You have either read the book or watched the movie titled “13 reasons why” by Jay Asher. It might have been another sad novel or a thought provoker for you. But for your thoughts to be provoked, you would have to relate to how the story goes in the first place.
Here’s a plot for those of you with no clue of the story.
“Clay Jensen, a shy high school student, returns home from school one day to find that he has received a mysterious package in the mail. It contains seven double-sided cassette tapes used by Hannah Baker, a classmate who has recently committed suicide. Each tape details a reason why she killed herself.”
The novel narrates a story of a suicidal girl and 13 reasons why she felt so. And this is an article to go through 13 how tos avoid many reasons why people in our lives could feel the same way. Because we might be one of the reasons after all.
While the main reason being bullying and the snowball effect took over, later on, it’s the smallest acts we carelessly implement that could, later on, build up to make or take a person down.
Yes, as silly as it may sound, our actions could either make or break some people, not because they are not strong enough but due to the weight of a value they give us breaking their open arms.
Here are 13 “How Tos”;
- You’re not obliged to be good, yet don’t be bad and be a surprise
We meet a lot of people through different circumstances whether we fall into the introverts’ corner or into the depth of extroverts, of all the people we come across, very few stick around and some leave for good. And not every hello is good as every goodbye isn’t bad. So here is a question? Have you been a good hello or a brutal goodbye?
Think of it this way, or ask yourself, how much different your life could have been if you hadn’t met a certain person, for better or worse.
This should be simple.
Don’t be good when you can be bad. Don’t be bad when you’re not expected to be good in the first place.
When you meet people, and you work your way into getting close to that person there are values you’ll be given based upon their expectations. Unless you are a total jerk, you would stop them right there. When they overrate and praise you, you’d stop them. Again simple as that, stop people from giving you values you don’t feel entitled to.
This could go both ways.
You can affect a person by your introduction as much as your farewell.
If you can be a friend then be the best of it. If you can’t be a friend then don’t stick around just because you don’t have the guts to reject them. Rejection is not what hurts most, silence does. Which is much worse. Because when you finally can’t take it and leave without a goodbye, it would break that person. Not only because they feel betrayed but because you gave them no reason why.
The other thing that could go along this would be, to not lead people on if you have no intention of sticking around. Don’t give people ideas of you. Because, later on, when it’s time for you to go, again, it’s not the fact that you left them that breaks them but the Self-doubt. Why? Well when you care for someone, you would rather blame yourself of not removing the speck in your eyes than to confirm their faults.
So here goes the first how.
Don’t participate in the making of a wrong image of you people carve to forever last in their minds.
Be good or be bluntly bad. Let them see.
- Listen or don’t pretend like you have the biggest ears all stories could fit into
People talk in so many ways. Some open up upfront and for some, their actions say a lot. Yet we either listen or we let ignorance at its best take over. Speaking from experience, I have my ways, I can be as open or as reserved depending on the comfort level. How does this comfort level come to place? It’s not about how long I have known a person but how much interest they put into discovering everything about me. Not only from what I say but more from what I don’t say.
Now, think of a time where you wished to be heard. How different something could have turned out if you had someone to listen to you.
Again there are consequences that would come along listening to someone. When someone shares a story with you, most of the time, you are bound to be part of it. Especially if it’s a story more like a call for action. So if you are not ready to offer any help then don’t stretch out your hands for them knowing they won’t reach it. Yes, sometimes all people could ask for could be for you just to listen.
So can you do that?
Is that too much to ask?
For you to not to act like you care? Not to make people open up when you can’t be close to listen? Not to let them show you the best and worst of themselves when you can’t understand them.
When you think about it, it’s silly right? Not acting like you care is the least you can do and yet many fail to do so. So, promise to drop the act?
Here’s the second how:
Listen to all the stories you can and all the acts that can’t be said. Or if that’s too much for you, don’t let them talk, don’t let them open up.
The rest of the “how tos” aren’t much to be explained. They are quite plain and straightforward. So here we go.
- Be the designated human being
When the world is drunk with irony, hypocrisy and “positivity”. Be the designated person to say no when all people want you to say is yes. Be the designated person that chooses to go real instead of “nice”, for what’s real could save you many disappointments.
- Give people a chance or make it clear they do not have a chance, don’t let them walk the line of uncertainty.
- Say “I am sorry”.
Sometimes all it really takes is to say “I’m sorry”, and that word that doesn’t seem to be a big deal could turn a person’s day around.
Apologize for not being the person they think you are.
Apologize for your silence when you could have simply responded.
Apologize for the things that don’t seem to matter to you yet is a reason someone is having a bad day.
So yeah, just say “I am sorry” and walk away.
- Let your hugs be a state they would call home or don’t open your arms at all
Do you have any idea what a hug can do?
How much of what you are carrying on your shoulders goes away with just a hug.
So yeah, for a person to feel comfortable enough to fall into your clenched hug, you must have been one a hell of an important person.
So don’t fail them, don’t turn their hugs into a pat.
- Let people know what they mean you to their faces not their tombstones.
- Yeah! Social media, full of hypocrites and “Victim blamers.” So next time you come across a person “blabbering” about their struggles yeah I know, on Facebook, know that some are not seeking for attention, or being a sensitive prick. They are just laying it all out there because it feels safer than the people around them, however ironic that may sound, it is the truth. So yeah, think of all the people you have told to get over it, to not be so sensitive and to “Chill”. Don’t you think they would if they could? All this is keeping in mind that there are some people who whine for the sake of getting attention. But you can tell.
- Be part of people’s dreams.
Think of a time you have told someone your dream and they surprise you with something that would get you a step closer. It doesn’t have to be big, just be part of their journey if you see a real potential.
- People aren’t dummies on which you test how many walls you could take down.
- 13. What more could I say, I don’t know. Don’t be a jerk? Let not ignorance take the best of you? Take your gaze off of yourself once in a while? And yeah, yeah, tell it as it is, be it as it is.
One thing for sure, it’s not easy doing all that, being good isn’t easy as it’s not so hard to be bad either. Don’t be the person you need just for the people you only love, whatever you do matters. Yes, even the lame and silly ones, even the jokes, the “just incases”, the “almosts” and “maybes”. Take care of your actions, that way, you are also protecting many minds that wonder.
As for me, it made me regret a lot of things, made me wish I could take a lot of words and steps back.
Just be the “Tell it as it is” person.
Be good or be openly bad.