I can guarantee you 110% that all of you have been bullied at least once in your lifetime. Whether it be in school, in your workplace, or even just walking down the street. We have all been in a similar situation, unfortunately, some more than others. Some of us find it extremely difficult to deal with the different emotions that we are feeling in these situations – sadness, anger, frustration, confusion (just to name a few). As a result of these emotions you may feel the need to retaliate, by punching the bully in the face, yelling at the bully, or sometimes you may just deal with these emotions by bottling everything up inside, keep quiet, and when you are alone in your room you will just cry.
NEITHER OF THESE ARE HEALTHY!
As I have been a victim of bullying myself, and as I have seen first hand the psychological implications (i.e. depression, low self-esteem) it can have on people – children, adolescents, adults – I would like to share some advice with you. Whether you are being bullied, you are a witness to someone else being bullied, or whether you are the one bullying others, I hope that my advice can help you deal with this horrible situation and make things easier for you. And as for the bullies, I hope that I can make you realise just how much hurt you are causing to others. I would love to say that I will stop bullying altogether, but unfortunately, as sad as it is I cannot and neither can anyone else. In saying this, hopefully, we as a community can at least decrease the amount of bullying happening, so that we can live our life feeling happy, safe, and loved, as we should.
I was always told that when a bully said something nasty to me that I should not even acknowledge them and that I should let the nasty comment pass in through one ear and out the other. But, as we all know this cliché saying is a lot easier said than done. So at first I used to not say anything and keep these nasty comments along with the sadness I was feeling, bottle up inside. After a few months the bully continued, with the comments becoming nastier and a lot more hurtful. Instead of feeling sad, I became angry and frustrated, and this is when I began to retaliate. I used to yell back at the bully and say exactly the same hurtful things. My parents always said to me that retaliating and bringing myself down to the bully’s level was not going to make things better. And looking back now, it is so true! In fact, it makes you feel worse because all you are doing is playing, as I like to call it, “verbal tennis” with the bully, spitting out nasty words and comments back and forth between each other… yeah..things stayed about the same…
One thing to keep in mind is that usually the person doing all the bullying is most probably having issues in their own life, with caregivers and/or siblings. And another thing that could cause these bullies to harass others it their low self-esteem. These people may feel so low about themselves that they use bullying others in order to feel better about themselves. So, I know that it is hard, but by taking these things into consideration, please try not to take anything that the bully says or does personally. Ignore what they say and walk away. Once you do this a few times, the bully tends to get bored because they are not gaining the satisfaction of you retaliating or seeing you cry, so they move on.
You may feel that the bully is stronger than you, both physically and mentally. Why is that? In my experiences (both with being the victim and a witness) the bully has a group of friends that do and say exactly the same things. So you may be intimidated by a group of bullies against you. I know I felt this way. But what I also realised was that when the bully is alone, without their group of “friends”, they are weak. They don’t have their “friends” to back them up or to encourage them. So please know that YOU are the strongest person in this situation.
I have placed the word friends in between quotation marks because these so called “friends” are not really the bully’s friend. They are friends one day and then the next day they are hating on each other. I have noticed that they are all against each other, and fights that you see, especially at school, are, more often than not between two or more bullies that call each other “friends”. They are always talking badly about each other behind their backs. On the day that they are “friends” they will get together and act tough and bigger than you in order to intimidate you, usually picking on the person that doesn’t talk much or that is more likely to retaliate. But as you can see from this, they are no bigger or stronger than you are, you only perceive them to be like this because there are more of them and one of you.
Nowadays with various Social Networking Sites, unfortunately the harassment is taken from offline encounters to online ones, referred to as cyber bullying. Not only do you have to deal with the bully at school or at work, but you also have to read there comments on Facebook, twitter, etc. In this case I suggest to report the user that is harassing you online, and block them. This is pretty much the only solution to this problem. Or you can go to the extreme of deleting your Facebook and/or Twitter account. But to this I say “Why should you?”. You have your own group of friends and family on these sites to keep in contact with, so I don’t see the need to delete the account. By blocking and reporting the other user should do the trick for cyber bullying. But as for offline encounters, there are other ways.
If by ignoring the bully doesn’t work, try a different trick. Have you ever heard of the “Act of Kindness”? Well, that’s the trick! I know you are thinking “why should I be kind to them if they are being extremely nasty to me?”. Bullies hate, they absolutely HATE when the person they are bullying are kind to them. And if you continue being kind they will get so fed up with your kindness that, as I said before, because you are not giving them the satisfaction of seeing you cry, they will move on.
Please, do not be afraid to talk to someone, because most of the time by dealing with these bullies on your own and keeping it bottled up inside can lead to various psychological problems, depression being the main one. Even if by talking to someone, like a school councelor, psychologist, parent or caregiver, doesn’t stop the bully, it is at least helping you by getting your feelings out in the open. By doing this you will feel as if a massive weight has ben lifted off your chest and you will just feel better.
Lastly, it gets better! Please trust me when I say this. Especially to the people still in school, you are going to finish your school years and you and your bully are going to lead different lives. You are not going to be together forever. When you leave school you do not have to see them again.
I hope this advice has helped at least a few of you and please share this blog to friends and family so that I know that I have tried to give advice to as many of you as I can and hopefully hep you. If you have any questions or would like advice on anything else please put them in the comments and I will be sure to get back to you. Also, don’t forget to check out my Youtube beauty channel and subscribe.
Talk soon 🙂