I have dealt with bullying in my early childhood days and continue to find solutions on how to deal with bullying.
What is Bullying?
Bullying - a form of unwanted or aggressive behavior in the form of threat, violence, force, or verbal abuse that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. This may include cyberbullying, school bullying, and others. The behavior is repeated or has the potential to be repeated over time.
Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. This social issue has been a problem that needs to be stopped and dealt with.
Bullying is never fun, it's a cruel and terrible thing to do to someone. If you are being bullied, it is not your fault. No one deserves to be bullied, ever.
— Raini Rodriguez
How I Got Bullied
It was a tragic phase in my life. It was an experience that hurt me deeply and emotionally. During my elementary days, some of my classmates would wait for me to be alone and attack me verbally. They said that they dislike me and they would want for me to be gone. Not only did they attack me verbally but they also wrote on my test papers on how much they hated me. They said that I am too arrogant and that I am doing everything just to be the teacher's favorite. They said that I do not deserve what I have back then and that they don't enjoy themselves whenever I am with them.
The troubling matter is that they act friendly towards me whenever other people around. Also, there are times when they act like that they never said that they hated me. So I kept it all to myself. Not until my mother found out one of my test papers and read what they have written.
My Initial Response
Knowing that they only hurt me verbally whenever I am alone, I kept everything to myself. I thought that no one should know how badly I am treated. I thought that I can get pass through this all by myself. I was hurt. I distanced myself from almost everyone. I thought that maybe everyone else thinks the same thing about me. Maybe, everyone hated me. My self-esteem became low.
I can't trust anyone anymore. I was thinking that maybe if I open myself too much, they will find something to hate on me. I found it hard to open up because I am afraid that my words will hurt somebody just like how I am hurt by the words said to me in the past.
As a young kid, I didn't know how to respond and deal with the emotional pain that the bullying caused me. It affected me so much - it was until high school that I am fully healed.
I woke up one day and thought, 'Enough is enough with bullying myself.' The war is within you, and that's also where it's won. You just have to tackle your insecurities and then let them go.
— Keala Settle
Time does heal everything. I realized after so long, that I am only hurting myself by holding on to what happened in the past. I realized that I am not bullied anymore, but I am still holding on to what other people thought of me when I was a child plus my insecurities.
Sure, healing takes time. But if you're not healing right now, it doesn't mean you won't heal forever. You may be suffering for now, but trust the process. Someday you will be able to wake up and know that you are not hurting anymore.
As I grow older and I grow wiser, there are some things that I wished I had realized sooner:
I think everyone at school experiences some form of bullying. With kids at school, it can be anything - it can be your shoes or the wrong bag or anything. If you are big like I am, you are always going to be a target. So I decided at school to make myself an even bigger target if you like: to make myself as big as I could be.
— James Corden
- One's life does not depend on what others think of you. You can listen to other people and view their opinions as criticism. Your world doesn't need to revolve on their words or their actions. Just because you are being treated inferiorly right now, doesn't mean that you are. You decide on who you are, what you will be, and how much you can achieve.
- As others try to pull you down, be greater. Do not take on revenge, instead work on improving yourself. Focus on performing better. Sooner or later, the bullies will stop, knowing that they cannot hurt you.
- Forgive. Forgive even if time passes by and no one apologizes to you. Forgive others and let go of the bitter feeling. Also, let go of the insecurities that you feel and start forgiving yourself.
- Understand that people can change and that bullies can change too. Understand that their actions in the past don't define who they are for their whole lifetime.
- Share. When the pain is too big and it seems like the bullying doesn't stop, ask for support. Know that you are never alone. It doesn't make you weaker when you ask others for help. You are stronger because you are loved.
What You Can Do?
Here are some other things that you can do if you are bullied:
- Ask for support. Tell a trusted adult. Adults in authority such as teachers, parents or coaches can help you in dealing with the bullies. Surround yourself with the people whom you can trust and lean onto. If the incident hurts you too much and develops into depression, ask for help from the professionals.
- Ignore the bully and walk away. Bullies like to get a reaction. If you ignore them, they will get the impression that you are not affected and doesn't care at all with what they are doing.
- Do not get physical. Do not fight the bully as much as you can. If you get into a physical fight, you are stooping down to their level. Try to let out your frustrations into other things like writing it down in your journal, or telling it to your trusted friend. If you are using social media to voice out your emotions, make sure that your words won't hurt anybody or else you are slowly becoming the bully.
- Develop your confidence. Practice feeling good about yourself. Even if you have to fake it at first, sooner or later, you will be able to focus on loving yourself.
- Try talking to the bully. Try telling the bully that his behavior hurts you. This can work out well if the bully doesn't recognize that his words or actions are harmful.
- Stand up for others who are being bullied. Last but not least, you can always stand up and support others that you see are getting bullied. This way together, we can stop bullying.
No one deserves to be bullied. No one deserves to be looked down or treated inferiorly. Next time, you found someone being bullied, stand up for them. Be kind. And if you are the one that got bullied, learn to let go of the pain.
© 2019 Krishna