Stand up for yourself and others. Never be ashamed of your feelings – if you feel them they are real.
While this isn’t particularly tech related, I mention it because cyber-bullying is rampant and the internet can be a dismal place if you look in the wrong corners (or in the comments thread in youtube).
The good news is that there is hope. Just stand up for yourself and others. Be confident in who you are and what you want to do, and don’t let others put anyone down for being who they are.
“But don’t feed the trolls” they say. You can respond without feeding the trolls – it is a simple: “That’s inappropriate and not appreciated.” A simple statement that states facts and ends the conversation. It is also gentle enough that you can say it to a friend at a party who speaks out of turn, or a random stranger on the net who is spewing hate speech. It also isn’t an attack. When you fight fire with fire all you breed is destruction.
It also applies to ageism, sexism, racism, or even uncomfortable workplace teasing. You can even shorten it, “That wasn’t appreciated.” Get comfortable saying it. Say it often. Say it for your friends when they aren’t comfortable to speak for themselves. Say it for anonymous people on the net who are too scared to comment back.
Finally – don’t be your own worst enemy. If you find yourself saying or thinking negative about yourself – tell yourself “That’s inappropriate and not appreciated.” A positive attitude will help you learn, will help you adapt, will help you smile, and will help you enjoy life. You must be your own advocate.
Have a wonderful day.