best way to recognize negative peer pressure is to know the 'uh oh' feeling," she said. "Everyone has that feeling in their gut that tells them what they are being offered is a bad or dangerous idea, and you should ALWAYS follow that gut instinct."
There are a few questions you can ask yourself when it comes to these kinds of decisions.
"Do the people pressuring you appear to be positive role models with good morals and values? Would your mom like you hanging out with them? Considering these questions will really help you to identify the best choice in your situation," Lauren said.
She added that it's best to only follow through with decisions you'll be proud of the next day.
"You want to be proud of yourself every morning when you wake up," she said. "This will bring you confidence."
She also had advice on how to deal with bullies.
"If you are the one being bullied, think of some things to say to the bully to show them that you are not scared," Lauren advised.
That never means being a bully in return. Instead, kindness can diffuse a tense situation.
"If a bully says 'Your hair looks weird.' You could say, 'I'm sorry you feel that way, but yours looks really pretty,'" she explained. "It will confuse the bully and show them that you exude confidence and their words cannot hurt you, even if they can."
When that doesn't work, ignoring a bully can be just as good of a defense, Lauren said.
"I know it's hard, but the silent treatment works sometimes," she said. "Even though people call it 'immature' it's not when someone is bullying you. It's the MATURE choice in this situation."
Girls who are bullies might seem popular, but in the end, kindness is what helps girls make friends and become popular.
Having a good group of friends can be the best defense against bullying.
"Walk in the hallway and sit at lunch with your friends," Lauren said. "Make sure you surround yourself with people who truly love you for who you are, that way the bullies seem few and far between."
It's important to also help others who are being bullied, but there are a few rules to follow.
"If you see someone being bullied, do not intervene and start a confrontation with the bully," Lauren said. "Help the victim by telling a trusted adult."
Telling an adult can also help if you are the one being bullied.
"You can't handle everything on your own and that is okay," Lauren said.
Sometimes, the problem isn't with someone else, but has everything to do with the person experiencing the problem.
"The best advice I can give to girls to become more accepting of themselves is to gain CONFIDENCE," Lauren said.
Building confidence isn't something most girls can do overnight, but Lauren had a few tips to help.
- "Recognize your talents and good qualities. Everyone is good at something, even if it's something simple such as reading or being a good friend."
- "Focus your energy on the positive instead of the negative. Remember that everyone struggles with confidence. You are not alone. Even the most beautiful girl in school cries herself to sleep sometimes because she doesn't think she's good enough. I promise."
- "Accept compliments when they are given! People do not go out of their way to say something nice to you unless they mean it. If someone tells you that you look pretty, don't disagree. Just say THANK YOU! In order to be confident, you have to look the part."
- "Walk with your head up high, smile at strangers, and take some time in the morning on your appearance. When you feel beautiful, your confidence will automatically raise. A simple dab of lipgloss and a little bit of hairspray for those fly away's can do the trick!"
Lauren explained that some of the biggest problems facing tween and teen girls today are confidence issues, stress, and the pressure to be popular. What most girls don't realize is that these are mostly internal struggles.
"Finding a way to relax and keep your mind off of everything is really necessary in order to be happy," she said. "Not only for teen girls, but for everyone."
While many girls struggle to deal with confidence and peer pressure, girls can also do a lot to empower each other. Positivity is the best confidence booster, and girls should try to do what they can to encourage their friends.
"Girls can empower others by letting their fellow girlfriends know that they are not alone and everyone has issues with confidence and self esteem," Lauren said. "It is important to give out compliments when you truly mean them. Don't be shy, if you like someone's outfit, let them know. You never know what a simple compliment can do for someone else's day."
Listening and understanding what friends have to say is also a huge step in building trust and confidence.
"It's the little things you do everyday for friends, and even strangers, that will help change their lives and empower them to be the best that they can be," Lauren said. "Also, helping others feels AWESOME so you will gain some confidence as well."