Nothing makes you question your worth as a person faster than being bullied. Bullies make you feel small so that they can feel powerful. And it works. They leave you feeling helpless, vulnerable, and questioning yourself at every instant. You may get paranoid that everyone else is out to hurt you.
You lose hope and want to curl into a corner and be forgotten. Every day you want it to stop. They saddled you with several mental health issues, low self-esteem, and social anxiety.
All bullying is sad – physical, emotional, verbal, and psychological. The physical impact of bullying can be terrible. The emotional and psychological effects can be devastating.
Sadly, bullying doesn’t stop when you get older. Child bullies turn into adult bullies, and the cycle continues. Bullying occurs in marriages, communities, traffic, workplace, politics, and everywhere.
There is no one way to defeat a bully. But there is a shift in mindset you can make right now to put you in the position to defeat your bully: Remember that you are not a victim, but a target.
Here are some ways that knowledge can help you stop being a victim of your bully:
- Identify the reason you were targeted. Bullies want to feel powerful or look powerful in front of their friends. They have their problems and choose to lash out at someone weaker. Often, they choose the weakest person to prey on.
- For example, you may have been targeted because you don’t look confident. In that case, research how to look confident. Stand tall. Don’t cower. That alone can cause some bullies not to target you.
- Stand up for yourself. Call the bully out on psychological or verbal bullying. Draw it to their attention. Say something like, “You know what, you’ve been saying things like this to me for a while. You may not realize it, but it is bullying, and I am sick of it. Stay away from me.”
- Don’t ignore it and hope it will go away. Some bullies run away or ignore you when you push back.
- Stand up by telling someone who has power or control over the bully to deal with them.
- Stay with friends. Avoid isolating yourself. It makes it easy for your bully to attack you. Get allies who help you stand up to the bully. It’s harder for bullies to attack you when you’re in a circle of friends. Make friends if you don’t have any. Try to stay away from the vicinity of your bully if you’re alone.
- Accept your insecurities so they cannot use them against you. Psychological or verbal bullying works because we all have insecurities. If you already feel self-conscious because of certain insecurities, bullies make it worse.
- Write a list of ten things you feel insecure about. Now separate these things into what you can control and what you cannot control. Work on the things you can change. Work on accepting what you cannot change.
- These insecurities can no longer be used against you because you have accepted and taken control of them.
- Avoid bribing, appeasing, or begging the bully. It will not work. The bully will only realize that he has the power. Don’t validate his bullying through your actions. It only makes things worse. It can also invite other bullies who see an opportunity to benefit from your benevolence.
- Be determined to resist. Bullies are scary because their tactics are effective. They are also very persistent. You can fight them if you’re determined not to give up. So, keep trying different ways to avoid being their victim. Never sit back and take it.
Bullying can destroy your life if you let it. Even when it stops while you’re young, the effects can linger for many years. Change your mindset. Choose not to be a victim. See yourself as a target instead. Then, you’ll realize that you can do something about it.
Remember that bullies are cowards picking on others to feel better about themselves. Don’t be afraid to take action against them. Choose to be the hero of your own life.