Naga Munchetty recalls being a bully at school
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In light of Chrissy Teigen’s, 35, public apology to all those she’s wronged in the past by her “troll” behaviour on Twitter, it’s promoted many a conversation on how we deal with online abuse. BBC star Naga Munchetty, 45, took to her Radio 5 Live show to discuss how she copes with online hate everyday and if different reactions are deemed “heathy” or not. She spoke to guest Sally and internet psychologist Graham Jones, who revealed how certain reactions can worsen situations in some cases.
I call them out because I’m not having it
But Naga admitted her approach to bullies makes her feel much better.
“When I’m trolled, which happens everyday, if I get something that really enrages me, I retweet it with a comment,” she explained.
“I call them out because I’m not having it.”
Sally had previously revealed that she prefers to leave the comments be, saying: “There’s nothing I can do so I don’t do anything.”
Naga appreciated that is her choice of reaction, but called on Graham to decipher which approach is “healthier”.
“There are personality factors that come into play here, so we can’t say there is a right or wrong way of responding to these things,” he replied.
“If you get into, as Chrissy Teigen did, this negative spiral of somebody saying something negative to you and you say something negative back, then inevitably your behaviour changes because you are disassociating them as a human being yourself.
“You become more more likely to do it, so I wouldn’t get drawn into these conversations,” he advised.
Directing his attention to Naga, he said: “If you’re just retweeting it once and be done with it, that’s fine.”
But he went on to explain that if someone continued to fight with the bullies then they too start to behave like them, likening the situation to a school fight because they’re responding to the social situation.
It comes after the BBC Breakfast presenter confessed she had once been a bully on the school playground, something she admits is hard to live with.
After talking to a listener about their experiences, she recalled: “I remember a time when I was in school and a big group of us, a gang of girls, we used to hang around and one of the girls in the group annoyed us.
“She’d done something that we weren’t happy with and we all turned-on her.
“We ostracised her and it got to the point where the teacher put us all in a room and she asked if anyone wanted to apologise.”
Naga shook her head as she continued: “I was so stubborn and so pig-headed and I said, ‘No I don’t want to apologise to her, I don’t want to be her friend anymore.'”
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The host remembered the girl got very upset, but they soon put their differences aside and over time resumed their friendship.
But something about the whole situation still plays on Naga’s mind to this day.
“I’ve never quite got my head around why I was just so stubborn about it and how I hadn’t thought about how much that would hurt her and whether it would bother her,” she said.
“And it obviously did, I mean, I know loads of people that were bullied, I was bullied! But I just wonder how it affects all.”
Naga fell silent for a moment as she reflected on her behaviour.
“It’s quite a hard thing to admit you’ve been a bully,” she said quietly.
“For me, I always abide by one of those mottos in life Be Kind, and knowing you haven’t been…it’s not a good feeling.”
She sighed, as she added: “Looking back on a moment when I was part of a group of girls who bullied one of our friends, ironically…
“It’s hard, it’s very hard to look back and pull yourself up on your behaviour.”
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