” When You Judge Me; You Don’t Define Me, You Define Yourself” – meaning that you show your lack of acceptance of others, and your uncloak your lack self worth in tour actions.”
I have written this blog post as a reference to why bullying is not ok… but I am also hoping that this blog post titled “Bullying Is Not & Is Never Ok” will inspire those who are being bullied to talk up & out about what is happening to them – giving bullying a voice and a plan for action with hope with deter the bully’s from their not so funny hurtful ways.
I have always been a very strong minded & strong willed kind of a person… but I am not immune to the gossip and talking’s of others … the internal war that that the spoken words of others have done their damage in and throughout my past… Like I said not even I was immune to bullying…
I was always teased for being a nerd “this in fact was who I was at school – preferring to knuckle down and get my studies, my homework & my assessments done. My life outside my school life was a busy one, having many day trips with friends, going to the club disco’s and dancing all nite, many get togethers, bbq’s and birthday party were always a hit… swimming and travelling to the beach.. I wont mention driving unlicensed or for that matter to fast… cb radioing over the weekend to friends near and far… yep I was a normal teenager with normal interests and hobby’s…. but I liked to do school work and I loved to sit and read, preferring reading over drinking and blowing my brain cells out at a drug fuelled party. I preferred to have my school life and friends to be separate to that of my weekend/home friends… I liked that I had my sanctuary of friendly faces in my down times and downtrodden moments.
I also had a semi nerdy look for a while – I wore glasses for many years… until a volleyball smacked me full on in the face – smashing my glasses and my security blanket… “a volleyball attacking me gave me the strength and courage to allow me to take my glasses and put them in the garden bed of my homes front garden.
I became free… & I found that fewer people found it necessary to tease me… but that wasn’t the end to the bullying… I changed school’s and some silly girls decided that they didn’t like me… “their reasons were stupid and plentiful.” Anyway one sport day one set my highly hair sprayed hair a light with a cigarette lighter… “I wouldn’t smoke so they smoked my hair instead.”
There were so many of these moments that I stood out to a bully… I have had my bag emptied, my earring ripped out of my ear, money and processions taken & at one time I was even escorted home by my bully’s crew… then there was the time when I was set upon by an ex-friend who decided that she needed to give my 2 day old appendectomy wound a “does that hurt touch test.”
See not even I was immune to bully’s
How Did I Get A Bully To Leave Me Alone ? ?
Well I did try to walk away, and I did try to stay out of their crosshairs… but enough was enough and I decided after seeing one of my bully’s alone in a laneway that I would ask her “why on that day was she leaving me alone?” – I followed her asking her over and over the same question – I must have become annoying because she turned around and trying to smack me a good one… I did say try… funny how her crew kept me from stepping back on our usual hit slap sessions… grabbing her hand I made her smack herself and asked her “how she was feeling.. & did she want another?”.. of course she said “I don’t want to fight you… leave me alone…” the more she asked the more she just accidently hit herself… funny enough that was one bully down…
I believe that you should always walk away from a fight or a bully attack… but I believe that I had taken enough.. 8 months of day to day bullying … she had to be stopped.
Walk away If you can… & stand your ground if you must… try to never be alone… and if you find yourself in your bully’s crosshair – stand and defend yourself !
Whilst I may be able to defend myself.. my bully squad never saw that I could… I knew what I could do to them if I was pushed to far and figured that they would soon tire of picking at and on me. I am a person who can and will defend herself if pushed hard enough, I prefer to walk away and leave a bully to stand in hi/her/their own shadow. I never wanted to be a bully or a retaliator of a bully… Bully’s I feel bully because they are jealous of you or something that you have i.e. friends or good school grades… bully’s have their own hang ups and many bully’s bully so they don’t feel like they themselves are a target or reason for what ever is going on in their own lives.
Are you surprised to hear that I have been known to be a very out spoken person in defence of others who do not have the voice that I have… people who know me know that I don’t stand for the tournaments of bullies… I myself was bullied as a teenager for reasons varying from my inner quietness to having to much knowledge to people being threatened by my way of doing things… truth be told it will never matter what or who you are to others their will always be someone in your days daily walk who is going to stand and question your ways as a person.
What bullying is in a nutshell isn’t as easily defined.. bullying is no longer “sticks and stones may break my bones” moments… bullying can include all sorts of behaviours.. ranging from verbally abusing someone, teasing, gossiping, spreading rumours, physical assaults, cyberbullying, threats, teasing, passing judgements on or at others, prank calling, victimisation… the list can and does go on. Bullying is everywhere, and its is rare that you hear someone say that they never been bullied.
“Bully’s Are Bully’s Or They Become Bully’s For Often No Apparent Reason.”
But you can bet your lunch money on “Social Popularity” being on the top of the list of reason’s for why bully’s bully.
No one is immune to bullying & no one is immune to the judgements of others… the sad reality is.. that bullying isn’t just a school thing.. bullying is often found in peer groups and in the workplaces… in social setting… even in family groups.
Bullying isn’t relatable to the school yard only, it can, will and does happen everywhere and in every walk of life. Just like when a child is bullied at school an adult can also find themselves the target of bullying in the workplace or within the circle of their friendships. “Bullying is a “Hasbro Game” – anyone and everyone can play.
As strong as I am I too am not immune! to the hurt that others have and do cause me; I am guilty of allowing others the way of burrowing under my skin, I am guilty of allowing the spoken words of into my mind, heart and soul – allowing them the access and ways to alter who it is that I am…. & the worst part of me not being immune to these moments is that when I get my backup and stand for my right to be who it is that I am… & when I stand and become defensive of these judgments and judgemental moments I open myself to more scrutiny and the barrage of people’s questionings… sadly I have often been seen as the instigator, or the game player or even the bully’s bully.
I myself have had to learn to choose what battles are worthy of my time in standing and fighting and what battles I have had to walk away from… I personally would rather stand my ground and be unmoved by these moments of trespassing times that others choose to use against me and I would far rather stand and fight for what I believe in and what I feel is my rights… but there have been times when I admit that standing strong, tall & unmoved has only served to fuel the intensity of these unsettling times… so what do we do ? I hear you ask… sit and draw up a pro’s and con’s list is my best advice… give yourself both an in and out strategy… and do not put yourself into the corner of having to defend yourself….
I am guilty of reacting to the brutality of a bully… and I am proud to say that I prefer to walk away over retaliating to them.. and I am even guilty of standing up for myself.. allowing no one to walk over me.. I have fired back and made the bully his own enemy.
I am also guilty of staying strong and sticking to myself in these testing times and allowing myself to seem as though I am unaffected by the words and actions of others… often taking myself out of social settings to save face or to make the environment a less bitter and hurtful place. Easier said and not so easily done in the true practice of things I know… these testing days are a game that has us walking a fine line between allowing others to cast no judgements against us – standing up for oneself & ignore what we hear and feel and just let the actions of others be like water of a ducks back.
So yep ! … standing up for yourself and or choosing to let the harshness of others rush over you is often a no win, loose situation. Sometimes you just have to ride the wave and other times you have to be boxing bag that swings back in the bully’s direction.
There is much that I could say about bullying, and with great certainty would be able to tell you more that I have told you here in this blog post… I personally through the years that I myself have had others walk in judgment of me and my ways… I have been able to outwit and outsmart many of the people who have criticised or judged me in the past… but being capable and able to outwit and outsmart others has also made me a target for bullying and perceptions of my inner strength…
“My advice to you would be for you to stay true to yourself – without diversion and without fear of who you know you are… I know that sticks and stones do in fact break bones & I know oh to well that the words of others last a life time in ones soul.
“There is no other way to say it than this… “you will never please everyone.. there will always be someone ready to tare you down… & there will always be someone who you will be smarter or not as knowledgeable then… you will always find that there is s person who doesn’t like you or the way you dress. “But there will always be that something about you that sticks in the nerve endings of a bully or a judgmental person… & there will be many hours of tears and down trodden moments when you sit and hate on yourself for the reasons that others pass onto you… as hard as it is to say.. bullying doesn’t always go on forever in a day…
I personally over the years have grown a thick hide & I have grown an even bigger
” what ever attitude ” that has had made others question if I truly have a care for others… & of course the answer is yes ! yes I do very much care and I have a great big giving heart that want nothing more than for me to be accepted for who I am… ( I don’t want others to accept me or love me bout of obligation)… love me or hate me… be my friend or just stay out of my face !
When push comes to shove the best thing that we can do for ourselves & for these trying/testing times is to build ourselves some coping skills and learn to be our own best friend… easier said then done .. yes indeed this is true… but what I have learned is that running away solves nothing.. standing my ground can often create more trouble than its worth… “I have a fight and flight strategy that I deploy when I need to… choosing what battles I can win over those that are futile… just because I prefer to stand up for myself & stand in my own defensible shadow… I have also had to learn that being the strong person that I am often makes me stand out and often makes me a target to the testing times of others… in the words of country singer Kenny Rogers ” You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away and know when to run.”
I always try to teach those who I sit in therapy with to define if the reasons why that people do and say or even act out what actions and words that they do is because they themselves are struggling with inadequate moments or judgements in their own lives… sometimes a bully is a bully because he or she is also a victim of bullying and is acting out their frustrations or judgements on others to help them to define their own self worth… sometimes a bully is a bully because they just don’t give a shit who they hurt !
There are always going to moments when a bully keeps coming at you.. there will be times when no matter how many times you choose to walk away from a bully; there will always be another day or another moment where they will stand again in your face.
What Can I Do To Help Myself ??
– talk to an adult; a teacher, a parent or a trusted person, report incidents to someone in authority (I hear that this can often make things worse).. find yourself that go to person… someone will hear you.
– keep a journal & write things down as they occur… keeping a journal will help as writing things down helps to keep your stories truthful and precise… writing helps you remember things and not your perception of how things went down.
(Write about what happened.. why and by whom ?)
– Avoidance. Take a different route home… (steer yourself out of a bullies path… self- preservation isn’t a sign of weakness its a sign that you just want to be left alone… hopefully they will get the message and get bored and find something else to occupy their time).
– Be Brave. Acting brave can sometimes stop a bully. (Stand up for yourself, but don’t add fuel to the fire… “please leave me alone” or “I wont be hurt by you” or “I will not fight with you” may be a strategy.
– Don’t Fight Back. Resist the urge to fight. (Always choose the high road and walk away from a fight when you can… resist the need to go to arms for as long as you can).
– Find a Friend. Stick with a friend. (Bullying hates audiences, bullies prefer to take people on when the victim has no one else is around them… bully’s often have their own groupies and very rarely choose to victimise another alone – safety in numbers).
Bullying will never be an exact science… bullying doesn’t come with a clear definition of what it is or how or why it occurs… education on what bullying is and how it affects others is key… reminding people of the consequences of what bullying can create is often a big lesson and an even bigger learning factor that that help to detour people away from bullying.
– how we handle ourselves in the moments that we are being bullied… standing strong, don’t mouth off or verbally make the situation worse.
– how a bullies themselves act, we don’t always know why bullies bully… they themselves may have underlying issues that force them to ac out on others… they may just as well be choosing to bully so they can become popular within their peer groups.. we may never know the true reason for being bullied .
– bystanders themselves have a choice here also.. choosing to stand in and pull the victim of bullying out can put you in danger also .. but choosing to stand as a witness makes you no better than the bully themselves… bullies hate audiences and stronger groups of people…
– telling someone of authority… it’s agreeable that sometimes teachers and parents don’t want to become involved … sometimes early preventive measures can be the key to lessening bullying but people of authority need to learn that bullying has real consequences and that sweeping incidents under the carpet can often fuel a bullies fire as they become aware that there are no consequences for their actions.
Bullying is never ok. It’s hurtful and can impact someone for a long time. Remember, you’re not alone.
If you find yourself being bullied go into a workplace and ask for help, call the police and seek advice, talk to your family and friends, talk to our teachers of boss.. what ever you choose to do… Don’t become the one thing that you hate “The Bully” don’t become someone else’s reason for the tears that they shed. Be the friend that you would like to have for yourself…
A great resource that talks about bullying can be found here – (this resource is an animated video for students (9-13 years) which helps you learn what bullying is and what to do if you are bullied. Teachers can visit Resources/Lesson plans for supporting materials for the classroom.
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Download Video (right click “Save as…”) MP4 format
Download Transcript (right click “Save as…”) TXT format
Link To This Video – https://bullyingnoway.gov.au/resources/videos/pages/videoplayer.aspx?VideoID=183
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Author. Tanya Kelly