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Kamloops News

MANN: Don't let the bully beat you to the punch

Image Credit: SUBMITTED
March 01, 2018 - 12:00 PM


I’ve had my share of being bullied throughout my life.

From not knowing what the birds and the bees were before everyone else did, to not wearing the ‘right’ coloured tag Levi’s jeans, to just letting my guard down and becoming an easy target.

Being bullied sucks.

It isn’t like in the movies where someone is being bullied and everyone in the school comes to the rescue, and triumphant music plays as the ‘good guys’ take down the bully with a well-thought-out monologue and everyone becomes friends.

Reality is darker. It’s crippling and it’s long lasting. It affects mental and physical health.

The most dangerous bullying (in my opinion) is subtle.

It’s about power and control and manipulation.

It’s about instilling fear and doubt, and honestly, I think there is a craft to it.

Pink Shirt Day may be over for this year, but that doesn’t mean education and awareness about bullying should be tabled until next February.

Quite the contrary, as the day itself allows us to start the conversations, but after that, the onus is on the individual to recognize and contend against bullying the other 364 days of the year.

I am in no means an expert when it comes to the topics of bullies, being bullied, resources available and any kind of associated statistics.

I am an expert on my own life, and the experiences I have had.

From my experiences, I have constructed a list with three points to think about when it comes to being bullied…maybe more so suggestions.

Number one: If you are being bullied, TELL someone about it.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you will DO something about it, and you may not want the person you confide in to do anything either, but having someone on your side is so important.

You don’t have to go through the experience alone.

Being bullied can make you feel isolated from your peers or co-workers, so find strength in numbers and common experiences.

Number two: Remember it’s NOT always about you.

I know this sounds counterintuitive, but it makes sense. In my experience, bullies aren’t exactly leading perfect lives — they have their fair share of skeletons in their closets.

I like to think most people aren’t born assholes (with a few exceptions of course), and that means somewhere along the way they were led astray.

I’m not saying you have to feel sorry for them or anything, but just remember a lot of the time, a bully’s attack on you, is simply a reflection of how they feel about themselves. 

Finally, number three: DO NOT dwell. Easier said than done, but I think you can eventually get to a good place.

Of course you might fantasize about a confrontation 10 years later where you lay into your bully, or you hope to hear they lost some great job.

Who doesn’t want karma to step in and lay a smack down?
But all that anger and obsession just blinds you from the really great life you could have.

And guess who IS NOT thinking about what happened, or how it has impacted your life? Your bully!

I’m not condoning bad behaviour, and I totally understand all of the emotions associated with being bullied, but years after the fact, you are only hurting yourself.

And really, don’t expect an apology anytime soon.

Of course there are modifications and amendments to this list depending on the individual, and no two person’s experiences are alike.

But bullying has serious ramifications on a person’s psyche and if you aren’t aware of the damage being done, it can sneak up and attack you when you are most vulnerable — even years after the fact.

So yes, you may have tucked your pink shirt into the back of your closet for another 364 days, and yes, I highly doubt the act of bullying will ever disappear, but keeping the conversation alive and well is one easy way to help even just one person avoid the painful repercussions of bullying.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2018

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