It’s best to begin standing up for yourself in the early stages or you’ll come across as a doormat to others and teach them how to treat you based on what they see. Sadly, many targets of bullying do not realize this until the bullying gets so bad and so out of control that their lives are in danger. By then, it’s usually too late to change anything and the only option left is for target to remove him/herself from the environment.
Understand that bullying always escalates and the more you ignore it, deny it, and tolerate it, the more emboldened, brazen, and full of themselves the bullies become until they become drunk on their own power. That’s when the abuse will get out of control and you’re most likely to end of getting severely hurt or worse.
Bullying is like a drug. As we know, it takes one smoke, one drink, or one snort or two for a person to become hooked and once he/she gets that first high, they always want more. It’s the same with bullying. All it takes is one backhanded compliment, one offhand comment, or one insult or two to get the target to react and give the bullies that first rush- that first power high, then they always come back for more.
Also, drug addicts slowly build a tolerance to the drug, and, as time goes on, they need a bigger dose, then an even bigger dose to catch that high. First, they need one milligram, then two, then four, then eight, and so on! It’s no different with bullies. With time they escalate the bullying, then escalate it further to keep getting that rush of power.
First, they start with offhand comments, backhanded compliments, and petty insults. Also, they may smear you to others and give you the silent treatment. When these lose their thrill, the insults become more blatant and hurtful, escalating to yelling, cursing, and severe name-calling. When that loses its luster, the bullying progresses to borderline physical abuse- accidentally on purpose running into the target in the hall, light shoves, and tripping.
When bullies can no longer get their power rush from light physical bullying, they take it up, yet, another notch and progress to more obvious physical beatings- slapping, punching, choking, kicking, etc. Next, they use weapons like textbooks, slamming heads against lockers or the sides of vehicles, then sticks, bottles, pipes…and so on.
So, understand that bullying and abuse always- always…escalates! In other words, it always gets worse and more severe. It also becomes more frequent!
I’ve said it before, bullying is best countered and quashed in the earliest stages of it. The best time to stand up for yourself is during the “testing phrase”- when bullies are testing you to see what how you will react and what you’ll allow them to get away with.
Treat yourself better by not allowing others to abuse you, because how you treat yourself shows in how you allow others to treat you. Remember that you deserve better and you don’t have to put up with abuse from anyone.