Whether you like it or not, the show 13 Reasons Why can teach us some seriously valuable lessons when it comes to school life, bullying, friendships and relationships. There’s a lot of talk going around about the show sensationalising issues faced by people under 20 so we thought it was about time we addressed some of the themes raised in the show.
We’ve put together some of the most important things to note from the recent Netflix sensation that everyone’s talking about…
1. Different things affect people differently.
It might seem like the smallest thing like a joke, a list, something trivial made for a laugh, can deeply affect someone on an emotional level. Be mindful of people’s feelings, you don’t know what else they have on their plate.
2. Slut shaming someone is seriously not cool.
Hannah Baker was slut shamed by her classmates and people she trusted which led to emotional problems and trust issues – it’s not an exaggeration, this actually happens IRL and it is a serious issue. Read more about slut shaming here.
3. Covering something up is never a good option.
When something serious happens, it’s always better to report it. Not only are you preventing it from happening again, you are protecting yourself and those around you by being honest and open – rape and sexual assault should never, ever, go unreported. There is always support available to you, whoever you are, it’s never your fault.
4. Always take someone seriously.
People reach out for help in various ways – this should never be treated as attention seeking. It is so, so, so important to believe someone when they say they are feeling suicidal, it’s just not worth brushing it aside. As we know, Hannah’s teacher not taking her cry for help seriously had catastrophic effects in the long run…
5. We can learn a lot from Justin.
Our research shows that more often than not, people who bully are dealing with their own problems be it at home, or in their personal life. Justin had an abusive homelife, so vented his anger on others at school – don’t be so quick to label someone a ‘bully’ until you know what’s really going on with them. That being said, this does not legitimise their behaviour, but it might help you to understand it a little better.
6. Seeking revenge on someone who bullied you is not cool.
Check out this article to find out why revenge is a bad idea. It won’t make you feel better and has potential to make this even worse. Not only that but you are reciprocating the very behaviour which caused you distress in the first place. On the other hand, holding someone accountable for what they did to you is understandable, but deal with that in a mediated and controlled way.
7. Don’t be a bystander.
If you see someone being treated badly by others, don’t ignore it. You’re only justifying their actions by not saying anything. The occasional sympathetic look passing in the corridor is not enough. Approach the person who is being bullied, ask them if they’re ok, if there’s anything you can do, help them report it.
8. Cyber-bullying needs to be taken more seriously.
You clearly don’t need to tell us that, but research has shown that teens are becoming increasingly affected in a whole host of physical and emotional ways because of what they are saying to each other online. It may not seem like a big deal to some, but imagine seeing horrible comments every single time you sign in to your social media accounts. Its an extension of playground bullying into the home and personal life of the person being targeted and yet another addition to the mountain of pressures that people now face on a daily basis. Find out more about Cyberbullying in our support hub…
9. Suicide is not the solution.
You deserve to live a full and happy life. Click here to find out more about why there is always another, better way to deal with your problems than ending it. You are not alone.
10. We just need to be kinder to each other.
If you need to talk to someone, we have our expert digital mentors on hand to talk to you online, sometimes its easier to say what you need to say when its not face-to-face – join the community today.