“We suppress, reject, deny and disown the aspects that make us vulnerable or get us disapproved of in the world. By doing this, they become subconscious. They are buried outside of our awareness and we don’t know they even exist, even though they tend to be visible to other people around us.”
– Unknown –
Having been a target of bullying in the past and spoken to other survivors of bullying through the years, I’ve noticed another factor that marks people for bullying- a virtue that bullies, authoritarians, and despots despise in others- virtues that make targets, well… targets.
People like us tend to think critically. We’re not like most people. We don’t blindly trust, follow, and obey authoritarian types who think they know more than we do. We question authority. We automatically ask ourselves, “If we follow along, what’s in it for them?” We figure out what their possible motives are.
We aren’t too lazy to read the fine print or do our research and figure out the facts. We’re also superb at reading between the lines- reading subtext and deciphering context, non-verbal communication, and probing for incongruencies. If something feels “off,” we’re automatically suspicious of it. We know that 2+2=4, not 5! And we know when someone is trying to manipulate us. We practically have a radar for manipulation.
We question narratives. We probe the status quo. We do things differently and make it a point to live life on our terms, not someone else’s. And we’re willing to take whatever comes with it. We refuse to be controlled by feckless fools who are drunk with power. We know all too well that power corrupts because we’ve been victims of it. Everyone is at some point.
People like us are not likely to be ruled by fear. We follow our own intuitions and are very creative with new ideas. We consistently search for better ways of doing, living, and being. Most others hate that about us. Why? Because most people are trained to follow, and they fall in line and take the safest way through life.
But we’re not afraid to be different. Again, bullies loathe us for that! And the unspoken messages we get from every direction are clear:
How dare you?
How dare you question those in power?
How dare you scrutinize the beloved and timeless status quo?
How dare you think that you can live your life your way?
Who do you think you are?
How dare you presume to know what’s best for you? Better than peers, teachers, supervisors, institutions, media, governments, and other entities of the ruling authority?
How dare you think that you know more about yourself than we do?
We’re the experts! Not you!
We have the degrees and credentials! Not you!
Oh, the nerve!
How dare we?
Oh, yes! People like us get those subliminal messages every day. And when we see that it’s all to their benefit and not ours, we’re not afraid to give the rule-makers a proverbial middle finger. We may not come out and say it, but we show it in our calm and quiet disobedience and refusal to go along. We do it by simply continuing to live our lives the way we want and in a way that gives us advantages.
Bullies hate us because we don’t walk lightly. We’re not afraid to make waves. We’re willing to rock the boat if we don’t like something. We don’t mind going against the grain if we suspect that “the rules” might harm us. Why? Because we cherish freedom, autonomy, and self-determination. And we’ll die before we give them up.
Only we can possibly know what’s best for us and no one else. Only we can determine what makes us happy and what will make our lives better. Only we can choose our individual destinies. Only we can define our individual inner realities. Nobody else in the entire world is privy to these things.
With knowledge comes empowerment.
It takes knowing bullying behavior when you see it and setting boundaries. We should respond (not react) to it right away and with conviction. And when you respond, you must respond with commands, not questions. What I mean by my last sentence is that instead of asking, “What did I ever do to you,” say, “Stop!” or “Knock it off!”
Because anytime we respond to bullies with questions, it only re-enforces their behavior.
Here are a few responses to different types of bullying:
The silent treatment
Return the silent treatment
Pull out a book and read it.
Put in earbuds and listen to music.
Verbal Abuse and Bullying
Firmly and authoritatively say,
“Cut it out!”
And put your hand out like a traffic cop.
Bullying disguised as jokes
“Knock it off!”
“Don’t be a moron!”
“Cut it out!”
A bully who judges you or criticizes
“Mind your own business!”
“Nobody asked you!”
Responses to Trivialization
“I’m not having this conversation with you.”
“I’ve heard all I want to hear from you.”
When bullies undermine you
“Knock it off!”
“I’m not having this discussion with you!”
When bullies threaten you
“Stop threatening me!”
“Leave me alone!”
“I don’t want to hear it!”
“Get away from me!”
When bullies make demands or give you orders
“I don’t respond to demands.”
“I don’t take orders.”
These are just a few good responses to the different types of bullying. Remember that you have a right to be treated well and you don’t have to take abuse from anyone.
“Many people think that being spiritual is being positive, but being spiritual is being conscious and aware. To become conscious is a much different thing than to become positive. To become conscious and aware, we must become authentic. Authenticity includes both positive and negative.”
– Unknown –
Minister Aldtric Johnson of the “Be Blesstified” blog is a talented blogger and this is a must read for anyone who is a target of bullying. Not only is his post packed with truths that we don’t often think about, but it’s also pack with good humor! I can tell you that not only did I learn a few things, but I was in stitches as I read it! So please take the time to read the post below, you’ll be so glad you did!
Don’t worry, I’m not going rated ‘R’ on you but, I really think this is going to bless someone. This is a much too common insult in our culture, and yes, the bad grammar is always intentional… “You ain’t worth s**t! Of course, implying that someone doesn’t have the value of feces, crap, refuse, doo-doo, […]WHEN SOMEONE TELLS YOU, “YOU AIN’T WORTH S**T”, YOU TELL THEM THIS… — BE BLESSTIFIED!