I was recently the victim of bullying. I’m not going to go into detail about who did the bullying and where the bullying happened. Let’s just say that no matter where you are in your life, petty high school antics never go away. And I’m a sensitive person, so this bullying had the potential to push me into a depressive episode had the bully had his/her way.
- Be objective about the situation. You need to figure out why you’re the subject of harassment. Are you the only one? Or have others been subjected to it? Does this person have too much power in the first place? Or is something going on in his/her life that this person wants to take it out on you, because this bully knows you don’t deal well with confrontation? Is the bully being oversensitive? This isn’t the case where you’re being oversensitive, because you are the victim, not the bully. You’re not going to be friends with everyone, but bullying is unacceptable. Bullies will intentionally try to take you down, try to destroy some part of you behind your back, even if you are completely unaware of the situation at hand. These bullies may even be confrontational, and you’re not even sure how to react. But sometimes the bully will go to one person, bully that person with threats that don’t have the potential to ruin them, while also simultaneously bullying you because the bully is saying potentially ruinous things about you. You’re often not aware of this form of bullying until it’s too late. And oftentimes others will feel the same way as you do. Keep your patience, don’t spread gossip–but don’t let the bully win.
- Take a stand. You might have someone else who can be more confrontational and feels the need to protect you, but in the case you don’t, you have to stand up for what you believe is right. Your bully needs consequences, and if you shrink away, the bullying is only going to continue. If you’re in school or in the workplace, let someone know who has more power than you deal with the situation at hand. In the workplace it can be a bit easier, as this bully can get fired. School, on the other hand, is more difficult, but standing up to your bully makes that bully less likely to harass you. Sometimes in the case of school, you have to get nasty, because you’re a kid and that bully is a kid. I’ve had to get nasty several times with my harassers, and they never touched me again–and I DESPISE confrontation. In the case of life outside of high school, you have to hold yourself together as much as you can. Show the bully you’re not intimidated. In a sense, show the bully you are above him/her. If you’ve seen Catching Fire, remember what Haymitch said? He told Katniss and Peeta to look down at the Capitol as if they were above them. The Capitol is the bully. Katniss and Peeta are the victims. But they did look down at them while keeping their composure the entire time. But in the case of keeping your composure, plan what you want to say ahead of time to address why the bully’s behavior is unacceptable. Sometimes you may have to adjust what you’re saying, but if you’re remaining calm, this will probably get a rise out of your bully, because they want to hurt you. Look your bully in the eye and don’t stoop down to his/her level.
- Write a statement. Keep track of the bully’s behavior. Note your behavior. This statement will prepare you for what you should do if the bullying increases. Stand proud and don’t take the bully’s bait.
- You may not receive your expected outcome, but you can still win. I did not receive my expected outcome, but I won my personal victory. The bully did not get his/her way. This bully is going to be angry, and even if this bully still wants to subject me to his/her misery, at least I have the confidence to know the bully did not win–and perhaps I can be confrontational now that I have ammunition. Not to mention I have a strong backing now because everyone has seen the behavior of this bully.
But I know there are those who take their lives because of bullying, which is why EVERYONE has a moral and social obligation to go in and protect someone who is the subject of bullying. Not everyone can deal with bullying. But do not let bullying go unchecked. You never know how the victim is going to react with persistent bullying.