3 More Reasons You Should Write About It

Many targets of bullying don’t speak about the bullying they suffer and for many reasons. They may feel a degree of shame and fear that if they talk about it, others, including their parents, will think that they’re weak. Another reason is that if they speak up about or report the bullying, they might suffer retaliation from the bullies. Or they may fear that no one will believe them. Some targets worry they might be blamed for the abuse they suffer.

1. Writing about the bullying and abuse you suffer helps you to detox.

It’s very important to use writing or other healthy approaches to detoxing some of the negative and painful experiences out of the body. Otherwise it festers and can lead to negative thinking, bad habits, and even lead us to abuse ourselves.

2. Writing about it gives you a voice.

It gives you a chance to be heard. When people target you for bullying, your abusers will use everything in their arsenal to silence you. Understand and by silencing you, they get to bully you freely and with impunity.

3. Writing about the bullying allows you to keep a record of the bullying you suffer.

It gives you evidence ahead of time should you ever have to take the matter to court. When you document the bullying you suffer, using the 5-W (what, who, when, where, why), you are able to establish a clear pattern. Therefore, you will more likely present your case in a more understandable way, rather than if you verbally presented it.

I realize that writing can be tedious at times. It takes a lot of patience to write it down, especially if it’s painful to think about. However, anything worthwhile requires some discomfort and yes, even a little pain.

But the benefits outweigh the sacrifice because writing about it puts you in control!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Writing About Bullying Can Keep the Bullies Away

I have to share this great news as I believe it will help others. Now I can’t speak for other targets or survivors of bullying because each bullying experience and situation is different.

However, from my own experiences and perspective, I can say that writing and blogging about bullying, and the tactics, motives, mindsets, and dark personalities of bullies has definitely kept the bullies away.

Word of my writing, books and blog has definitely gotten around and I haven’t heard from any of those who wanted to confront me when I first started writing and I couldn’t be happier about it.

It sure looks as if my writing about bullying has protected and shielded me from these types of people because bullies don’t try to provoke me anymore. In fact, they stay way away and I can finally relax, live in peace, and flourish.

And I’ve gotten word that the bullies know that it’s in their best interests to stay away. They know that if anything were to happen to me, there will be a lot of people who would come around asking questions, and they would know who to go to.

I feel that through my writing, I finally took my life back and I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome it feels! I can finally be myself, stand in my truth, and, most importantly, be safe!

The best part is that it’s easier to help others take their lives back too!

And I’m thankful not only to those who have supported me during my writing journey, but first and foremost, to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ because, without Him, none of this would even be possible!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

What’s the Difference between Bitterness and Acknowledgement of Past Victimization?

Telling you to “get over it” is typical of bullies. The reason they tell you this is to shame and to silence you. In telling you to “let it go,” bullies make you out to be unstable or a drama-filled person who carries a grudge and can’t leave the past behind.

I don’t hate my classmates. I thank them. Because if it weren’t for my classmates, I might have never found my niche and the thing I enjoy doing the most. In their torment of me all those years ago, they inspired me to become a champion for the bullied, an author of 4 books, and a blogger whose niche is bullying. So, I thank them from the bottom of my heart. In truth, I can never thank them enough.

Here’s the thing. There’s a difference between holding a grudge and accepting that you suffered abuse. You can acknowledge what happened without holding onto bitterness and hate.

Grudges, bitterness, and hate – unhealthy

Grudges are unhealthy. A person who carries a grudge has anger, resentment, and hate boiling inside them and will often seek revenge. A grudge-holder handles any past victimhood he suffered in very destructive ways.

People who hold grudges only let the past hold them back from growing, from enjoying new friendships and relationships with others, and from success. Because a grudge holder carries so much anger and bitterness, they only repel people who would be potential friends and partners. They only attract more negativity and adversity into their lives.

Acknowledgment of Past Victimization – healthy

On the other hand, acknowledging or accepting prior victimization and how it hurt you is one of the healthiest things you can do. The person who does this doesn’t hold a grudge and doesn’t hate the people who abused her. She only feels sorry for them.

Survivors who accept the past realize that there can be valuable lessons learned from being a past target of bullying and abuse and often use it as their rocket fuel. Like I have done, they do years of research into bullying and into bullies’ mindsets and the victims they select. They consistently search for answers as to why bullies bully, what bullies look for in victims, and much, much more.

They then speak out about their experiences and the pain they suffered to bring awareness to the world- consciousness that, yes, such evil does exist. A former victim who accepts the past freely talks of and spreads awareness of bullying and abuse only grows and acquires wisdom. She then uses that wisdom to reach out to others who endure the same or prevent others from experiencing the same pain.

You would be surprised how rewarding this is to a survivor. Through using past pain for good, many survivors have achieved healing and gotten closure. Also, these people often make fulfilling and life-long friendships and connections through their work toward their cause.

Expect your old tormentors to come for you if you raise awareness.

Sadly though, it’s easy to get these two things confused. Former classmates from school have accused me of being bitter and full of hate. They have blasted me for having the gall to speak out and write about the brutality and the vile and downright devilish behavior they displayed years ago. Luckily, I see right through them.

‘You see? Even years after the fact, abusers despise it when you take the pain they caused you in the past and turn it into something that can help people. And when you take something that was meant to defeat you and turn it into something that helps others and only makes you stronger, oh man, do they hate that!

All that time, they tried to tear you down! All that combined effort! And still! You didn’t drown! You only took it and turned it into something positive, and all that work they put forth to bury you ended up wasted! Understand that bullies become furious when they realize they weren’t able to destroy you.

Anytime you speak out about any past abuse you suffered, it should be not only accepted but expected that your old tormentors will come for you, telling you to get over it. Not only are they angry at you because you didn’t crash and burn, but they’re also very much afraid that you’ll expose them somehow or that you’ll succeed. Don’t take it personally.

Instead, take it as confirmation of their guilt- as proof that they were and still are the ones who have the problem. When old bullies bash you for speaking out, they only out themselves. Don’t let them silence you, nor allow them to stop you from reaching out to those who need to hear your story because you might end up saving a life!

Turn your pain into power! Be a friend and advocate for the bullied!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

4 Things Bullies and Abusers Do When You Finally Speak Out About Their Abuse

If you’re a survivor of bullying and abuse and you finally begin speaking out about your bullies and their abusive behavior, you instantly put them on high alert. You put them in defense mode, and they will do one, some, or all of four things:

1. Lash out at you. This is, perhaps, the most revealing. Many bullies and abusers will go into a tirade. They’ll scream and yell at you, they’ll curse you out and call you the ugliest names- everything but a child of God. I know it’s difficult to do, but don’t panic and don’t be afraid.

See it for what it is- you just forced them to reveal their true colors because when your bullies (or former bullies) attack you by getting enraged and flying off the handle, that’s when you know you’ve busted them. Or, more appropriately, you’ve forced them to bust themselves! Yay for you!

2. Deny their abuse, and sometimes to your face. Lots of times, bullies and abusers may confront you either calmly or aggressively, claiming they never bullied or mistreated you. They may even through out subtle hints that you must’ve misinterpreted them or that you “have everything misconstrued.” Again, no matter how calmly or subtly they do it, this is gaslighting and it speaks volumes about their character.

3. Defame you. The second you see their bullying and abuse for what it is and call it out, is the second bullies and abusers lose control over you. If these people can no longer control you, they will control your image in the eyes of others. And they will tell everyone who will listen what a lowdown piece of garbage you are.

But, as difficult as it may be, don’t let it phase you. Realize that they’re panicking and in a mad rush to do some damage control because they’re afraid that word about their true nature just might get around and cause them to lose face.

Most of the time, your former bullies and abusers will tell others that you’re “crazy” and that you’re having some sort of mental episode. Again, they’re only revealing their true colors because if you weren’t telling the truth, they wouldn’t care and wouldn’t react so desperately. So, always see this as an admission of guilt.

4. Avoid you. These types won’t bother you. Instead, they’ll avoid you like the plague because they’re scared. Understand that this is the best outcome because if they’re avoiding you, you don’t have to worry about them abusing and bullying you again. Why? Because they know they’ve been found out and that word of their abuse is already very quickly circulating.

So, the last thing they want is to do anything that has even a scant possibility of making them look guilty because they fear their reputations are already on shaky ground. Although these people are cowards, they’re making the smartest move by simply staying away from you and avoiding even mentioning your name.

However, be advised that not all people who avoid you will stay away from you for long, they may avoid you long enough to defame you to others or they just might be secretly plotting revenge against you for daring to open your mouth. Different bullies and abusers react in different ways and may use any or all four of the above defensive measures.

You must realize that bullies and abusers, even those who are formerly so, count on your silence and they detest, or more appropriately, fear being exposed. Exposure is the worst thing that could happen to them because they risk losing respect in the community and other people seeing them for the monsters they are.

Bullies make everything about appearances and when you will back the curtain, you make liars and hypocrites out of them.

So, naturally, they’re going to either attack you, avoid you, or both. They may make statements such as:

“Well, we were just kids then.”

“But that’s all water under the bridge.”

“Just let bygones be bygones.”

Or

”Just let sleeping dogs lie.”

They may tell you to “get over it” or accuse you of bringing up old stuff. Understand that any time people make these statements, their main goal is to shut you up.

But they have other objectives as well:

1. To minimize their past brutality and the impact it all had on you

2. To make you look like a whiner who just can’t “let the past go.”

3. To cover their backsides and minimize any dents to their reputations or any backlash they might receive.

Again, don’t be afraid. Instead, see it as they’re unwittingly revealing themselves and let them go at it. Let them launch their personal attacks.

Before I close, I’d like to make another huge point: When you speak out about your bullies and their abuse, you force them to explain themselves. Anyone who must explain and justify themselves or their behavior is never in a powerful position.

So, in forcing your bullies to explain themselves you instantly snatch them out of their position of power and move them into a vulnerable position. In other words, you automatically turn the tables and leave the bullies in a very helpless and subordinate place. In short, you strip them of power. Ouch!

In forcing the bully to explain their past or present behavior, you instantly remove their “authority”- their power because neither power nor authority ever explains itself. It doesn’t have to.

Hence the reason bullies despise even the thought of having to give explanations because it puts them in a weak and subordinate position.

No wonder bullies get crazy when you out them.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Always Speak Your Truth No Matter What They May Call You

Many targets of bullying have had their voices stolen from them. They’re intimidated into keeping silent while others abuse and take advantage of them.

But you can’t bite your tongue forever because it will eventually come spewing out. You will snap and the stress will be as lava pouring out of an erupting volcano. This will become a vicious cycle.

Here’s how it progresses:

The target is calm, and people see this calmness as a weakness. Bullies began to notice how laid back the target is and presume that if they violate his boundaries, there will be no consequences. So, the abuse starts subtly at first- so subtly that the victim doesn’t even notice he’s being abused.

1.Bullies and bystanders: “We’re sorry we forgot to send you an invite to the party Saturday night.”


Target: “That’s okay. Maybe next time.”

Target is mildly stressed.

What the target thinks: “Really? You’re sorry? That’s the fourth time already.”

 

2. Bullies and bystanders: “You’re such a loser! When are you going to realize that and change your ways?”

Target: “I’m sorry. I don’t want any trouble with you guys.”

Target is angry but manages to hide it.

What the target thinks: “I’m not a loser! I wish you’d go somewhere else and leave me alone.”

3. Bullies and bystanders: “Can’t you do anything right? What the hell is wrong with you?”

Target: “What the hell did I do to you?”

Target is very angry but still manages to stuff it down and bury it.

Bullies and bystanders: ”Just forget it!”

Target: “Fine.”

What the target thinks: “No! You brought it up! Now let’s finish it!”

4. Bystander: “How are you?”

Target is angry and depressed.

Target: “I’m fine”

What the target thinks: I’m angry and depressed, thanks to you!”

 

5. Bullies and bystanders: “You’re so weak! We’re going to destroy you!”

Target is anxious, furious, and upset.

Target: “Why are you doing this to me? What have I ever done to any of you?”

What the target thinks: “I’ve had enough of your bullsh** and I’m about to go off on all of you! Now back the hell up!”

6. Bullies and bystanders: “Come here! We want to talk to you!”

Target is enraged. And can’t hold back any longer. This is the last straw.

Target: “(Yells) Go f*** yourselves! I have nothing to say to any of you! Now get the f*** out of here and don’t come back! I’m sick of you!”

What the target thinks: “Oh my God! This is so out of character for me! What’s happening to me!”

Bullies and bystanders: “Oh my God! Here we go again! He’s going crazy! He’s lost it! See! I told you he was a nutcase! See? He’s going off his rocker again! Hahahaha!”

And the bullying escalates because the target showed his ugly side and dared to respond to the bullies and their audience in kind. Now, people are using the target’s perfectly justified and normal human reaction to demonize him and make him look as if he’s mentally unstable.

This is why targets must speak out when the bullying first begins. I can’t stress this enough. Realize that these scenarios represent a pattern with bullies and their followers.

Bullies will push you and push you. They will keep digging at you until you snap on them. Then once you bite back, everyone is suddenly offended, and you are deemed the bad guy!

I want you to understand that this is all a part of the bully’s playbook. The more you know, the better you can predict their behavior, and the more you’ll be able to beat these monsters at their own game.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Why It’s Important to Report Bullying When It Happens to You

 I can’t stress enough the importance of reporting the bullying you suffer if you’re a target. Yes, speaking out is scary and yes, it involves taking a huge risk of being retaliated against.

But understand that anytime your bullies retaliate against you for reporting them- anytime they seek to punish you for daring to open your mouth, it only goes to show that they’re only scared to death!

It also shows that they’re desperate, but, more than that, it shows that they’re guilty! Because if they weren’t guilty, they wouldn’t need to retaliate and they wouldn’t need to try and silence you.

Most people still haven’t caught onto this yet, but behind every bully’s retaliation for a target’s reporting their abuse is the fear of being exposed and the knowledge that they’re guilty.

Understand that, though members of authority and bystanders you speak out to may not want to listen to your pleas for help, the truth is that they can never unhear what you’ve told them.

And though they all may cover for the bully and deny they saw any bullying take place, they can still never unsee it. The important thing is for it to reach their eyes and ears.

Think about this. Warplanes always get bombarded with the most flack any time they’re flying over their target- this is when the battle is at it’s absolute worst! You see, the closer the plane gets to the target, the more the enemy will escalate their defensive attacks.

It’s the same with bullies, any time you’re over the target and pegging them on their BS, any time the bullies suspect that you’ve got their number, they will hurl all kinds of insane attacks on you. So, expect it, accept it, and, most importantly, prepare for it.

And if you ever find yourself in this kind of situation, don’t let them shake you. Always remember the warplane analogy and you’ll better withstand the onslaught. Even better, you’ll be able to call it out when it happens.

You’d be surprised how much easier it is to fight against something once you can put a name on it and explain it. A problem that you can put a name on and explain clearly is a problem you can more easily solve.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Schools Who Retaliate Against Parents for Speaking Out and Protecting Their Children Against Bullying

bullying stops here

I’ve read and heard many stories of schools retaliating against parents for speaking out about the bullying their child suffers while attending class, and for their (the parents’) refusal to keep silent. These stories are heartbreaking.

Understand that school officials are elected officials- politicians. And schools will protect their reputations by any means.

Here are ways schools try to hide bullying:

1. They vehemently deny bullying in their facilities.
2. They protect bullies.

bullying physical
3. They don’t report bullying incidents to the child’s parents and refuse to show any videos of bullying or fights to the bullied child’s parents.
4. They answer any questions with blanket statements or refuse to comment altogether.
5. They threaten to call Children’s Services and have the target removed from their home.
6. They have the parents banned from the school.
7. They have the parent arrested.
8. They threaten to have the child reported to the juvenile authorities.
9. They have the child arrested and sent to juvie.

Schools have more power than we realize, and if their reputation is at risk, some will do anything to silence the bullied child and their parents and shut down any awareness of any bullying that goes on.

Also, understand that schools have Sovereign Immunity and will hide behind it. Sovereign Immunity is the stipulation that protects a federal or state government entity from litigation. Therefore, it’s difficult to file a lawsuit against a school or school district. Lawsuits against schools have been filed and, yes, even won. But the statistics of such are low.

Here are things you can do as a parent:

1. Keep speaking out- through social media, word of mouth, and even the news media if you have to.
2. If you live in a one-party consent area, plant a recording device somewhere on your child to record any bullying.

3. Save any emails to and from the school. You’ll want to leave a trail.
4. Document everything in detail and have your child do their own documenting. Include date, time, what happened, and the names of bullies, bystanders, and school staff. Be sure and write down where it happened and if possible, why it happened. Also, jot down any events that led up to the bullying. Include as many details as possible!!!!!

It’s always best to keep good records and keep them in a safe and undisclosed place!!!

Letter to My Bullies- I’m No Longer Afraid of You

Continued from Part 2…

Also, the fact that no one cared about the truth nor even asked is only further proof that you all bullied and mobbed out of pure spite, ignorance, and stupidity. And the same three afflictions is why a few teachers, who followed your lead, also bullied me to the point of considering a lawsuit. A few even escalated the vitriol because they saw me as a threat.

Those few so-called teachers were afraid that I would file citing discrimination based on a perceived disability. Why? Because they found out about the daily journals, I kept each school day, documenting everything! And I’ll never forget their reactions (and those of some of you) each time they saw me writing.

It’s hilarious when I look back now because some of you seemed pretty desperate and afraid!

And the few spineless, undeserving losers I was such a fool to call friends? (Scoff) They didn’t have the stones to have my back, which means it’s safe to say that I didn’t have any friends at OHS. So, should it matter to any of you if I speak up or stay silent?

I can be honest about it now because none of you are anyone I need to impress, and I surely don’t owe any of you anything- not even respect because you did nothing to earn it. I’ll say again. You get no respect from me.

As for the few rotten apples who called themselves teachers, I realize they only fell for your lies and smear campaigns. These teachers, who were supposed to be adults, but only regressed into children by joining you in your evil and spiteful attacks, weren’t smart at all, only educated idiots. They were also too lazy to look for the facts.

Far be it from me to put their names out there because I won’t go that low. But I already suspect you know which teachers I’m referring to. So, I’ll leave it there.

With you, the excuse was always, “I’m afraid of her!” or “She’s crazy!” But the reality was that I was much more afraid of you than you ever were of me. But deep down, most of you were already aware of it.

Oh yeah. I know and you do too. I knew it back then; only I was too afraid to voice it because I knew what most of you would do if I opened my mouth. Oh, yes. You got that one for free. I was afraid of you all back then.

But the difference between then and now is that I’m not anymore. Now that I’m a grown woman, I’m not afraid of any of you.

I don’t have to see any of you. You can’t touch me now. So I can say pretty much anything I want. And I say it loud and proud. Even better, I make speaking out about people like you my livelihood, my bread and butter, and my niche!

Therefore, in bullying me, you were only paving my path for me. In trying to instill fear, you only encouraged me. In trying to keep me down, you only uplifted me! And in turning others against me back then, you ultimately made me truer friends now than I ever could have imagined back then.

Now, you must ask yourselves what good all that meanness did in the long run, and where did it get you? It certainly didn’t help you reach the top! It didn’t get you fame or fortune because none of you ever went anywhere.

Continued in Part 4…

Bitterness and Acknowledgement of Past Victimization- What’s the Difference?

Telling you to “get over it” is typical of bullies. The reason they tell you this is to shame and to silence you. In telling you to “let it go,” bullies make you out to be unstable or a drama-filled person who carries a grudge and can’t leave the past behind.

I don’t hate my classmates. I thank them. Because if it weren’t for my classmates, I might have never found my niche and the thing I enjoy doing the most. In their torment of me all those years ago, they inspired me to become a champion for the bullied, an author of 4 books, and a blogger whose niche is bullying. So, I thank them from the bottom of my heart. In truth, I can never thank them enough.

Here’s the thing. There’s a difference between holding a grudge and accepting that you suffered abuse. You can acknowledge what happened without holding onto bitterness and hate.

Grudges, bitterness, and hate – unhealthy

Grudges are unhealthy. A person who carries a grudge has anger, resentment, and hate boiling inside them and will often seek revenge. A grudge-holder handles any past victimhood he suffered in very destructive ways.

People who hold grudges only let the past hold them back from growing, from enjoying new friendships and relationships with others, and from success. Because a grudge holder carries so much anger and bitterness, they only repel people who would be potential friends and partners. They only attract more negativity and adversity into their lives.

Acknowledgment of Past Victimization – healthy

On the other hand, acknowledging or accepting prior victimization and how it hurt you is one of the healthiest things you can do. The person who does this doesn’t hold a grudge and doesn’t hate the people who abused her. She only feels sorry for them.

Survivors who accept the past realize that there can be valuable lessons learned from being a past target of bullying and abuse and often use it as their rocket fuel. Like I have done, they do years of research into bullying and into bullies’ mindsets and the victims they select. They consistently search for answers as to why bullies bully, what bullies look for in victims, and much, much more.

They then speak out about their experiences and the pain they suffered to bring awareness to the world- consciousness that, yes, such evil does exist. A former victim who accepts the past freely talks of and spreads awareness of bullying and abuse only grows and acquires wisdom. She then uses that wisdom to reach out to others who endure the same or prevent others from experiencing the same pain.

You would be surprised how rewarding this is to a survivor. Through using past pain for good, many survivors have achieved healing and gotten closure. Also, these people often make fulfilling and life-long friendships and connections through their work toward their cause.

Expect your old tormentors to come for you if you raise awareness.

Sadly though, it’s easy to get these two things confused. Former classmates from school have accused me of being bitter and full of hate. They have blasted me for having the gall to speak out and write about the brutality and the vile and downright devilish behavior they displayed years ago. Luckily, I see right through them.

‘You see? Even years after the fact, abusers despise it when you take the pain they caused you in the past and turn it into something that can help people. And when you take something that was meant to defeat you and turn it into something that helps others and only makes you stronger, oh man, do they hate that!

All that time, they tried to tear you down! All that combined effort! And still! You didn’t drown! You only took it and turned it into something positive, and all that work they put forth to bury you ended up wasted! Understand that bullies become furious when they realize they weren’t able to destroy you.

Anytime you speak out about any past abuse you suffered, it should be not only accepted but expected that your old tormentors will come for you, telling you to get over it. Not only are they angry at you because you didn’t crash and burn, but they’re also very much afraid that you’ll expose them somehow or that you’ll succeed. Don’t take it personally.

Instead, take it as confirmation of their guilt- as proof that they were and still are the ones who have the problem. When old bullies bash you for speaking out, they only out themselves. Don’t let them silence you, nor allow them to stop you from reaching out to those who need to hear your story because you might end up saving a life!

Turn your pain into power! Be a friend and advocate for the bullied!

Common Responses Targets Get When They Speak Out

If you’re a target of bullying, people will naturally expect you not to open your mouth about the harassment. Not only your bullies themselves but often bystanders and authority will automatically side with the bullies.

But, it still doesn’t mean that you stay silent because standing up for yourself shows bravery and strength and you’re well within your rights to do so.

However, I want you to be prepared for the following hurtful responses you’re likely to get when you finally do begin speaking against the mistreatment.

Here they are:

1. “You’re being too sensitive.” Understand that when people respond this way, they’re only shifting the blame to you and trying to shame you into keeping quiet about it. People who tell you this might be friends or followers of the bullies or have a personal interest in keeping you quiet, such as the reputation of the school or company, the bullies may be kin to them somehow, or the bullies may be perceived as “good for the school’s or company’s reputation.” But don’t be ashamed to speak out. You must keep the pressure on even if the bullying gets worse. Understand that things usually get worse before they get better. But they will get better.

2. “Just Ignore Them.” This never works, as bullies only become angry at being ignored and escalate the bullying. Or, they may mistake ignoring for fear. And if a bully gets in your face, how do you ignore that? It’s impossible. You might think that the best way to handle it is to put your hand up and walk around the bully and it IS a good response. But how do you know the bully won’t come after you and attack you from behind once you’ve walked past them?

Understand that when people tell you to ignore the bully, what this means is that they either don’t want to hear about it, don’t want to deal with it, or don’t have any answers themselves.

3. “Toughen up.” Again. The people who could help you don’t want to get involved. So they put it all on you. By telling you to toughen up, they’re shifting the blame onto you and trying to shame you into staying silent. Also, when you tell a target to toughen up, you’re only asking for things between the target and bully to escalate because the target will take it as a green light to tell the bully to shove it up his you-know-where or haul off and knock the idiot’s block off. Not that it’s a bad thing because, in my opinion, bullies deserve a good whack in the nose.

But those in authority have no right to tell the target to toughen up, then turn around and punish him when he finally does.

Respond to this by saying, “No. It’s not about toughing up. It’s about asserting my right to be treated with decency and I don’t have to take that mess.” And when you say it, say it with conviction.

4. “Get over it.”

5. “Don’t be a crybaby.”

6. “Stop whining.”

7. “Don’t be a tattletale.”

All of the above nuggets of advice are only meant to shame and silence you. Bullying is no different from any other form of abuse. It thrives on secrecy. If you don’t speak out about it, the bullying and abuse will only continue, even escalate.

Defending their rights concept. Silhouette of hands pointing, denouncing the hand that defends their rights

I realize that getting these kinds of responses makes you feel even worse and there’s a temptation to clam up and burrow back into your hole. But don’t! You must refuse to keep quiet about it!

Keep speaking out about it. When people give you any of the above responses, that’s when you should only double down, dig your heels in and speak louder! Because only when a problem is addressed does it have the potential to be solved.

It may get worse before it gets better, but there’s always a chance that it will get better when you verbally protest the bullying. And no matter the outcome, you’ll feel so much better about yourself knowing you took a stand.