Over on Lockergnome, Pretty Pink asked a question about dealing with school bullies. Apparently, this is a hot topic, as it has received more answers and discussion from the community than most other questions on the site. It’s sad to see that so many of you have to deal with some type of bully, be it in a school setting or online. In my opinion, people who bully others do so because something is seriously lacking in their own lives. No matter their reason for acting out this way, we still all have to find ways to deal with them when the situation arises.
I know I’ve talked before about this very subject. I am certainly not some kind of professional advisor or counselor. I can, however, tell you that when I went through school, I was bullied… all the way through college. It stopped bothering me at some point during high school.
I can only tell you how I handled it from my own perspective. As long as we have been walking the Earth, there have been bullies – and there will continue to be. It does end at some point. Know that you actually have the upper hand if you’re the victim, believe it or not.
Something I’ll never forget is confronting a bully back in high school. A scary and large individual had made it known that he didn’t like me and thought he could frighten me. I decided not to pay attention to him and pretended that it didn’t bother me. I made it comical, and refused to let him get to me.
One day in gym class, he came in with a group of his friends. We were running laps and he decided to push me from behind. Something in me kind of snapped. I realized that if I didn’t take a stand he would do it again. I made a split-second decision and turned around. He was much larger than me, and stocky as heck. Without thinking, I pushed him back. He whipped around and was shocked that I had actually stood up to him. I threw up my fists, even though I had no idea what I would do at that point. I didn’t throw a punch – but neither did he. I just let him know that I was no longer going to back down or take the crap that he kept dishing out.
At that point, the teacher intervened and we went our separate ways. I was afraid for my life at that point, not knowing what would happen. From that day forward, though, he never touched me again. He gave me dirty looks over the years, but never directly messed with me again.
I’m not saying this would work in every situation. However, it’s important to let them know in some way or another that they cannot get to you and cannot control your life. You have to stand up for yourself, even if it’s just to walk away from them and pretending that they don’t bother you in the least.
You have to do what’s right for you in your situation. If someone is harming you (or threatening to), then you need to talk to an adult in the school or at home. You may think that labels you as a tattle-tale, but it’s far better than being hurt or killed.
I don’t really care what someone thinks of me. If they don’t like me because I’m short, or Italian or a Geek – that’s THEIR problem, not mine. Once you reach that mind-set, your life will be much easier.
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