Self-Preservation: Sometimes, You Must Get Just as Ugly as Your Bullies

“I could never be that desperate and you could never be that lucky.”

That was my comeback to a group of male bullies after one called out to me as I walked past them, “Hey! My buddy says he’s madly in love with you!” Being in the seventh grade and the smartass that I was, I made sure not to miss a chance to deliver a snappy and scathing one-liner to someone acting like a total arse.

I knew that this was his cowardly way of instigating a conflict between me and his buddy, then standing back, at a safe distance to watch. It was also his way of baiting his buddy into insulting me in front of everyone and getting his kicks from my humiliation. Only it backfired in his face.

Those that heard it either shouted, “BURN!” and laughed at the boys, or scowled at me and reminded me of how I’d “stooped just as low as them”, by countering with such a scathing return-fire.

Why am I telling you this story, you may wonder? It’s to make a point.

And my point is that sometimes, you have to go just as low as the bullies- you must not be afraid to get down and dirty and you mustn’t care what anyone else thinks about it.

Understand that with bullies, sometimes there’s no being polite and no being the bigger person. There’s no such thing as “playing fair” nor being nice about it.

Bullies don’t comprehend the meaning of class or couth. They don’t understand morals and scruples. They have no concept of decency and respectability. The only language bullies understand is a language that is cheap, tacky, and unsavory.

Bullies (and anyone who is even remotely impressed by them) are a dime a dozen. They really are. And sometimes you must speak in the only language they understand before they’ll get the message and back the hell off!

I understand your discomfort with this. It sucks when you must get down and wallow in the bullies’ foulness and filth with them. But for purposes of self-preservation, sometimes there’s no other choice but to lower your own moral standards.

The good news is that you don’t have to stay in the mud but only reserve the nastiness for emergencies like the one in the above story.

15 thoughts on “Self-Preservation: Sometimes, You Must Get Just as Ugly as Your Bullies

  1. It is unfortunate but that is exactly what needs to be done sometimes. The best thing is to come back quickly and even if what they said bothers you, if you fire back you can stop them in their track. Occasionally you can even eventually win over the crowd (though don’t expect this and it will take time). Second, they may go after an easier target. Three, and I know this isn’t popular but don’t be afraid if they get physical to fight back.

  2. I finally had to learn to not back down to anyone. I don’t care if they are male, female, young, old. You don’t disrespect me, I won’t disrespect you but I expect to be treated well.

  3. Such a difficult topic. Bullying is hurtful ( to say the least). Standing up in a firm and confident way ( as you did) is important. I think it’s hard for many and wish there were more genuine assistance in this area. Thank you for another interesting post. 💗

  4. I totally agree with you. You cannot evoke their higher selves. They are what they are.
    I’m so happy that you replied back the way you did.
    Your post will also help many people.
    Warm respect

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