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Dear S yd, I’ m be­ing cy­ber bul­lied at school. I don’ t re­ally want to tell my prin­ci­ple or par­ents, as I’ m cer­tain that will only make it worse. Char­lie, Avalon, aged 15 In the old days the bul­ly­ing at my beach came as ty­ing young groms to a pole, naked, and leav­ing them in the sun for hours. If that sounds sadis­tic, and hu­mil­i­at­ing, it was, but I fear it is noth­ing on the on­go­ing stress you feel in the mod­ern world. I’m afraid my first ad­vice is that you need to tell an adult you trust. That takes brav­ery and courage, but in these sit­u­a­tions you need peo­ple with power to have your back. If you are not ready for that just yet, sim­ply dis­en­gage. Up your pri­vacy set­tings, block the ha­rassers and re­port the abuse to the so­cial me­dia plat­form. All of those can be done anony­mously. Al­ter­na­tively log off com­pletely. I know it’s a big part of our world, but you can al­ways fire up your so­cial me­dia chan­nels later on, once the pa­thetic bul­lies have turned their at­ten­tion else­where. Use that time off­line to go surf­ing more than ever, and en­gage with the ocean and the peo­ple in it. Peo­ple can’t ha­rass you in the tube, Char­lie. I can’ t stop pad­dling on the in­side at my home­break. I’ ve been surf­ing there for over 20 years, but re­cently it’ s changed so much. I don’ t seem to recog­nise hardly any­one in the line up, the old crew has bailed, and so fuck it, I try and getany­waveIwant. Trev,BarBeach Well, Trev, as much I as can em­pathise with you as a vic­tim of coastal gen­tri­fi­ca­tion, in the long run your at­ti­tude needs to change if you want to en­joy surf­ing at your lo­cal. Progress, like shit, hap­pens. You might be bet­ter off learn­ing about your new com­mu­nity. They were drawn there prob­a­bly for the same rea­sons as you. Try to find some com­mon ground, forge new surf­ing and com­mu­nity friendships and in­stead of be­ing known as “That cunt Trev”, you could be part of a new, thriv­ing, lineup, where your his­tory is re­spected and pad­dling on the in­side won’t be needed. Much. I am so afraid of big waves, I lit­er­ally piss my pants ev­ery time I pad­dle out when the surf is over four foot. I want to surf big­ger waves, I just can’t. It’s a men­tal thing. Kenny Stan­don, Bung­wahl There’s a psy­cho­log­i­cal the­ory that says when you avoid some­thing that scares you, you tend to ex­pe­ri­ence a sense of fail­ure. Ev­ery time you avoid a feared ob­ject or sit­u­a­tion, your anx­i­ety gains strength while you lose some. So, avoid­ing anx­i­ety main­tains and mag­ni­fies it. A clas­sic lose, lose. The an­swer? Exposure. Exposure is by far the most po­tent medicine known to psy­chol­ogy. Putting it sim­ply; you have to keep pad­dling out. The anx­i­ety will lessen, your fear will drop. In just un­der 1000 years, you will be surf­ing Waimea. Hey Syd, I’d like to think I’m pretty com­fort­able talk­ing to girls, prob­a­bly be­cause I have three sis­ters. How­ever I seem to make loads of friends that are girls, but can’t make any of them girl­friends. It’s reached the point where my mates now call me Di­a­monds. Kane, Jan Juc Your mates are hi­lar­i­ous, if not par­tic­u­larly help­ful. I would say there is worse places to be then the friend zone, like in­side Gnar­aloo at low tide for ex­am­ple. For in­side the friend zone you can gather in­tel­li­gence that few of your mates out­side the zone will ever come across. You have a VIP all ac­cess pass to the fe­male psych. On the flip­side if you have ro­man­tic feel­ings for some­one in the friend zone, you can’t stay there for­ever. Use that in­tel and your much boasted com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills to let your friend know how you feel. At best you gain a girl­friend, and if you be hon­est, you shouldn’t lose a friend. Di­a­monds need not be for­ever.

If you have a ques­tion about any­thing at all please send to dear­[email protected]

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