Archive | March 2018

Message to Victims: Your Reputation Does Not Equal Your Character!

College student being bullied

Character is who you truly are. Reputation is who others think you are.
All too often, when a person is bullied, his/her reputation takes a big hit, due to the many ugly rumors and lies which are spread by their tormentors. Remember that bullying is a campaign.

Just as a politician would go from house to house and business to business, kissing babies and shaking hands with people on the street while giving a spiel of why they’re the best person for the office they’re running for, bullies basically do the same. They go from person to person spinning their yarn about why no one should associate with the target.

Bullies/Peer Abusers engage everyone, even friends and family of the victim, pulling false accusations out of thin air and making them sound so convincing that others find the lies difficult not to believe.

Tormentors may also use a “tiny grain of truth”, which may be a simple mistake the victim might have made in the past (possibly a mistake which anybody could have made at any time), then add their own spin on it, making it worse and bigger than what it is for the purpose of making the story even more believable.

Moreover, harassers may use subtle provocations, taunts and assaults to bait the victim into a reaction, then turn around and use his/her perfectly normal human response as further proof that he/she really is a less than desirable person (crazy, stupid, evil, etc.).

You must realize that bullies are sociopaths. They have a wealth of superficial charm at their disposal and are masters in the arts of persuasion and influence. People of this nature are very skilled wordsmiths, which is why they are seemingly able to pull a complete fabrication out of their own butts and make it smell sweet and sound plausible. Because of this oozing charm that most seasoned bullies possess, they are able to encourage bystanders and sometimes authority (teachers, principals, monitors, etc.) to join in the torment.

After being attacked for so long, it’s too easy for victims to become worn down and go the “eye for an eye” route and return the attacks (physically or verbally). Although defending oneself is a perfectly normal response to assaults, victims must be very careful in their counter-attacks and very carefully choose their battles because a well experienced bully can very easily use any reactions as validation of any rumors and lies which have been spread. Before long, even those who aren’t normally bullies will either shun or brutalize the selected victim. Thus, the reputation of the innocent victim is tarnished and will take years to repair.

With all the above combined, bullies can be a weapon of mass destruction to their victims, ripping them to shreds and destroying any credibility they once had. Right or wrong, once credibility is lost, victims are powerless and have almost zero chance of redeeming themselves and opportunities can be lost even before they present themselves.

If you are a target of bullying, I want to assure you that your reputation DOES NOT equal your character. You are an awesome, intelligent, goodhearted person and you are worthy of being loved regardless of how others may perceive you. As difficult as it may be to do so, you must never let your reputation define you. Never let bullies dim your shine! Hold on, with everything you have in you, to your awesome qualities even if you have to remind yourself every day that you are a great person! Hold on to your faith and your dignity! Hold on to TRUTH!


The Role of Social Proof in Bullying


We may not realize it, but we sell ourselves to the public everyday. From making new friends to finding a date, we sell ourselves…putting our best foot forward to impress others and show them our best sides and we do this unconsciously, without even thinking about it. We give the illusion that we’re a hot item because we instinctively know that it’s what everyone loves and is attracted to and we’re afraid of not being accepted.

“Social proof (also known as informational social influence) is a psychological and social phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior in a given situation.”

Put more plainly, we tend to do what we think everyone else is doing…to follow the pack…to join the bandwagon…to get in on the next big thing, whether it be the new, hot fashion trend, a breakout musical group, anything that’s extremely popular with others! For example, a few decades ago, Cabbage Patch Kids were a hot item! Everybody had a cabbage patch kid…I had one myself. And anytime there’s a hot item that’s “all the rage”, everyone clamors to have it!

And it’s the same in the social arena. Everyone wants to hang with the “cool” crowd. Although this crowd may or may not be what you’d consider cool and may actually be the opposite, others perceive them to be and want to hang with them, so you want to hang with them. Unfortunately, it’s also the same on the opposite end of the spectrum.

With bullying in school, if everyone else is bullying you, you can be sure that total strangers whom have never met you and even your friends will (if they haven’t already) also try to bully you. Why? Because “everyone else is doing it” and they want to join the in crowd! But know that when this happens, it has nothing to do with you and in no way means that you somehow deserve it or did anything wrong. What it means is that most people are followers…drones…sheep…slaves to the prospect of fitting in with the majority. And you, my friend are not a follower, but a leader! You just don’t know it yet!

So,keep pushing, smiling and holding your head high! Because of your refusal to follow the pack, you’re stronger that they will ever be! You’re outstanding! And it will pay off big one day!


Enduring Years of Bullying Takes GUTS!


It always amazes me when I hear of victims being told by others to “toughen up”. Because to endure long, miserable years of being bullied by everyone, for everything and make it to graduation? You have to be tough!

For me, it took so much courage to step unto that school bus everyday, knowing all too well what was in store for me as soon as I got on and even worse once I graced the entrance to the school. It was like walking the Green Mile!

The daily ritual of being name-called, slut-shamed, tripped in the hallways, having my books knocked out of my hands, my long hair pulled, my head slammed into lockers, slapped, punched, kicked, shoved to the floor and a barrage of death threats…it was never-ending! Through all of it, I never gave up!

I’ll say again, victims of bullying are tough! They have to be!

The finding a reason to get up and go to school everyday!
The holding on to your dignity with everything you have in you!
The daily facing of your worst fear!
The enduring countless insults and beatings!
The choking back of a river of tears which begs to pour forth!
The constant thievery of your pride and personhood!
The never-ending violations of your right to safety and to learn in peace!

To face all this on a daily basis and STILL find a reason to keep going??? That takes grit! It takes guts! Moreover, it takes balls of steel!

So, before you tell some poor, bullied soul to “toughen up”, ask yourself this question. Would you have the fortitude to hold up under that kind of pressure?


Why I’m Proud to Be A Survivor of School Bullying

I Love Being Me

Too many survivors are ashamed of having been bullied during school. But Why? Before we go any further, know that I completely understand your shame because I’ve been there and and shame is a normal emotion when one is or has been marginalized.

No one likes to admit they’ve ever been rendered powerless.
No one likes to admit vulnerability, past or present.
No one likes to admit being duped or taken advantage of.
And no one likes to admit having ever been beaten or knocked around.

Why? Because to admit these things would be to admit past or current weakness, naivety or defeat and requires one to put ego aside and swallow pride.

However, think about this, you SURVIVED! You persevered under circumstances which would have prompted most people to give up! You MADE IT! You clawed your way through it and in the end, came out of it stronger…wiser…BETTER!

I look at the positive side! Being a victim of bullying ended up making me an excellent judge of character…enabling me to read others like a book! It also gave me a since of compassion and empathy for others and the courage to assert my right to be treated with respect! As a former victim, I now have a worthy cause to fight for. And lastly, it gave me success! Therefore, I consider being bullied in the past a badge of honor…a medal…a TROPHY! Because I didn’t just survive! I WON!

If you have ever been a victim of bullying, never look at it as a sign that you are somehow defective or a failure. Instead, look at it as a testimony to how far you’ve come!