It’s Up to You to Protect Yourself

If you’re a target of bullying, can you truly and totally rely on people in authority to help you? Can you rely on them to do something about the bullying you suffer and hold those who are bullying you to account for their horrible behavior? Can you rely on others to bring you justice?

I used to be all about laws against bullying and yes, the idea sounds great. I won’t pretend it doesn’t. However, I’m beginning to gravitate away from making bullying a crime. Why? Because most people aren’t going to protect targets until it happens to them or one of theirs. And even then, that’s still debatable.

Let’s Stop Relying too Much on Others

We cannot rely too much on laws and policies because they’re not worth the paper they’re written on. Entities, such as schools and workplaces, can write all the rules and policies against bullying they want. But until they enforce those policies, they’re only as cheap as the ink and paper administrators use to make them.

What good are laws and policies if these entities don’t enforce them? At what point do we stop relying on the system to protect us and begin protecting ourselves?

Understand that, no matter what anyone says, you don’t have to put up with anyone else’s crap. Therefore, it’s up to you to stand up to bullies and do it properly. And if defending yourself doesn’t work, you have the option to remove yourself from the situation and environment.

We Must Learn to Take Care of Ourselves

Here’s another reason I’m gravitating away from making bullying a crime: It’s because most seasoned bullies have ways of making innocent targets look like the bullies. Therefore, if lawmakers make bullying an imprisonable crime, many innocent targets would end up behind bars. Because, again, bullies, especially narcissistic bullies have a flare for flipping the script and, very convincingly, painting the target as the bad guy.

Too many targets have been conditioned to think that self-defense is wrong and it isn’t. And the people who condition these targets are often bullies themselves. Therefore, if bullies target you for bullying, you must know your enemies. You must do a lot of study and research on bullies, then use the knowledge you gain to outmaneuver them.

Also, yiu must do your own investigation and gather your own evidence. That means detailed documentation. Moreover, you may need to use the last resort and bust the bully in the mouth if all else fails and the bully tries to physically attack you. It’s the only way you can effectively defend yourself. Remember!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

A Thirteenth Takeaway from Being Bullied

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When I posted “My 12 Takeaways from Being Bullied” a while back, perhaps it should’ve been titled with a thirteen instead of a twelve.

Later, another takeaway came to mind that I hadn’t thought of and failed to mention. But before I tell you what it is, allow me to elaborate a little first.

Many of my bullies in school were the most irresponsible and incompetent people I’d ever met. They were spoiled, coddled and babied which caused them to be self-entitled, demanding, arrogant and ignorant. Many of them would get into trouble with the school, juvenile authorities, or the police. And they would do these things repeatedly.

Any time they got themselves in a jam, here come Mom and Dad to the rescue. Their parents would either pull a few strings or pay through the nose to pry little junior’s butt out of the crack he’d gotten it stuck in.

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If they made a bad grade, the parents would come to the school and chew the teacher out for giving the grade. Or they would cheat their way to a passing grade.

Many of my female bullies would end up pregnant, some repeatedly, and their parents would swoop in to fund their abortions to keep her from bringing shame to the family. What’s even funnier is that some of these kids were those no one ever in a million years thought would end up in such predicaments.

This is not to say that I look down on anyone who goes to jail, who has gotten PG out of wedlock or has had an abortion because we all screw up- and screw up BIG- at some point in life. So, understand that I’m not judging anyone, nor am I expressing any views.

My point to this post is this: They never learned to take responsibility for their own lives. And why would they if they were never made to?

I look back now and realize that it’s no wonder most of these people had the attitudes they had.

With that said, here’s my 13th takeaway:

I learned early on that I was the only person responsible for my own safety, success, and future happiness and no one else! And I had to be willing to do whatever it took to bootstrap my way back up. And it was the same with my other siblings.

There were no freebies nor piggyback rides.

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If I screwed up (and I did many times), my parents didn’t bail me out. They stood back, let me fall flat on my tookus, then pick myself up afterward- all by myself! And they did it to teach me responsibility for my actions.

And when you’re a kid, you don’t realize the tough love and good intentions behind it. You don’t see the eventual payoff. You don’t think about how this will mold you into a much better person and make life much easier for you in the future.

All you’re looking at is the here and now. All you see is what’s in front of your face, which is every other kid getting to do whatever wrong they want and getting a pat on the head and a proverbial get-out-of-jail-free card while you’re having the book thrown at you. And no, it’s not fun. In fact, it downright sucks!

But! Though it may not have felt good nor seemed fair at the time, through it all, I learned independence. I learn self-control. I discovered my own strength and that I was unstoppable!

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And if I can go through six long years of brutal bullying and remain standing, then nothing is impossible, and there’s no limit to the heights I can achieve.

The majority of people who are bullied are those who come from families who’ve instilled morals, integrity and the importance of accountability in them. These people are often the brightest, most hard-working, decent, caring, and, most of all, bravest people around.

When you’re bullied, you learn to overcome so many obstacles and move on with life. And you learn by yourself. You learn to fight like the dickens for your safety, well-being, and your happiness. You also learn that if you want anything in life, it’s up to only you to put in the effort to get it.

In closing, I want to thank my bullies for showing me my own strength and for giving me the grit to stay in the fight, to adapt, to overcome, and to win!