TODAY

TODAY   |  October 30, 2013

Building the courage to fight bullying

Hoda and Kathie Lee talk to psychologist Dr. Jennifer Hartstein and teen ambassador Alexander Levy about finding the internal and external support to fight against bullies.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> whether you're dealing with bullying on the playground or negativity at the work place it can be hard to maintain a thick skin .

>> but you can train yourself to bounce back when you're knocked down by learning how to be resilie resilient. here to hem is psychologist jennifer hartstein. and alexander levy, a teen ambassador for stop that bullying. hi, guys. welcome.

>> we talked about a lot how terrible bullying is and it sounds weird to say, there may be some positive aspects to bullying because it shows kids that they have to sometimes toughen up.

>> right. we have to think when it gets to safety point, we have to step in. the earlier parts, we have to figure out how to be able to walk talk, walk with confidence, to act as my friend nancy said, to act opposite to vul nernlt. you know my weak spot and you're going to keep poking me. if you can say, i don't like your sweater, you can say, i do and walk away . go talk to somebody who's more positive in my life and get some support from them. and that gives me confidence.

>> alexander when you were getting bullied, how did you do it?

>> well, i think the important aspect to remember, not too much is the growing thick skin aspect, i think it messover the empowerment and to find something that inspires you. i like this sweater, a comeback like that, you need to find something that's an inspiration to you.

>> it happened -- it started early for you, right, you were quite young, you went to a different school and it got better and then it got worse again.

>> i moved in fifth grade and then it's collated to the point where my arm was broken.

>> the second time the school did something.

>> the second time the school came in support of me.

>> kids who are bullied or picked on they don't know how to say something or what to say, it takes a lot of courage to stand up to someone who's popular in the school . how were you able to do that?

>> the problem was just being a fifth grader, it wasn't just fifth graders picking on me, it was sixth graders. it got to the point where i stopped going to school .

>> you grades probably suffered as a result?

>> it's not extreme like it was here and for kids who are getting picked on in school , what are some tips they can take away to learn to stick up for themselves?

>> who in their circle of their life is supportive. all we see is the negative and we don't see positive, if we can give them a note or put them on the phone. to problem solve, what can i do. sometimes it's bigger than us .

>> if your school won't support you or your teachers won't support you, that's an issue. the world needs to know it's not cool to be a bully.

>> thank you.