Last month an 8th grade boy committed suicide in our schools. A few years ago, a college teen girl hanged herself in my neighborhood.
We all asked the same question, why? Why did they take their own lives?
Simple, they were bullying victims. One was threatened and harassed online by insecure girls, and the other was belittled and beat up for being quirky and quiet.
No one did anything to stop it. Even the school knew his torture and plans to commit suicide and didn’t intervene.
I remember being bullied in school. It wasn’t fun. My friends and their siblings recapped their experience with bullies. I even know bullies who were bullied.
It seems no one’s spared in this day and age.
I’m eternally grateful for the schools heavily involved, educating their students on the effects of bullying. We need more involvement and less silence.
But there’s a problem. Those kids will go home to bullying parents. They’ll relearn how to control and harass. Hence, the vicious cycle continues.
In my opinion, as long as these grown adults think it’s cool to dehumanize others and have infernal egos, bullying will never end.
It’s easy to rebuke a child and let them see the error of their cruel ways. Kids are like that, naturally kind and loving. But you rebuke an adult on their cruelty and they’ll call you a “snowflake” or a “pansy” and complain how you’re the problem.
Hence why it’s an impossible problem to defeat. But alas, there’s always hope.
The problem is these kids will go home to bullying parents,
Through my own experience and the experience of others, I’m sharing 4 ways we can empower ourselves and other victims during this “cool” trend of bullying.
1. Know Your Self-Worth and Find your Confidence
Easier said than done right?
Here’s the thing, before you can stand up to your bully, you have to stand up to the bully within yourself. Bullies can sniff out insecurities and self-hatred like crack. They feed off it.
You see, bullies are often broken people and need to belittle others to pass on their own pain. It’s easier if their victims are more broken.
Know your worth. Stop believing the lies you tell yourself. You deserve every amount of happiness, love, opportunities, and right to live. You’re entitled to it. But only you can believe this. No one else can believe for you.
You’re beautiful, smart, amazing, creative, and pure love. You deserve more.
2. Don’t Care What Others Think
Again, easier said than done.
If you notice, most bullies are the star athletes, golden boys, popular girls, the beloveds. And you my friend are different, quirky, weird, and awesome.
These types of bullies are afraid of what’s different. You see, you don’t fit their little mold, therefore they know you won’t worship their every step.
They need worshipers, which is why they don’t prey on their minions. They aim to destroy what’s different before you can knock them off their pedestal. You, my strange little friend, are the revolution and rebellion.
But if you care what they think of you and let it control your every move, you lose the battle. That’s why it’s vital not to worry about the little thoughts of people.
Stay true to who you are and your unique qualities. Don’t hide your love and passions, we need it.
3. Stand Up to Your Bully
Once you conquer the first two steps above, this very important step won’t seem so scary.
First, it’s vital we stand up for one another. If you see someone being knocked down, defend them. Just seeing how much you care gives someone else their confidence.
But in the end, YOU have to stand up for yourself.
Here’s the thing, everybody including your mother can stand up for you: the schools, your work, your friends, even random strangers. But one day your bully will trap you when you’re alone. Who will stand up for you then?
When everybody is standing up for you except for you, your bully will see it and use it against you.
You have to stand up for yourself. Only you can reclaim your power back. Yell at them, scream at them, confront them, heck even hit them if you have to. Playing dead will only do so much until you’re actually dead.
But in the end, YOU have to stand up for yourself.
4. Keep Defending Yourself
You confronted your bully. Great! You survived the worst part, but the battle’s not over yet.
Confronting your bully will stun them, but only for a moment.
Bullies are many things, but they aren’t quitters. They’ll test your new found confidence. In fact, they’ll punch at your weakest, lowest points with greater destruction and force.
They realize they’re losing control of you. They hate that, therefore they’ll go to any lengths to smash you to a pulp.
This is your time. Keep defending yourself. If they bite, bite back harder. Don’t turn yourself into another bully though. It’s not about lowering to their level but regaining your life back.
If that means confronting your bully everyday for a year, do it. Point out their cruelty with strength in your voice, laugh at their attempts to belittle you, smile and wave in kindness when you pass them.
Eventually, one day, they’ll quit. Who knows, maybe you’ll open their eyes to their cruelty or even befriend them. Stranger things have happened.
In my case, I stood up to my bully by snapping back and telling her to shut up. She stopped. In fact, she was even nice to me afterwards and talked kindly to me.
Point out their cruelty with strength in your voice, laugh at their attempts to belittle you, smile and wave in kindness when you pass them.
Here’s the hard truth. Bullying will never end. But you my friend can stop your bully and change the world. We do no justice to the victims by ignoring the problem. Be the change, be the light.
Do you have any experience with bullies, or were you one time a bully? I’d love to hear your thoughts on your experience and your thoughts on this article!