By Hanna Munin (Start Strong Austin)
Celebrities. When we see these people in the public eye, we see the best and worst of them. We see the good choices they make, the cute clothes they wear, and also we see the poor choices they make when it comes to relationships. So when we see our favorite actor or musician make an unhealthy relationship choice, how can we respond? What can we learn from their poor choices?
Well first of all, we learn that they are human, just like us. But more than that, we are able to see the consequences they have to face when they make a poor relationship choice. This can be most easily seen in a Taylor Swift song. Let’s look at “Dear John” for a second. Taylor Swift had her heart broken by John Mayer because he treated her in a way that she did not appreciate. What consequence did he have to face? Every twelve year old girl now really doesn’t like him because he messed with their role model. So how does that parallel to real life? When a guy treats your girlfriend poorly and the relationship ends, she is going to tell all of her friends and family members about how he treated her and that will give him a bad reputation.
We’ve seen stars like LeeAnn Rimes and Jessica Simpson date boys who were in another relationship. We’ve heard stories about the scandal of the Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries marriage. When we see these poor decisions, we can watch how their image loses credibility and how that will reflect if we do those same things. Usually when it comes to celebrities, we respond by doing what they are doing, like when we imitate their fashion choices or try out a new hobby because we saw them do it first. But when it comes to poor decision making, we should do the opposite and avoid the mistakes that we have seen them make. Why would it be different when we make the same poor decision?
By Hanna Munin
What is a topic that is on everyone’s mind nearly all the time? Social networking. Whether it is who posted what on Twitter, what couple became official on Facebook, or who posted a photo on that person’s Tumbler, social networking is something that nearly every teen has and is checking up on just about all the time. While there are benefits to social networking sites, there are also several downfalls especially when it comes to healthy relationships.
In an abusive relationship, a batterer will try to isolate and control their partner as much as they can. These behaviors are not limited to the internet. By making status updates about where you are, how you feel, and checking into locations, a person in an abusive relationship is putting themselves at risk of receiving a confrontation from their partner. While it is not something we want to hear, we have to be careful about what we put on the internet when it comes to our safety. If you are in an abusive relationship or if you are just getting out of an abusive relationship, social networking sites is an aspect you have to take into consideration.
Here are some quick tips about how to stay safe in social networking sites. Check your privacy settings. Make sure that only certain people can view your information. If you don’t want to unfriend someone on Facebook, you can still block them from seeing your photos, your check-ins, or your status. By doing this, you put yourself in a safer situation by putting yourself in control of the situation. If you receive a threatening message or comment from someone on a social networking site, print it out. You can use it as evidence of an abusive situation or bullying. Also, look carefully at the photos you upload on social networking sites. While it’s tempting to show off how much fun you and your best friend had at the beach, it is not always the best idea to post pictures of yourself in a bathing suit or in any sort of revealing matter so that it won’t be used in a way you don’t want it to be later. Lastly, don’t check-in to where you are. If you are in an abusive relationship, check-ins are a way that your partner can check up on you and doing this can come back to haunt you. Make sure that when you are out with friends, they don’t do a Facebook “check-in” and tag you at a certain location. A batterer could show up there at any moment and try to take control of the situation, which isn’t a desirable thing to happen at girl’s night out. Remember: safety is always the top priority. Before making a decision on a social networking site, think about if what you are about to do puts you in a safer or in a riskier situation. By being safe, you will be able to live your life without having to worry and be able to enjoy life.
By Hanna Munin
Whenever you are having a hard day and you need something to make you happier, a joke is something that can cheer you up. It can lighten up your day, it can make you smile. A joke can do all sorts of wonderful things for you. But what about when jokes start to become derogatory. Jokes about the LGBT community, about mental retardation, about beating your girlfriend: are those really funny? No! Why? These jokes are mocking communities in a way that they do not deserve to be. So when we are in a situation when someone says a derogatory joke, what are we supposed to do?
First, let’s discuss what not to do. Yelling and getting in someone’s face about how the joke they made was wrong is not the way to go. It will probably just egg them on because they saw that it provoked you and their joke got a reaction, which was what their intent was. But on the other hand, we can’t be silent about it either. If we don’t speak up in some form, then they won’t know that what they did was offensive and they shouldn’t do it again.
What needs to be done is a calm and simple explanation. You can simply tell your friend, “Hey, that’s not funny. I don’t think it’s funny to mock people like that. It’s not right for you to do that.” By saying this, you show your concern and compassion for the community your friend offended. Also, it is a simple response that everyone can grasp; it isn’t wordy, it isn’t harsh. However, we all know that sometimes people do not want to accept that others are right. So if the person who makes a derogatory joke does not accept or agree with your response, don’t get worked up about it. More likely than not, it did make an impression on them but they just do not want to admit it. Also, by advocating that it is not okay to make fun of people in this way, it shows other people that are around that you are a type of person that sticks up for others and they are sure to admire you. It also might provoke others to do the same thing you did the next time that they hear a derogatory joke.
In conclusion, when the jokes aren’t funny anymore, it’s time to speak up in a way that is going to be effective in getting the point across. By standing up for what is right, you are setting an example and causing an uprise for kindness to prevail. Set an example for others and don’t be afraid to speak up. You never know how much someone might appreciate what you say.
You have to be completely fine being yourself before you can be in a relationship. If you don’t love yourself, you can’t expect to love others. Getting in a relationship won’t solve your problems; it will just make them worse.
An interesting idea. Think about it…
Two weeks ago, 11 Start Strong sites from around the country hosted our 3rdannual Youth Virtual Conference! We talked, we laughed, we danced, and we learned about healthy teen relationships. Not only did we talk about healthy relationships, we talked about CHEATING and BREAKUPS as well. All the way from the Bronx to Boise, teens were figuring this stuff out. Today, Tweeters were trying to do the same. #BreakUpIf is one of the hottest tags on Twitter right now, with people posting everything from“Stay faithful or stay single” to “It’s done if she thinks Glee is better than that 70’s show”. What’s a #BreakUpIf for you?
I think this day ties in nicely with my post on the Circle of 6 app. Sometimes it’s really easy being a friend, like when they need help or support or just a laugh. Being friends with someone doesn’t always mean agreeing with everything she says or does. Sometimes it’s hard to be a friend when it means talking about sexual health, domestic violence, emotional abuse, and lots of other health topics. You may feel judgy and your friend might feel judged. Go to the link in the title of this post to learn more about how to be a better girlfriend and how to make your relationships a little bit stronger and a lot more healthy.
Would you approach a friend who is cheating about the behavior?
Is emotional cheating a deal breaker? Why or why not?
If you are “talking” to one person and you lose interest and start talking to another person do you end the relationship? Is it cheating to talk to someone else? Why or why not?
What are the risks and/or benefits to society in being an UPSTANDER in different situations?
What are the personal risks and/or benefits to being an UPSTANDER in different situations?
On the news this morning, it was said that California has the largest children population but the overall well being of our children rank pretty low in comparison with other states. If the children are our future, there seems to be a huge disconnect in the availability of appropriate resources to assist our people. The cost of living is too high which in results leaves a lot of families living in poverty. California ranks 43 in education which is alarming because our children are not getting the best. Education, financial, environment, and family dynamics have a huge impact on the outcome of violence in the communities that lack these factors. How can we make a change?
“It takes a village to raise a child” – WE HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO!