It never ends. What’s worse as an adult is that the bullies can be any age, even old enough to be your own parents. What a sad sad world they live in.
I want to talk today about bullies, because I recently had a bully who plagued me for several years win the war by getting me forced out of a situation where I was happy with many friends. Luckily, I had another wonderful option open to me and the timing couldn’t have been better. But the whole situation still stank of bullying.
I’ve also had to deal with bullies in the workplace, which was why I was so thankful when I was able to do home daycare. Infants and toddlers haven’t yet learned to be manipulative or controlling, although preschool kids do start showing those tendencies, which was why I preferred infants. But I didn’t have anyone taking over my job, backstabbing me, or lying to make me look bad.
Going back farther, I was bullied in school too. I studied hard and earned good grades. I wasn’t the top of my class, but I was an honor student and very near the top. But I didn’t party or drink or smoke or do drugs or any of the quick fixes. I had my horses to keep me occupied. They’ve always been my “medication” A healthy one at that.
Bullies often act because of jealousy, and they don’t necessarily cause physical harm. Girls and women tend to use words. The psychological damage is the hardest to see from the outside, but it’s also the worst, being the cause of so many suicides. They spread rumors and lies and use tactics to ally themselves with people they perceive as having power, so that when they strike, the good, decent people who just want to go about their business are torn down.
Those who make something of themselves through hard work and dedication will always be the victim of someone’s jealousy. That’s what happened to me. Apparently that makes insecure people feel threatened. I was confident while the bully was not. They were jealous of what I have (through hard work–nothing has ever been handed to me) and the friends I made just by being kind to others by always asking if I could help in some way when I saw them having even a small problem. I trained myself to compliment others (because, let’s face it, criticism is easy but we don’t often think to throw in a kind word). I tried to be nice to everyone, no matter how dirty of a look they gave me. I’m not saying I’m perfect, but my goal was to create a friendly area around myself and dispel the negativity I perceived from a small group.
Bullies hate that. It all came to a head because my skills were confirmed by someone they thought was in their control. Suddenly the teeth and claws came out and I lashed back, but the damage was done. They wanted me gone and got their wish.
But I won’t let it get me down. I always look at the positive outcome of difficulties in life. Their pushing me out was what I needed to make a change I had considered for a while but was afraid to make. I’m better off now.
With all the discussions about bullying among young adult writers, I thought I’d share my latest experience. Don’t feel bad for me. Rather, learn from it. I’ve had to deal with bullies throughout my life in different situations. The most important lesson is to realize that these petty souls are insecure in themselves and jealous of you. They should be pitied and avoided. They will poison your mind if you let them. Surround yourself with friends and use those friends and family for support. Be kind to others, a person everyone can admire for their service to those around them, and you’ll always win. The bullies only win if you give in and break down, if you let them tear you down; but that’s where a support system of true friends and family comes in. And remember that what goes around comes around. They’ll get their punishment in the end, while you’ll have a happier life not worrying about them.