I would have liked these guys to respond to my calls. Originally, last week’s post about whether the police should be involved in bullying incidents was going to be a one off. However, this past week or so, I have been reading the book by author Cherie White titled: “From Victim to Victor.” It’s Cherie’s […]
For those of you who don’t know, Michael was also severely bullied at school and in the town he grew up in. Thankfully, he now leads a happy and successful life with his wife, children, and grandchildren in England. It is my hope that he continues to enjoy peace and happiness and that he has even more success with his book, “He Was Weird,” which is a fictional account of his own experiences with bullying.
I am currently reading, “He Was Weird” by Michael D. LeFevre and will post my own review once I’m finished. Like me, Michael is an overcomer and I’m so proud of him. He is another survivor of bullying who went from victim to victor!
When I stopped caring what others thought of me, I stopped apologizing for being me. Instead of hiding my flaws, I started embracing them. Instead of judging myself, I began loving and accepting myself- all aspects, the good and the not-so-good. I started living up to my own standards and experiencing life on my terms.
When I stopped worrying needlessly about what people thought, I set myself free from the chains of fear and anxiety and was no longer a slave to others’ opinions and approval. I no longer felt the need to walk on eggshells and hide my natural humanness. I stopped feeling like I wasn’t good enough and comparing myself to others. I no longer allowed anyone else to dictate what I should say, do, think, or feel.
I began permitting myself to make mistakes because we all make them whether or not some of us admit it. Even better, I started learning from those mistakes and seeing them as life lessons, rather than defects or screw-ups. I finally accepted that I’m not and never will be perfect. Who is?
Silhouettes of hands are breaking the chain—freedom concept.
I learned that like, and dislike is subjective, never personal. I accepted that not everybody was going to like me and was not only okay with it but embraced it! Because if you don’t have people who don’t like you, you’re not doing something right- in one area or another, you’re not your true, authentic self.
I permitted myself to follow my heart, sing, dance, speak my piece, and yes! Even be a little weird. In all this, I took back control of my life and found freedom I’d never known.
The day I stopped caring what people think was the day I got my life back, and slowly but surely, my bullies began to disappear. I began to feel beautiful, smart, and, best of all, equal.
Positive things started coming my way magically and seemingly without effort. I began attracting the right people into my life- genuine people who were loving, caring, uplifting, and inspiring. Existing relationships drastically improved. An abundance of opportunities and blessings flowed into my life. I began seeing wins and successes that were very rewarding and fulfilling, which only encouraged me to stretch my imagination, take more risks, and try new things.
Today, I look back and ask myself why. Why did I even give a crap what my bullies and others- people who meant absolutely jack to me and could do nothing for me, thought of me?
They weren’t my family or friends.
They didn’t pay my bills.
They didn’t sign my paycheck every week.
They didn’t hold my life in their hands.
And they most certainly weren’t people I cared anything about.
I wasted a lot of time and energy, which I can never get back, worrying needlessly about what people thought of me. The truth of it is that most of those people nor their opinions were never even worth my consideration.
The only opinions that matter are those of my God, my family, my husband, and my closest and most trusted friends. And the only things that matter are my faith in God, my dreams, my morals, taking care of the people I love, my ability to be the best me I can be, and my desire to extend kindness and reach out and help those who need me. Anyone or anything outside of that is irrelevant.
Bullies are cowards, but Cyber-bullies are the biggest, most pathetic ones. They sit in the safety of their homes (or their mom’s basements, attics, and backyard sheds), hide behind fake profiles and screen names, and troll the internet and social media in search of victims.
If you’ve ever dealt with a cyber-bully, I knew how you feel, and I understand. Words do have power and it’s easy to be hurt when anyone attacks you, online or off. I, too used to get upset and feel bad back in the early days of the internet when I’d look at my instant messages and find that some idiot had sent me a flamer.
However, today, I’ve learned to see it for what it is and the cyber-bullies for who they are. And that in itself can be a real boost to the self-esteem.
When I think of the term “cyber-bully,” I instantly get a mental picture of one of two types of people:
1. Some broke, unemployed and shirtless fat guy sitting and typing on a computer in his granny’s basement, while stuffing his face with Cheetos and sporting a man-bun.
2. A skinny, pimple-faced, bespectacled incel who only trolls the net to compensate for his lack of sex and a social life in the real world.
Any time I have a cyber-bully who’s hot on my trail, and I occasionally do, one of those pathetic pictures immediately pops up in my mind, and I can’t help but chuckle to myself. Because cyber-bullies often use fake profiles or screen names with either a blank photo or one that’s fake, it only shows that they’re faceless cowards and not to be taken seriously.
These losers talk so big and tough behind that keyboard- oh, yeah! They’re real badasses online, but you can bet that if they ever saw you on the street, they wouldn’t have the sack to step up. So, ask yourself these questions.
Should we take these wusses so seriously?
Should we give these worthless schmucks the power to make us feel bad about ourselves?
Should we value their useless gibberish?
Though I can’t speak for anyone else, I have a hard time valuing the worthless opinions of anyone who doesn’t have a name or face. Any person who’s a Rambo in cyberspace but a George McFly on the street, I can only take with a horselaugh and a grain of salt.
You either have a big, brass pair or you don’t.
It takes a real zero to spend even a few hours a day trolling other users. You just know that the person has no ambition, no prospects, and no life. Understand that when you’re cyber-bullied, often you’re dealing with a poor soul who is bored, lonely, and miserable. And the only way he/she can feel good about themselves and have power is to do what they’re doing now.
Therefore, if any cyber-bully attacks you online, you shouldn’t put a lot of stock into their opinions. Their words don’t carry a lot of weight. Understand that cyber-bullies are often people who flame others because they’re insecure, self-loathing, and have nothing going for them.
lazy big fat man sitting at sofa play tablet all day no activity unhealthy lifestyle bad habit
Online is the only way these pathetic people can have a social life, and that alone speaks volumes about the kind of people they are and the crappy lives they lead. So, again, should you take these losers seriously? Are they worth getting angry or depressed over? These idiots can’t make you feel bad about yourself unless you allow them to.
Though words have power, and they can hurt you, you should always consider the source. Because in truth, most cyber-bullies live miserable existences and should only be pitied.
I look back now and realize that my bullies were in constant fear of losing control and dominance over anyone they deemed inferior. I say this because I remember that anytime I or any other target at Oakley High, countered their insults, or had our own opinion about anything, the bullies and their followers would be quick to shout us down.
They would demand that we “shut up,” or “sit down and be quiet.” They would also threaten bodily harm or instigate violent arguments to intimidate and shut down anyone who dared to exercise their rights to speak freely, therefore, asserting their dominance.
Targets were highly discouraged from having their own thoughts, opinions, or views. I also remember during a class discussion, when a teacher asked me what my thoughts were on the subject we were discussing, I only had time to get the words, “I think…” out of my mouth when another girl shouted, “You think nothing! Shut up!”
Naturally, the teacher reamed her out for the outburst. However, the others only laughed at the teacher, the teacher went silent, then continued on with the discussion and allowed me to finish my answer.
There was nothing a target could speak about that one of the bullies wouldn’t shout down and attack them with. For example:
1. Target: “I don’t feel so good. I think I need to call home.”
Bullies and classmates: “You ‘ain’t’ sick! You’re just trying to get out of coming to school when your dumb ass needs to learn something useful!”
2. Target: “I’m afraid that…”
Bullies and classmates: “Shut up! You don’t have nothin’ to be afraid of! You’re just a big chicken!”
3. Target to target: “I need the hall pass to go use the restroom.”
Bullies and classmates: “You ‘ain’t’ goin’ nowhere! Shut up and sit down!”
If a target put up their hand and walked away from a confrontation, one of the bullies would either physically step in front of him/her and block them from leaving, grab the target by the back of his shirt and pull him back, or follow close behind them while shoving them forward while screaming, “Don’t turn your back and walk away from me, (expletive),” or “Turn around and look at me when I talk to you!” And If a target ignored a group of bullies, those bullies would then want to fight him.
It was as if the bullies had grown desperate and were panicking. And now that I know better, I realize that that’s exactly what they were doing- feeling desperate and panicking. And they were doing it out of fear.
So, anytime bullies yell and scream at you because you spoke or because you showed any form of opposition to their abuse, realize that it’s because they fear losing their dominance. Bullies instinctively know that if they lose control over a target, they lose face and look weak in front of the others around them. They also realize that if their target has the guts to challenge their power, then it just might encourage others to follow suit and bullies can’t have that.
Bullies must have their targets, not only to get sick pleasure and entertainment from, or to wield dominance over. They must also have them as examples to show everyone else that there will be brutal consequences if they show any form of dissent. Targets are used to keep everyone else in line too.
So, always remember this, and look for a way to use the bullies’ fear to your advantage. You have more power than you know.
I’ve written about the few teachers who bully students. But what about the teachers- good teachers, the best and the brightest, who get bullied?
Teaching is not only a thankless but also dangerous job in times like these. In my opinion, teachers should get hazard pay, maybe even combat pay! With the school climate what it is today, teachers risk being harmed, maimed, also murdered, and many don’t make it to retirement.
I’ve seen many teachers quit and opt for second careers because of the many issues in schools and communities. I can’t say I blame them. Teachers get paid a pittance for what they must put up with and they don’t get the support from parents, principals, and higher school officials they did decades ago.
And teacher’s unions are a complete joke! They don’t care about the kids much less the teachers. In my opinion, teacher’s unions are a big money racket and political activist group! I wouldn’t be a teacher if someone offered me triple the salary!
Along with crappy pay, teachers are held responsible for the poor performance and failing grades of their students. And let’s be real here. Many kids are lazy, and many parents are too busy being the child’s BFF rather than being a parent and making their children hit the books. So why is this the teacher’s fault?
Teachers also have a truckload of homework themselves, often having to grade test papers and assignments at home on their own time. And if parents can’t buy the necessary school supplies for their children to bring to class, teachers end up having to dig into their own pockets to provide for these kids. Couple that with the shoddy pay, and these teachers get a pretty raw deal.
Child abuse with the eye of a young boy or girl with a single tear crying due to the fear of violence or depression caused by hunger and poverty and being afraid of bullying at school.
Many teachers also get bullied, not only by their fellow teachers and staff but by students and their parents as well. And when it’s the child who bullies the teacher, how’s that teacher supposed to handle it effectively if he/she doesn’t have support from the principal, the school district, and parents?
A lot of kids are disrespectful and unruly these days. Many of today’s parents have an overinflated sense of their own entitlement, so it makes sense that they would raise kids with the same pathetic attitude.
Lots of times, the parents of these kids will overlook the behavior at school and, yes- even encourage it because they feel that their child is “entitled” and that the teacher transgressed against their kid by disciplining him.
Also, schools and their districts often encourage teachers to give the kid a passing grade even if the student doesn’t earn it, all in an attempt to keep the school’s performance ratings up and the government off their backs. If the teacher happens to be an honest person and doesn’t comply, she’s fired.
I’ve both heard and read of instances when the teacher disciplined a student for disruptive behavior. The teacher only made the child leave the classroom and stand in the hall or sent the kid to the principal’s office, and an angry and hostile parent confronted him/her later.
And when a student failed a test, the teacher gave the kid a bad grade, only to have an enraged parent storm into their classroom the next day, demanding to know why. Some parents go so far as to threaten physical harm!
Understand that kids aren’t stupid, especially kids who bully. These kids are often socially intelligent beyond their years, and they pick up on these things- things that other kids their age often miss. These children know that these days, teachers can’t do much about their bad behavior, and they take full advantage of it. It’s just what kids do.
Pushing boundaries to see what you can get away with is only a part of being a kid. Kids do either what their parents allow or aren’t aware of, and they imitate what they see at home and what they see peers do. And teachers don’t get near the support they should. Is it any wonder there’s a mass shortage of teachers in this country?
It takes a special kind of person to be a teacher in today’s world. If you’re one of those brave, caring, and awesome people, know you have my utmost respect.
Know that the hard work and sacrifices you make haven’t gone unnoticed. You are one in a million and though you may not know it, I and so many others salute you!
It’s when you don’t feel comfortable around a particular person. Understand that just because you prefer not to be around someone doesn’t necessarily make you a bully and you may have legitimate and justifiable reasons for it. Let’s face it, we like who we like and we dislike who we dislike.
What if the person creeps you out? What if you just don’t feel safe around the person? What if the person is toxic and constantly dogs your mood?
Naturally, you will try to avoid this person. In fact, no sensible and healthy human being would want to be around such a person. But be prepared for a few clueless others to throw the label of “bully” in your face.
Know that, anytime the internal alarm in the pit of your gut sounds off because you sense that something is “off” about a certain person, you have every right to ensure your own safety. You not only have a right, but an obligation to yourself to steer clear of the suspicious person.
Today, we live in a culture of fruit-bats who are so quick to cry “bully” anytime you listen to your own intuition and avoid a potentially dangerous person. Be that as it may, you still have a right to protect yourself from creeps, pedophiles, rapists, murderers, grifters, and other such nefarious people.
And you can bet that those “clueless others” who judge you wouldn’t stay around someone who gave them the heebie-jeebies either, only they’d never tell you. Sadly, the world is full of hypocrites.
And the unspoken messages these people send are clear:
“Safety and protection for us but not for you.”
“It’s bad when you do it but it’s okay when we do it!”
Don’t let these types of people confuse you. Realize that you don’t have to justify yourself to them or anyone! When you’re only trying to keep yourself safe physically or psychologically, no explanation is needed! And if others unfairly judge you for being uncomfortable around someone, then perhaps, you should really piss them off by adding their names to your checklist of idiots to avoid.
Again, not wanting to be around someone isn’t bullying. You are not seeking to hurt them, you just prefer not to be near them for your own peace of mind. It’s only when we seek to repeatedly and ritually harm that person that it crosses the line into bullying.
Uh-oh! Here they go again! It seems that every time you as much as blink, someone else has got their honker in your business- telling you how you ought to do things, how you should act, telling you how you should live your life and having the chutzpah to think they can make your decisions for you. Let’s face it, the world is full of nosy people.
And if you are a target of bullying, you will have others trying to invade your life, your personal business, and your boundaries. And let me tell you, when it seems that no one will let you lead your own life in peace, life can go from enjoyable to unbearable real quick. That’s why you must be assertive in cases like this.
Understand that you can’t please everyone and you shouldn’t even try to.
Put simply, the only ones you must live your life for is God, your family, your closest and most trusted friends, and yourself.
Too many people care what the wrong people think of them- the wrong people, meaning bullies, toxic people- people they don’t like. Realize that you aren’t living their life, you’re living yours. So, you must make decisions that best fit the situations and circumstances surrounding your life.
You must do what’s best for you, not what’s best for them, or, rather, what others want you to do. Half the time, they don’t even know what they want nor what’s best for them. So, how can they claim to know what’s best for you if they haven’t a clue what’s best for their own lives?
You must do what makes you healthier, what makes you feel good, and what makes you whole. You must do what fulfills you, not other people. Don’t worry about them. It’s up to them to make their lives easier and pleasant. It’s not your responsibility. Just the same, it’s up to you to make your life better, it’s not their place to do it.
There will always be others who want to insert their two cents where it isn’t needed, and they’ll be downright abusive about it. They’ll attempt to order you around or deride you over your life-decisions.
There will be those who will try to run your life and you should be prepared for it. But know that when they do this, they’re stepping out of their place, and you have every right to tell them to go kick rocks.
The old, popular 1990’s idiom, “All up in your koolaid and don’t know the flavor” wasn’t coined for nothing. And the sad thing is that most people don’t bother to lend a hand but they’re real quick to point a finger.
Understand that we each have responsibility over our own lives. Stop trying to spare the feelings of those who insist on sticking a nose where it doesn’t belong. Tell these people to keep their snouts out of your business. Your life is yours to lead, no one else’s. So, stop worrying about what others think and say of you. They may not like the way you live or think, but that’s their problem, not yours. Your life and the life-choices you make are no one’s business but yours.