This I Believe

Holly - Cincinnati, Ohio
Entered on November 2, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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Stand Up

The way I allow people to treat me is how I decide what type of person I am. When others are mean to me I always stand up for myself. No one will ever walk over me. This belief was born out of an incident that I experienced at basketball practice. My freshman year I was so excited to make the freshman basketball team. It was a huge accomplishment and I was very proud of myself. I wasn’t the best player and I had a lot of improving to do. This year, there were three freshman girls that were moved up to the junior varsity team. All three were extremely good and completely deserved to make this team.

The freshman team usually practiced with the junior varsity team. One day we ran a drill and I was paired with one of those girls. I wasn’t the best player and I was a little apprehensive to be paired with her. She was a point guard and I was a post. During the drill I threw her a pretty bad pass and she missed it. When we finished our trip down the lane, we went into to line to go through the drill again. The post line was, at most, eight feet away from the guard line. I overheard her telling her friends how bad I was, how I didn’t deserve to be on the team, and so on. The more I heard her talking the more upset I got. The next time I threw her a past and she ran the other way and claimed that she was “cutting”.

When we got back into line, I hear her talking to her friends saying the same things again. The more we practiced, the madder I got. I made the decision to talk to her after practice. I waited for her team to finish and the coach’s to leave and went to talk to her privately, about the things she said. When I spoke to her I told her that I had heard what she was saying and I thought that it was low class to talk about people when you know they can hear you. She tried to deny what she had said and attempted to blame the comments on another player. I reminded her that I had heard what she said. I told her that the way she acted proved she wasn’t better than me in the way she obviously thought that she was. She then apologized for what she had said.

After this practice, I decided for myself that I would never accept the cruel comments thrown at me again. I stood up for myself for the first time and was extremely proud. Since this discussion with this girl, she hasn’t said anything mean to me since. I don’t believe that you should start a fight with people who say rude things about you but you should inform them politely that that is not okay. I will never let anyone walk over me. When you stand up you may become a bigger target, but when you lay down, you are trampled. There will always be catty people to make comments that are hurtful. The only way to silence them is to inform them you’ve stopped listening.