I hate bullies.
I know they always say you shouldn’t judge something you don’t understand, but in this instance I’m going against that and putting it out there; I despise them.
At school we are often told that a bully is someone who is crying out for help, possibly taking their problems out on someone else. Fine. With the right support and guidance they may change, or maybe they won’t. And what if they aren’t held to account? What if the person bullied is the one to be told to change/to fit in more? Make more of an effort to not be different.
I was once advised to not always ask the popular kids to keep the noise down while I was trying to study ‘why not join them in their jokes?’ the teacher said, ‘then maybe they won’t pick on you’
Try to be less like yourself so people will leave you alone or even better maybe start to like you? Amazing advice from a teacher eh??
Then we reach adulthood, leave education and head out to the big scary world of work. Maybe we have children and have to deal with the playground all over again too. Surely there won’t be bullies there then. We are adults now after all.
Adult bullies are even worse. They should know better.
They should know that making another human feel crap for no reason other than to make themselves feel better is one of the most despicable things a person can do.
Why should one person feel an increased sense of entitlement or power over another just because of who they are? Should money mean you can bully your way to get what you want? Does a job title permit you to make your own rules?
And what about their children? Are these bullies are teaching them that this is the way to get what you want in life. Or maybe they are using the bullying tactics on them too. Either way the result will be damaging on their innocence. And if I’m honest I think that’s what makes me saddest of all.
As much as I want S and O to be successful and secure in life, above all I just want them to be decent people. To know that happiness makes for a better place. To pay it forward and look after others. To never intentionally hurt someone. To never use their position, money or power to damage the life of someone else.
To not be a bully.
JFK once said
“We cannot negotiate with people who say what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable.”
I think sadly this is so true. No matter how fair and kind you try to be in life, someone will always try to take advantage of you.
The only choice you have is how you deal with it.
In the face of a bully should I show my daughters that being the bigger person, knowing you have your integrity in tact and walking away, is how to deal with bullies? Or will this make them a target? Will they, like me, always attract people who want to take advance of them, to use them for their own gain? Or should I stand up and show them that bullies need to be taught a lesson. That confronting them, with words not violence, and being firm is the way to go in life? Or does this risk them becoming just as bad as the bullies in question? I honestly am stuck.
Just as I could never work out at school what made someone popular or what turned that perceived power into bullying – as an adult I cannot work out how is best to deal with them.
I know I’m not willing to sit in the shadows anymore. I have love and support behind me, and I have two amazing little girls looking up to be to be their life guidance and moral compass. I need to make sure my next move in life is one that will show them the right path.
I don’t want them to become another me. To shy away from confrontation, to be riddled with self-doubt or to constantly be scared.
I need to be a stronger person so that they can too.
As for the bullies? I want to hate them, and a little bit of me does, but when I think about it I guess I pity them really.
What a sad life they must live.